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Describe a belief that you would continue to believe even if solid logical evidence was supplied which demonstrated your belief could not possibly be true.

I believe that the earth rotates on its axis

Create a syllogism which “proves” that your belief is based in logical reasoning.

The earth rotates on it axis. Its movement ensures that one side is exposed to sunlight while the other is hidden from the light. This length of day is equal to that of the night.

The “nature or nurture” argument is based on whether a person’s behavior is a result of heredity or his/her environment. Review the “Either/Or” fallacies.

State the main reason why you agree with either the “nature” position or with the “nurture” position.

I believe that nature plays a big role in a person’s behavior. This is because any individual has a unique personality even if the individual was raised alongside others in the same environment.

Evaluate your own stated reason: Is it supportable with verifiable evidence?

Heredity factors lead a unique individual who may be very different from friends and family. If for instance, one has violent tendencies but comes from a peaceful family, it is proof that the person was born that way. All twins have different personalities whether or not they were raised in the same environment.

Is it based on reason or opinion?

This argument is based on reason. It can be deduced from all past experiences.

Would the other side think that your stated reason adequately supports your position?

Many people believe that the environment greatly influences behavior; they readily relegate the role played by nature. Furthermore, they ignore the possibility that natural factors could influence the way individuals first cope with the environment, before they assume certain learned behavior patterns.

Explain whether there are other theories besides nature and nurture that might explain the variability of human behavior.

There are no other theories that might explain variability in behavior. People interact with others based on inherent natural characteristics and also on how they have been conditioned to behave.

Operational Definitions

Identify a variable for scientific study that can be operationally defined.

If we consider the claim that too much exposure to violent films leads to violent behavior in children, we can operationalize the variable ‘exposure to films.’

Create an operational definition for the variable.

We can for example say that ‘too much exposure to violent films’ is defined by watching more than ten films involving physical fights and assault with the use of weaponry.

Identify what aspects of the variable would be observable and measurable.

Observable aspects would be witnessing children watch violent films. Measurable aspects would be counting the number of times when children watch violent films or engage in fights with other children.

The Scientific Method and “Proving a Theory”

Evaluate the follow claim below by using “the Scientific Method” and “Proving a Theory” steps. Explain what you think would have to be done to the claim below in order to make it more effective or supportable.

No one has ever actually been abducted by aliens. Instead, the experience of being abducted has been beamed into the minds of abductees by an intelligent being from somewhere in the universe that is symbiotically linked to life on this planet. [Rogo, D. S. (1990).Beyond Reality.Wellingborough, UK: Aquarian Press.]

We cannot prove the conclusion. In addition, we cannot determine the exact period when the experience is implanted into human beings. For the claim to be more effective and supportable, we need to prove that that abduction experience is not inherent or inborn. We need to find evidence that the experience of abduction occurs at a specific period in human life. This would help us predict that at a certain age, the experience occurs.

Identify at least one (1) factor which is necessary for evaluating the quality of your thinking.

One factor that is necessary to evaluate the quality of my thinking would be logical assessment of facts through deductive reasoning. For example, if any claims are based on past experience, then are more reliable and are likely to be proven true.

Explain why it is significant for an accurate evaluation of your own critical thinking. Explain whether it is easier to evaluate other people’s thinking than it is to evaluate your own. Why or why not?

Accurate evaluation of my critical thinking is significant in avoiding fallacies that rise from abstract beliefs. It would not be easier to evaluate some of other people’s thinking if there isn’t enough evidence to prove their claims or beliefs. It would be easier to evaluate their thinking if we can prove through tangible evidence that their claims or beliefs have a high degree of truth.

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