So I'm formulating my goals and plans for 2011 and there's one thing I'd like to accomplish but am going to need a bit of help with. I'd like to learn to think more clearly and logically, if that's at all possible.
I've been out of the religious BS for nearly ten years now but I still find it hard to think through various arguments from theists, take them apart and refute them (which I see happening here to great effect). Obviously, this is only one use of 'clear thinking' but it's the one that's been on my mind the most lately.
My first thought was to ask for book recommendations but that might be too limited. There could be films, courses, exercises, groups (Toastmasters?) or lots of other resources out there that hadn't occurred to me. So, do any of you atheist thinkers have any guidance to offer? Anything at all... I'll throw it against the wall and see what sticks.
Also, it's always good to examine your cognitive biases. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia. - Dallas
A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgment that occurs in particular situations. Implicit in the concept of a "pattern of deviation" is a standard of comparison; this may be the judgment of people outside those particular situations, or may be a set of independently verifiable facts. The existence of some of these cognitive biases has been verified empirically in the field of psychology.
Cognitive biases are instances of evolved mental behavior. Some are presumably adaptive, for example, because they lead to more effective actions in given contexts or enable faster decisions when faster decisions are of greater value. Others presumably result from a lack of appropriate mental mechanisms, or from the misapplication of a mechanism that is adaptive under different circumstances.
Cognitive bias is a general term that is used to describe many distortions in the human mind that are difficult to eliminate and that lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, or illogical interpretation.
Many of these biases are studied for how they affect belief formation, business decisions, and scientific research.
Bertrand Russell for the right brain (check YouTube)
Alan Watts for the left brain (avoid the South Park YouTubes)
for the cerebral cortex...Popeye