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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Bad Luck Thinking

Some folks have really bad luck with their thinking. That’s putting it graciously. A person can be honest, caring, and respectful in many respects and yet be thoroughly detached from reality in forming and supporting some thought patterns.

"The negro is in his present backward state as a race, for reasons which are not due merely to circumstances, but which are quite innate in his mental constitution ." – written by 19th century American idealist philosopher, Josiah Royce. Firm as a belief in the inherent inferiority of human beings of differing genetic configuration and/or cultural conventions might be, racist convictions are entirely bogus and based on something other than facticity.

Tomás de Torquemada was a Castilian Dominican friar and first Grand Inquisitor in the 15th century Spanish Inquisition. He firmly believed that he was faithfully serving Christ and the church by hideously torturing “infidels” . . . burning to death over 2000 of them. As good as this man thought his intentions were, they were in fact the result of demented, depraved reasoning.

There are certainly issues where judgments or decisions are based more on emotions or interpretive presuppositions than facts. Remember the adage: You have a right to your own opinions but not to your own facts. You might believe, fervently even, from scalp to soles that the earth is flat . . . but you’d still be dead wrong. Royce and Torquemada presumably thought their reasoning, and the actions precipitated by such, was good and right. They were both dead wrong.

All of which is to say that one needs to take judicious care when forming judgments . . . especially judgments that are unfair and/or cause harm. Having bad luck with one’s thinking is often much more than ruining a day in the park. It often ruins lives of others.

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