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Critical and Creative Thinking in Society

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Critical and Creative Thinking in Society
PHL458

Critical and Creative Thinking in Society
Free will is the ability to use critical and creative thinking to approach problems to make an educated choice in what directive or direction to take (Ruggiero, 2012, Chapter 2). The textbook states that some psychologists would argue there is no free will, only compulsion as defines as the irresistible urge to do something. The textbook author, Ruggiero, states that although we are influenced by both nature and nurture, we retain a significant amount of free will to make choices (Ruggiero, 2012, Chapter 2).
According to Ruggiero (2012) truth is what is so about something, the reality of the matter, as distinguished from what people wish were so, believe to be so, or assert to be so (Chapter 2). The truth is not relative nor does truth change; only one's perception of what is truth changes. If truth were relative, no one would seek out the answers as any answer could be considered truth. Perception can be relative; truth is the view that is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate (Ruggiero, 2012, Chapter 2).
Knowledge is what we know, not what we think we know (Ruggiero, 2012, Chapter 2). We can find true knowledge from experience, observation and report. All three of these methods of obtaining knowledge are subject to the failure of faulty experience, faulty experience, faulty reporting and faulty memory. One may feel he is knowledgeable on a subject, only to find out the methods by which he learned the topic were flawed, therefore rendering him less knowledgeable than he perceived himself to be.
Opinions are one's person expressions of both taste and judgment (Ruggiero, 2012, Chapter 2). While an expression of taste is an assertion of something that one likes or dislikes, and expression of judgment is an assertion of what one perceives to be truth or about how to one would complete a course of action (Ruggiero, 2012, Chapter 2). One’s judgment can be wrong at times based on faulty knowledge; one should always have the free will to change an opinion based on facts or newly found truth or knowledge.

The Baltimore Protests
In April, 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested by Baltimore City Police. He sustained injuries that caused him to be hospitalized; he lapsed into a coma and later died. The residents of Baltimore began protests in front of the police station where he was arrested the day before Mr. Gray died. Protests continued after his death, and on the evening of April 25, 2015, violence broke out in the city. During a press conference, the Mayor of Baltimore made the statement that most protesters were respectful but a "small group of agitators intervened". She also stated "It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate." Fox news felt this was giving permission to the rioters to continue in the riots. The Mayor later came back to say that she was attempting to let the peaceful demonstrators the space to share their message. In doing so, the police also had to provide space to those also trying to incite a riot, not that she was providing permission for the rioters to continue.
The violence did continue and escalate. Threats of a ‘purge’ were sent out via social media to all high schools stating there would be violence from the mall to downtown. In a preemptive response, the mall closed early, the schools let out early, and police were deployed. Public transportation was halted, so students attempting to get home could not, and many of the side streets were blockaded. Colleges and Universities also closed. The first brick was thrown; several hours later a drug store was looted and burned along with almost two dozen other structure fires, just under 150 cars, and a couple hundred arrests.
The next day there were signs of a turning page. Many citizens attempted to clean up the city and the damage from the night before. That evening, the curfew that was to be imposed at 10:00pm did not come without pain, but by midnight, the street was cleared, and the violence had stopped.
What critical or creative thought could have been used to create a different outcome? I think there are several pain points in this situation that could have started Baltimore down a different path. First and foremost, if, in fact, the officers did cause the death of Freddie Gray, critical thinking on the part of the officers may have prevented the entire situation. Currently, six officers are facing trial in the death of one young man. At first glance, this would make one think that one of them might have been able to stop this death. As mentioned in the first short survey, the truth is only one answer; finding that truth is more difficult. Next, the Mayor might have curbed the rioting by choosing her words more carefully as so not to make others feel she was providing a venue for the rioting. Finally, those performing the rioting themselves should have used critical thinking in understanding the cause and effect that were possible from the actions they were taking. If they truly wanted to avenge the death of Freddie Gray, rioting and looting another man’s business that had nothing to do with this death hardly seems like the way to do so.

References
Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). The aArt of tThinking: A guide to critical and creative thought. (10th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

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