Thought experiment of the day
Imagine I said that I've been training or practising boxing by myself and that I've become so good at boxing on my own that I am ready to step into the ring to face any professional fighter and win.
What would you say to me? Would you advise that I reconsider my decision? I think your advice would be warranted in this case, as I have not tested my skills, nor have I experienced the discipline required to confront an athlete who has.
You should be concerned that, given my incomplete training, I would likely be injured in a fight with a well-trained fighter.
Some of you would rightly think I'm crazy or lack a fundamental understanding of the sport of boxing as the complicated and dangerous endeavour that it is. Others would think that the pain of defeat is what I need to understand my lack of skill better. Many others still would say that my delusion is dangerous to myself and by extension, those who believe me and follow my example.
All areas of human development are the same, as whilst independent practice is important to learning, the guidance of those who have knowledge in the areas upon which we need to improve is essential.
Critical thinking is an aspect of human development that requires discipline and expert guidance, and like boxing skills, it cannot be developed in isolation. Proper thinking demands honesty and humility, and it necessitates an attitudinal shift to wanting to know the truth for what it is, not what we want it to be.