Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don't Judge a Joke by Its Cover

Joking is a valuable exercise that our mind's sense of reason can utilize to illuminate rational vs. irrational fallacies. Examining any belief system, whether old or new, involves having defensible reasons for what we believe and say. And sometimes, we have no defense. 

That's where joking can convey the nonemotional recognition of a seemingly illogical concept. Validity lies in the fact that we can clearly and reasonably convey that we recognize initial incongruities... but that we're gonna keep looking, anyway. 

Critical thinking examines the reasons we give for what we believe. Jokes are a fun, memorable way of showing others and reminding ourselves that even the most logical investigation can fall short in the reason department. Incongruities can cause confusion and undermine honest dialogue, but jokes can bring these fallacies to the forefront. The judgment transfers from the individual to the concept, which is exactly where judgment belongs - directed toward ideas, not people. 

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