In one episode of , Cartman becomes obsessed with conspiracy theories and sings a song about needing to think for himself and find out the truth.
The show is poking fun at conspiracy theorists, who often think that they are exercising critical thinking when in fact they are simply exercising too much skepticism towards common sense and popular beliefs, and not enough skepticism towards new, unnecessarily complicated explanations.
This makes them more receptive to information, better listeners and learners.
Skepticism means you always demand evidence and don’t simply accept what others tell you.
Enlightenment thinkers understandably rejected traditional thinking, holding it responsible for all this violence and injustice.
But still, the Enlightenment sometimes went too far in the opposite direction.
He was deeply indebted to the whole tradition of scientists that had come before him — Europeans, Greeks, Arabs, Indians, and all the rest.“It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses…
and at the same time a great openness to new ideas.
At the same time, the Enlightenment also came with many downsides, particularly the fact that it was so hostile to tradition.
This hostility is understandable given the state of Europe at the time — ripped apart by bloody conflict between different religions, and oppressed by traditional monarchs who rooted their power in that of the Church.