15th July 2021

On debate

We have a tendency to attempt to settle arguments through debate. This often takes place in public, or at least infront of some sort of audience (e.g. social media). What is the purpose of this approach? It seems to be an appeal to ancient drives to overcome the opposition. It creates an opportunity for showboating, belittling, hyperbole and conflict. How often does this approach really lead to changing of hearts and minds?

How about a more collaborative approach? Imagine a situation where oppositional proponents meet to discuss their ideas with the sole intention of understanding each other, rather than overcoming one another. This approach would lead to changing of minds, but through enlightenment rather than through submission.

We rarely have our minds changed for us by fervent rhetoric coming from another person. But we do occasionally change our minds through reflecting on our own position after gaining new understanding and perspectives.

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