Rules for civil engagement: How to talk with someone unlike yourself | Jon Zimmerman

Rules for civil engagement: How to talk with someone unlike yourself | Jon Zimmerman


It seems to me that in order to be civil,
you do have to follow a certain set of basic rules about human dialogue and discourse. So if you begin with a statement, and I say,
“You’re a blankety-blank”, that’s not going to further the discussion. It’s probably going to end it. A more civil response would go something like
this: “You know, that’s interesting. That’s not the way I see it. Tell me more about why you think that.” So civility, for me, connotes the rules of
decent and polite behavior That we need to follow in order to have a reasonable discussion
and disagreement. Another really interesting one is just to
say, “Listen, I just want to tell you that I see this differently. And I’d like to share that with you to see
what you think.” That is prefacing it by saying, acknowledging
right off the bat, that you see things differently and asking the person to react to what you’re
saying. Something else I’ve seen that I think works
really well is, “You know, I think we come at this from different places. Would you like to talk more about it?” Just ask the person, because sometimes the
answer is going to be “No”. I would say other important rules, for me,
are don’t be afraid of emotion but don’t mistake it for argument. There’s nothing wrong with being emotional. Frankly, I would say at this moment in political
history, if you’re not emotional about something, you may be a sociopath. I mean, it’s an emotional time. It’s a brittle, a troubled, and emotional
moment, so it’s fine to be emotional. But don’t confuse emotion and argument. The depth with which you feel something is
not an indice of its strength as an argument. All the worst and most awful bigoted, racist,
hateful people in history have felt what they felt very deeply. But the depth of their feeling shouldn’t be
seen in any way as an indice of its truth. So it’s fine to have deep feelings and emotions. I do. But don’t mistake them for argument.

Comments

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    Mike Smith

    More Koch brothers money https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Institute_for_Humane_Studies I wish Big Think would stop getting funding from such sources.

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    myutubechannel

    this is nice but only works with people who are willing to do the same thing. Too many have already chosen a position and have decided they will never change their view no matter what information is presented to them.

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    eatcarpet

    Emotions can be an argument, but it could be wrong. Like with anything, the problem is not willing to consider the possibility of being wrong.

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    James Ru

    Person One: I think we ought to use fossil fuels because climate change is a lie.

    Person Two. Oh that's interesting tell me why you think that?

    Person One; I think all gay people should be killed.

    Person Two. Oh that's interesting tell me why you think that.

    Person One. I think people should own all the weapons they want including tanks.

    Person Two. Oh that's interesting tell me why you think that.

    Person One. I think women who have abortions and use birth control should get the death penalty.

    Person Two. Oh that's interesting tell me why you think that.

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    Kevin MacDonald

    These are incredibly great tips but in this day and age (as far as Liberals are concerned) if you have an opposing viewpoint from there's, then you're a racist.

    Don't know how THAT happened.

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    R S

    Civil discourse is not possible wit the toxicity intentionally created for political gains.
    Calling someone racist in this day is uncivil, and, likely, itself intended for racial division.
    There is no institutional racism, yet the fake news keeps pushing this racist view. The police do not murder blacks, yet this is the common discourse.

    Hate is a weapon used for political gain. First it was the southerners (of a given party) wearing white robes, now it is the westerners (of the same party) wearing black masks.

    There can be no civil discourse until people want to be civil.

    Maybe it is time to agree we can’t agree. We can split up the country into two or more separate countries, where the states don’t hate each other.

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    Alexandra Groza

    And yet some people live such violent lives that violence and fear is the only concepts they can grasp. Thus civility only applies with those who can have the capacity to be civil, otherwise, i am sorry to say, but avoiding any dialogue with those people is the best possible choice…and where avoidance is not possible, oh well, one better know how to physically run or defend him/herself

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    Socrates In Chains

    Nope, aint gonna work.

    Psychology is commensurate with the principles of language functionally resident in the mind.

    And here, all over the world, people are provably proto-linguistic.

    Nope, don't work at all.

    There is not one correct grammar book on this planet and everyone too stupid to notice that they are speaking gibberish.

    Tell me genius, how many possible parts of speech are there? How many possible primitive grammars?

    What does your computer tell you?

    What is a conjugate binary pair? does either one of them, a noun and a verb, name anything at all?

    Reread Plato.

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    Arduenn Schwartzman

    What a weird phrase, 'an indice of…'. Indice feels to me like a plural form of index, used in the sense of indicator. 'One index of…, two indice[s] of…'

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    The God Emperor

    hey now… I am not emotional about anything politically and it's not cause I'm a sociopath so much as I just am too depressed to care anymore.

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