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Dignified debates: a better way to argue about politics

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Rebecca Roache expressed a common feeling when in 2015 she blogged, “I am tired of reasoned debate about politics.” Many people today find arguments unpleasant and useless. That attitude is both sad and dangerous because we cannot solve our social problems together if we know that we disagree but do not understand why. Luckily, arguments can help us accomplish a lot even in extreme cases. Consider the case of Megan Phelps-Roper, who proudly held signs condemning gays and Jews to hell while she was a child in Westboro Baptist Church. Later, she found interlocutors on Twitter who displayed calm, concern, and curiosity while asking about her views. Their affability opened her to their views, but Phelps-Roper reports in her Ted talk, “As kind as my friends on Twitter were, if they had not actually made their arguments, it would have been so much harder for me to see the world in a different way.” She adds elsewhere that her new friends pointed out inconsistencies in her old views so. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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