How Can We Encourage Debate?

Having a healthy, respectful, robust debate takes more than simply having an opinion and a loud voice. If I make a list of what is needed to have a good dialogue, what would that list contain?

In an era of polarized opinions on a number of topics including politics, religion, health care, gun control, immigration, abortion, and several other issues, how can we have a debate in which opposing sides actually listen to each other?

How can we encourage debate?

Related questions: How can we turn ideas into actions? What is necessary to change your mind? When is doubt helpful? How do you know who to trust?

What Is Important?

Life is complicated, with lots of moving parts. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, so much is happening. But if you simplify things, strip away all the minutia of everyday living, some events or actions or people mean more than everything else.

In other words: What is important?

Related questions: Why do we spend time on things that are not important? How do you define success? How do we choose our priorities?  How important is the repetition in our lives?

 

How Do We Know What We Don’t Know?

Even the most learned among us is ignorant. There is so much to know about our world that it is impossible to know it all. How, then, do we categorize what we don’t know? If we don’t know something, how do we realize that there is a gap in our knowledge? When we examine ourselves, how can we tell if there is a lack or some learning that needs to be done?

How do we know what we don’t know?

Related questions: How do we grow? What does it mean to learn? How do we organize knowledge?

What Is Necessary To Change Your Mind?

Once you make up your mind on a particular topic, it can be very difficult to accept new ideas or to consider alternate opinions. Ideally, we would be open to new interpretations or different ways of looking at things, but it doesn’t always happen.

How can we be more open to alternate points of view? What is necessary to change your mind?

Related questions: How can you achieve compromise? How is a decision made? How can we encourage debate?

Where Do Shared Ideas Exist?

If I have an idea, you can argue that it exists in the biochemical stew that is my brain. If I share that idea, whether it be through speech, through writing, or through smoke signals, it now has an existence that is outside a person or persons.

Where? Where do shared ideas exist?

Related questions: Where do ideas come from? What is an idea? What does it mean to share something?