A Civil Discourse - Printable Version
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A Civil Discourse - Darrell - 06-30-2012 12:30 PM
There have been a lot of energetic discussions here recently on a wide variety of topics from immigration issues to healthcare to LGBT equality and so on. For the most part we have a pretty well-educated and vocal community who are not afraid to vigorously defend their ideas and that's great. But even here in the company of friends, I've noticed something in microcosm speaks to our larger political discourse: we tend to take disagreement as personal rejection and respond with personal attacks.
Believe in amnesty for undocumented workers? You're trying to steal my job! Believe in deporting illegal immigrants? You obviously are a racist.
Support universal healthcare mandates? You're a socialist. Don't support them? You're a greedy fascist who hates poor people.
Support same-sex marriage? You're not Christian! Oppose same-sex marriage? You're not Christian either!
Oppose elective abortions? You hate women! Support pro-choice? You hate babies!
Support creationism? You're an ignoramus. Believe in evolution? You're Hitler.
So I put this question to you, is it possible to have a dialog on these issues without calling into question your opponents intelligence, motives, or moral fiber? Can we have vigorous debate on the issue itself without needing to lapse into digs and cheap shots? Or are the issues we hold dear so completely wrapped up in our own identities that any opposition is seen as a personal attack?
I'd like to think we can be better. I'd like to think I can do better. But I just don't know.
RE: A Civil Discourse - Darrell - 06-30-2012 12:40 PM
(Which does not mean I do not reserve the right to mess with trolls. Being the Benevolent Dictator has to have a few perks.)
RE: A Civil Discourse - Bill - 06-30-2012 03:11 PM
I nominate this thread for a sticky.
RE: A Civil Discourse - Persnickety Polecat - 06-30-2012 03:28 PM
So can I call people lint-lickers? Son of a biscuit-eating bulldog? Cootie queen? Stinkie McStinkface?
Oh, wait. Never mind. I was watching an Orbit commercial. As you were ...
RE: A Civil Discourse - Don - 06-30-2012 06:26 PM
Given the cover of anonymity the internet affords, the normal conversation cues are not available and neither are the non-verbal visual flags which would allow civil conversation to constantly be re-evaluated and/or redirected. But that same anonymity allows others to express themselves in ways they have never been able to before.
Can we have civil debate without taking things personally? I don't know. I doubt that I should even be attempting to post a reply to that question. Especially since I am a: racist, greedy fascist who hates poor people, non-Christian, woman hating, ignoramus. Other than that I believe I can get along with just about anyone who is not sporting an agenda clearly aimed at creating arguments for the sake of arguing... Or attacking our community just because.
RE: A Civil Discourse - bean - 06-30-2012 06:30 PM
I won't take disagreement personally!
RE: A Civil Discourse - Scorpio - 06-30-2012 07:21 PM
But they* started it!
* anyone who disagrees with me and is obviously wrong.
RE: A Civil Discourse - Persnickety Polecat - 06-30-2012 07:37 PM
(06-30-2012 07:21 PM)Scorpio Wrote: But they* started it!
*I'm never wrong.
RE: A Civil Discourse - myotch - 06-30-2012 07:55 PM
Meh, I've got a board with a nail in it.
RE: A Civil Discourse - bean - 06-30-2012 08:00 PM
Can we all just agree on the following?
1. Dogs rock. Especially yellow labs.
2. Marijuana laws are stupid.
3. The Yankees are the evil empire.
4. Talk radio is okay, but Talk of the Nation is the best.
5. The Coen brothers movies are kinda weird. And that Fargo movie, boy, they didn't get our accent right...At. all...there..
6. Apple is great if you can afford it.
7. Hotmail is SO 1999. Gmail is where it's at.