A reason I started this blog years ago is because I thought the state of discourse and critical thinking in this country was dreadful.
I still do.
When we disagree with someone we call them names and get on our high horses, rather than trying to understand why the case for why they disagree with us and proving or disproving their case.
I’ve changed my views on a lot of things in my life. Change started with me asking someone I disagreed with:
Would you mind if I asked, can you explain to me why you think that?
I meant it. I ask it in a very calm and disarming manner. Like how Greg Mankiw describes here.
Then I listen.
I’m not perfect. I’ve had my share of unproductive, passionate discussions.
I’ve also had my share of good discussions that didn’t change my mind because the other person couldn’t make his case with any new information or points that I hadn’t already evaluated or I found out that they hadn’t considered any logic, but had based their beliefs on common fallacies.