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Quietly Thinking Out Loud

Just one guy thinking out loud on the issues in religion, atheism, politics & science.

How To Engage In Rational Discussion

There is a great infographic/chart on how to have a rational discusioon over on Thought Catalog


Meanswhile over on Yahoo Answers answering the question What does it mean to have a “rational conversation”? we have this as the best answer

Best Answer: It means that neither of the participants have tied their self-worth or identity into what is being argued. It means that evidence and logic will be the only criteria for argument– not emotions, not personal, private preferences, not warm fuzzies. It means that both parties will avoid logical fallacies and will admit it and change when the other party points one out in their argument. It means objectivity– the willingness to change one’s own mind in the face of superior evidence and not squirrel away their beliefs and protect them from scrutiny.

Basically, it’s a discussion in which logic is the most important– not winning, not ego, and not anything personal.


There is also a good article over on that describes “A Code of Conduct for Effective Rational Discussion”

A Code of Conduct for Effective Rational Discussion

Beneath the fold, I have stolen some text that lists 12 principles that make intellectual argument possible. In turn, this list was taken from Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments by Edward T. Damer, which was recommended in comments by G. Felis.


A brief text on Peter Senge thoughts on dialog from his seminal book The Fifth Discipline, The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.

Dialogue from Peter Senge’s Perspective

Senge uses Bohm’s work to define and examine such concepts as quantum theory, systems perspective, mental models, incoherent thought, and synergy as they are related to dialogue. Bohm’s thinking and writing saturate Senge’s discussion of dialogue. For example, Senge quotes Bohm in identifying the three basic conditions necessary for dialogue:


And another text from Robert Hargrove a noted CEO coach and author on leadership (RobertHargrove.com)

Robert Hargrove on Dialogue

Robert Hargrove works along with such noted authors and consultants as Peter Senge and Chris Argyris to help managers and leaders apply ideas variously labeled “collaboration,” “teamwork,” “dialogue,” and others that focus on effective groups. He presents ideas distilled and applied from the theories and practices of numerous theoreticians and practitioners.


Peter Senge’s  thoughts on dialog are based on those of the late physicist David Bohm in which he described a…

A freely flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally.

Bohm Dialogue – Wikipedia

Bohm Dialogue (also known as Bohmian Dialogue or “Dialogue in the Spirit of David Bohm”) is a freely flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding.

Dissecting Trump’s Most Rabid Online Following | FiveThirtyEight

Dissecting Trump’s Most Rabid Online Following

Editor’s note: The story below contains two slurs that appear in the names of subreddits. Links to Reddit may also contain offensive material. President Donald Trump’s administration, in its turbulent first months, has drawn fire from both the left and the right, including the ACLU, government ethics accountability groups and former Bush administration officials.

Liberals are finally listening to Thomas Frank about what’s wrong with the Democratic Party | Politics | Chicago Reader

Liberals are finally listening to Thomas Frank about what’s wrong with the Democratic Party

Perhaps Thomas Frank should have added an exclamation mark to the title of his latest book. As it was, Listen Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? largely fell on deaf ears when it was initially released in April 2016.

A Major New Study Shows That Political Polarization Is Mainly A Right-Wing Phenomenon | WGBH News

A Major New Study Shows That Political Polarization Is Mainly A Right-Wing Phenomenon

A major new study of social-media sharing patterns shows that political polarization is more common among conservatives than liberals – and that the exaggerations and falsehoods emanating from right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart News have infected mainstream discourse.

Fact Check: Trump’s Day of Falsehoods and Misleading Claims – The New York Times

Fact Check: Trump’s Day of Falsehoods and Misleading Claims

The headline in print read, “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.” And the word appeared twice in the text of the article: “intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House” and “If Mr. Sessions is confirmed, he will for a time be the only person in the government authorized to seek foreign intelligence wiretaps on American soil.”

Noam Chomsky predicted Trump’s win. Now he’s warning of something far worse.

Noam Chomsky predicted Trump’s win. Now he’s warning of something far worse.

Linguistic mastermind and famed intellectual Noam Chomsky just predicted that the Trump administration will cause another financial crash in the American economy. “As soon as Trump was elected, and since, stock values in financial institutions escalated to the sky,” Chomsky told Alternet. Wall street investors are “delighted he’s going to eliminate regulations, let them make more profit.

What liberals get wrong about single payer – The Washington Post

What liberals get wrong about single payer

Michael Moore greeted the introduction of Obamacare with an admission many liberals will cheer. “Obamacare is awful,” he wrote. Its awfulness, Moore said, stems from “one fatal flaw: The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go.”

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