The Value of Disagreement

The title kind of says it all – Not only is disagreement something to be “put up with” it is, in fact, a necessary ingredient to any society that wishes to exhibit a thriving intellectual life and true freedom of speech. Not a necessary evil, but a necessary good.

But our present society begs to differ…

You disagree, now what

My wife teaches a grade 2 class. They were learning a song which another teacher (I’ll call her Mrs. Smith) had begun teaching them on a day when my wife was away from school. As they were going over the words, my wife was teaching them a slightly different wording than the other teacher had taught them. Continue reading

Jimmy Kimmel, GMOs, and the art of knowing what you’re talking about

Jimmy Kimmel had his staff interview average people on the street who opposed Genetically Modified Organisms. He asked two very basic questions; why do you oppose GMOs and what do the letters G-M-O stand for? Sounds kind of similar to the two basic questions everybody should be able to answer about their own beliefs, and about the beliefs of those they disagree with, as I describe in Arguing with Friends. How well do these anti-GMO folks do in answering these two questions?


A Proposal: Schedule Thought

Here’s a modest proposal; schedule your thought life. One will be far better equipped to engage in conversations with others about life’s biggest questions if they have actually given some time to thinking about, and researching, those questions.