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…

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.

Objectifying people

Here’s a great little article reminding us not to treat other people as objects or projects, even if we are pursuing the noble ambition of introducing them to Truth. Always engage in honest dialogue and value them for who they are, not what they believe (or disbelieve).

How Should Christians Respond to Atheist Friends?

Not too dissimilar to the book review I recently did (How to talk to a Skeptic) is this brief article on how to interact with Atheists.

As with any good advice on interacting with a particular group, a lot of the comments could apply equally well to talking with just about anybody you don’t see eye to eye with. Even if you are talking about something as seemingly unimportant and unspiritual as which bus route gets you to your destination, points 1 and 3 still apply, for instance.

(H/T to Poached Egg)

Critical Thinking videos

In Arguing with Friends I describe the importance of refining our critical thinking skills. Logic sounds boring until you have a better idea of what it’s about and how astoundingly useful it can be. Here’s a link to six videos introducing logic and explaining its usefulness. Take a gander.

[By the way, some of what they say about science in later videos unfortunately borders on illogical based on what they had said previous to their comments on science. Just food for thought, the videos are still really good.]

Things we should say more often

Somehow I sincerely doubt the mini-President in this video came up with the script for “Twenty things we should say more often,” but it’s cute how he delivers the wisdom. And number 4 is particularly relevant to Arguing with Friends.