Editor’s Note: Thoughtful insights on respectful arguments and babble.
With civil discourse in such short supply today, it may be beneficial to consider some wisdom from the past about disagreeing calmly.
If you’re a thoughtful person, and you interact with other rational people, it’s inevitable that you will sometimes disagree. These differences of opinion are not bad things, in and of themselves. They help us sharpen our thinking and occasionally result in someone (from either side) recognizing the errors in their opinions.
There are times, however, when disagreements are not handled respectfully. In such situations, they seldom result in a positive end. In cases where quarrels arise, people don’t persuade others. They do the opposite—they motivate them to entrench themselves and hide behind mental and verbal barricades that reinforce their “errors.”
You can go all the way back to the Scriptures to find the recognition that this sort of debate is destructive. Here is the counsel of the apostle…
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