July 15, 2024

Engaging in thoughtful debate may require everyone to stop talking – at least temporarily

What’s most important when debating issues – fact? Intuition? Use both to strengthen arguments without alienating others.

Shut Up!

Episode One: Facts or Feelings?

Thinking about the heightened awareness of “fake news” over the last year or two, and increasingly common debate taking place via social media, how can we create effective arguments and constructive dialogue around hot-button topics like politics and social causes?

Thoughtful debate can be challenging to facilitate, but is arguably more important than ever before. I spoke with my parents – a lawyer and a community organizer – and a coworker who is also a journalism student about how to facilitate “good” debate and use critical thinking, rather than allowing conversation to disintegrate into purely emotion-driven argument with little to no basis on fact. While some people gravitate toward manipulating emotion or forming relationship-driven arguments, others make use only of facts. I explore the benefits of both, and how we can find middle ground. This and more on Shut Up!