Monday, March 27, 2017

"Purely Logical Debate"

I am just signal boosting an SSC post again, but in particular I like his rules for a debate. He calls it a "purely logical debate" out of necessity. I don't love the term because it sounds like something only nerds would love, but I don't have a better idea, so let's go with it for now. In general, to be a "purely logical debate", it must be a:

1. Debate where two people with opposing views are talking to each other (or writing, or IMing, or some form of bilateral communication).
2. Debate where both people want to be there, and have chosen to enter into the debate in the hopes of getting something productive out of it.
3. Debate conducted in the spirit of mutual respect and collaborative truth-seeking.
4. Debate conducted outside of a high-pressure point-scoring environment.
5. Debate where both people agree on what’s being debated and try to stick to the subject at hand.

(much more background in the post)

I'm tempted to say "I would like to Purely Logical Debate, and only Purely Logical Debate." And then either of us can pause the debate if we feel that the other is breaking a rule, and we can go back and correct it.

(fwiw, I also agree with his statement that people rarely change their minds all at once, and that the "backfire effect" is probably not as ironclad as we think.)

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