The “Other Side” Is Not Dumb.
Sean Blanda
9.93K570

This is exactly why we have argument: to learn something about yourself through the tussle of conversation with other people. Thank you for this essay, reminiscent of Elizabeth Lesser’s TED Talk entitled “Take the Other Side to Lunch” (https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_lesser_take_the_other_to_lunch?language=en).

Arguing with people I disagree with is generally something I’m quite good at, as long as the person on the other side is making a good-faith effort to have a conversation and mount a decent argument to substantiate their ideas. I find it almost impossible to understand the positions some people take when I feel that they’re making logical fallacies or being disengeneous (which seems to be most of the time in many right-vs-left conversations). One time, an opponent in a gun control / gun rights argument made a claim that asserted the first and second amendments were equivalent and then proceeded to explain to me (as an Englishman) how the UK was less free than the US. To me, that seems so ridiculous, US-centric and utterly small-minded that I couldn’t take them seriously anymore. But, that position is quite common and a lot of people feel that way here… In a democracy, the most popular opinion is the one that wins, what happens when the most popular opinion is just populist bullshit with disastrous consequences that also happens to be dead wrong?

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