Saturday, September 12, 2015

Discussion vs Argument by Justin Deschamps

This is an excerpt from a recent post on the blog Stillness In The Storm by Justin Deschamps. It is taken from the longer article with this title:

Episode 5 of Cosmic Disclosure Now Free to View, Four Interviews Scheduled for September, Discussion vs Argument | Corey GoodETxSG [link]

My Comment: I find Justin's comments here on how to hold a lucid discussion very useful for those of us engaged in discussions at various levels. To avoid a discussion turning into an argument and a shouting match requires emotional non-reactivity and an understanding of the rules for a fair exchange of views, which is what we wish for in any discussion for it to be productive for all involved. Please enjoy Justin's comments.

Justin Deschamps:

"The goal of any discussion about ideas, beliefs or points of view is ideally done by sharing information completely, as it relates to a central point. This is not to force another to accept our beliefs, in fact a good discussion should challenge our accepted truths, expanding them with insights and enriching our point of view in the process. 
"When a conversation devolves into an argument, it is usually because the beliefs we need for emotional support are being challenged. This is when discussion turns to argument; what is now known as trolling. And this happens for a very good reason, because we derive our emotional support from our knowledge base: what we accept as truth, known as beliefs. Recognizing this psychology can help us realize the wisdom of not taking anything personally. People defend their beliefs because of their personal needs, not because they want to offend you - in most cases. And even if they do want to cause offense, we can recognize that as a defensive stance on their part, without creating the emotional charge of being offended for ourselves. 

"I am hardly a perfect example of objective discussion and diplomacy, but ideally when someone is diverging away from the central point, I try to address their emotional charge using compassion and understanding. Rejecting someone's point of view usually creates further argument, as they try and justify their position. By accepting their position as is, and then building from there using compassionate questioning, we can attempt to create a emotionally easy space for vulnerability. This acknowledges the fact that the central point is no longer being addressed and attempts to address the emotional needs of others. 

"If as individuals, we can learn to recognize when discussion goes off course, then it will help us avoid being dragged into an emotionally charged situation, while at the same time avoiding further conflict using reactionary comments on our part. 

"We get all sorts of incendiary comments on the blog and social media. Here is a good example from a Facebook share of the Summary of Cosmic Disclosure Episode 10:
'You know, I can't watch these guys cause their so interested in making money.'

"Is this person speaking to a central point that was covered in the article? No. They have diverted off course, but in doing so made plain where they are in their discernment. They have a bias towards money, which clouds their rational processes when considering the data presented. In this case responding with consternation and indignation will only create additional emotional haziness that makes honest discussion all the more difficult. 
"I responded with the following:
'What makes you think making money some how disproves the data offered? Granted there are lots of examples of people receiving money who are dishonest, but I am not sure that is what is happening here. I'd love to know how you came to this decision.'
"I attempted to un-confrontationally address the irrationality of their position, while at the same time accepting their point of view with compassion. This can work even with those who are actively using harsh language to stir conflict. When we remain objective and speak to the points of issue, avoiding the temptation to fall off the tip of the pyramid, it deflates the energy of the argument in most cases. Additionally other people watching from the sidelines can observe a more grounded approach. 
"In law this is called conditional acceptance, where one party's perspective is acknowledged by the other party, while at the same time citing inconsistencies in an inquisitive way. Free will beings have different points of view as an inherent property of existence, therefore accepting their current position will help create a space for vulnerability while focusing on the critical points of discussion. 
"There have been several times we used compassionate techniques to quell an argument, and in doing so, realized that we had much more in common then we initially thought. In some cases we ended up making new friends and allies simply by working through the initial battlements of a conversation. 
"Again I am not trying to hold myself up as a guru of diplomacy, but I will say that almost all of us are quick to react defensively, and if we can stay grounded and calm, it will help unify the horribly divided truther community."

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