Assuming Good Faith
Hey folks – just a quick word here. The Guns in America symposium has been great so far and I have been thoroughly enjoying everyone’s posts. The debates have been pretty civil for the most part and as regular readers know, that is something we prefer here at the League.
One guideline I will mention though that is helpful for everyone (including me) is to assume good faith on the part of the posters and your fellow commenters. Even if the other side’s position seems so wrong that your gut tells you it must be a secret plan to take over the world, give them a chance to explain themselves first. If they do that and you still think they are trying to take over the world, walk away.
The biggest problem I see with regards to human interaction is the assumption of bad intent from the other side of whatever issue we are discussing. Written communication compounds this problem because we miss all of those little clues like tone and body language. Keyboard bravery then allows us to say things we wouldn’t say in person. Things devolve from there.
The reason why our occasional Opposite Day posts are so well received is because the best of them understand the other side’s position perfectly, even if they don’t agree with it. My favorite post from the last round was from Jonathan McLeod and it exactly captures what it means to understand the other side and treat their position with respect. We can all learn a lot from that.