See your interlocutor move from
Arguments go no place because individuals do not take the time to understand the opposing viewpoint. If we would lay aside our own viewpoint for a while and attempt to understand and examine the opposing assertion, we might find that the debate needs to be put on hold because the opponent's assertion needs more work. As you attempt to understand your opponent's position, be sure to treat him or her with respect. Further, while making no assertion of your own, test your opponents assertion by asking questions. And as you consider his or her position, keep the following in mind.
- What statement sums up your opponent's position?
- What example or exception shows your opponent's assertion as weak or false?
- What might be a stronger assertion given the weakness of the previous assertion?
[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]