March 25th, 2013


Discourse without labels

I'm having a conversation about the nature of mind with someone, and I'm trying to avoid calling their ideas a form of mysticism. My efforts so far have led me to explain better the problems I see with those patterns of thinking. Hopefully not dropping terms like that in general are a path to having higher quality discourse. I'll have to keep this in mind in the future.

This is a continued evolution of my efforts to learn not to use disqualification-type arguments, even of the weaker label-and-disqualify sort that are pretty widely used. Too often people of just about any persuasion will do this.

Greater care in discourse often goes unappreciated because most individuals and communities have considerable cultural rot on these topics, but even if not appreciated hopefully it will have good effects. The goal, as always, is to improve both civility and structure in difficult conversations, and perhaps to make it more clear that those who misbehave in discussions, or who can't handle polite challenges to their views, or so on should generally be asked to shape up or leave.