Thursday, February 4, 2016

Discussion is...Argument is...

“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange of ignorance.”
Robert Quillen

There are so many important things to learn and share. There should be no issue that is so sacred that it cannot be discussed. The purpose needs to be to exchange knowledge. In the US we seem to have developed a strategy of shutting down the discussion if we cannot answer the question or if we don't like the question. We cut straight to sound bite argument.
That's sad because we are not exchanging actual knowledge. There are some favorite people with whom I have philosophical differences that I love to talk with about any subject. Even if our discussion gets passionate, there will be an exchange of knowledge. And sometimes, once I've heard them out, it influences me.
Sadly, there are others that leap to shutting down discussion and never provide any substance. As certain as I am that they likely know something that I should learn, it never comes out. I try to pull together threads of things they have stated over time, ask questions, but nothing comprehensible comes out.
No matter what the topic, if we can exchange our knowledge and experience, we will be much better off. Many times over my life, a good dose of knowledge, well explained logic - has changed my opinion drastically. Even when I don't come to the same conclusion as the person has, I very much respect a well thought out, persuasive discussion.
So if you disagree with me, I will be happy for a good discussion and will respect you for taking the time for it. We should all try to do a little more of that - both discussion and the respect part.

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