Nascent Calls for RCD from Experts
Below are some gems from the Rubin Report Podcast on 6/30/2018. Dave Rubin interviewed Jordan Peterson, Eric Weinstein, and Ben Shapiro.
It was a bit eerie listening to them discuss civil discourse and why they all get along so well given their varied sociopolitical and religious beliefs. Because, without knowing it, they were perfectly describing the purpose of RCD.
"If my arguments are more fine tuned and sharper, and if I am able to account for a wider range of phenomena because someone has put forward facts that were hard for me to incorporate, then my tool box is much more efficient and I can operate more effectively in the world."
"I want to hear the best versions of the arguments that run counter to mine. Because I'd like to figure out where I'm wrong and I'd like to make what I'm doing better and that's more important to me. It is literally more important to me than making sure that what I already know is right".
"I've got plenty to learn, and a real discussion with someone who objects to you - that's where you learn. So, more power to that!"
"I personally much prefer engaging with the best ideas someone has to offer than engaging with the worst ideas you can pick out of a hat on Twitter."
"I think there is a pretty easy test - which is when someone catches you out on a part of the argument that you've made, that you know was flawed, and someone catches you out, do you smile or do you get angry? It really is almost that easy because the truth is that there is something fun about the idea of having to rethink your position and something adventurous about the idea that you haven't thought everything through - that there are these new vistas of thought that maybe you haven't considered before and it does hone you, it makes you better at it, and it also allows you to ... listen, life is funny and it's funny that we are flawed human beings, that our logic is flawed, so there is a certain humor to the idea that someone is exposing a rift in your thinking. That you now have to deal with - it makes life fun. If you were just a stone all the time it would be really boring."
Eric Weinstein Commented that their conversations have a "sort of generosity of spirit argument." He noted that they all have "dexterity in changing their minds" and "admitting when we are wrong when we've changed our perspective". He described it as "spectacularly non-egoic."
I was just waiting for Peterson to say, "you know, maybe we should take a closer look at this. I wonder if we could come up with a new formal discourse format that could be commonly employed, even expected, in civil discourse." And Weinstein would say, "Yes. A kind of a regulated civil discourse. You know, if we standardize the format and record the outcomes, over time, even across human generations, we will create a global general database of human understanding - like a 'genome' of understanding. It might provide a robust tool for some novel analyses." Then Shapiro would add "Regulated Civil Discourse... It's kind of a mouthful - calling it "RCD" might fly."
It is now on my bucket list to someday have Eric Weinstein describe RCD as "spectacularly non-egoic".
Here is another from an interview with Bishop Robert Barron regarding how to have good religious arguments (12/17/2018).
"It would be cool if when we are having an argument you had a referee who can throw a flag... we end up wasting so much time running around these different fallacious moves." Bishop Robert Barron (see around frame 22:20)