Top Tips from the ProTruthPledge

A current focus of my ongoing agenda has been “proper dialogue”. That is that “critical argument” is extremely limited when dealing with anything other than simple black and white situations. Reducing complex situations to simple arguments is usually the greater evil and often a direct consequence of PC avoidance of even mentioning the real knottier aspects of some important issue.

I’ve written many times on rules of engagement, most recently consolidated under my general collaborative outreach pages. I often characterise all the human interaction aspects of such rules as love & respect – or simply R.E.S.P.E.C.T – for the other party and their position. Some simple tips for civil discourse is another way to elaborate on that idea – as presented here by “ProTruthPledge” – though even here  it can be reductive of the many subtleties of rhetoric in real human communication. Basically some of the rules always need to be broken – using irony and humour, in good faith – in order to highlight points and make progress. Tips are OK, provided we are wise and don’t treat them as dogmatic rules.

One simple way to signal this kind of
collaborative truth-seeking commitment
is the ProTruthPledge.

Ever since Terry introduced me to it, I’ve been a little more sceptical of the ProTruthPledge per se, even though I’m happily signed-up to it myself. It’s about being civil as Gleb Tsipursky’s project emphasises, but civil in good faith that is, not as a matter of box-ticking. That is, if it comes to mean anything authoritative, it will inevitably be gamed by hollow commitment of those who stand to gain from arguments.

[See Rules of Rhetorical Engagement.]

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[Post Note:

Had the same thought about “win” in the ten top tips above. Only makes sense in the collaborative “win-win” progress sense

And a related issue with Tip 10. Helping “them” learn.
Same problem as “Street Epistemology”. Disingenuous aim whilst claiming mutual collaboration, to presume you already know more than “they” do. Always mutual learning. Even if they do turn out to have been essentially wrong on some key point, you will have learned why that point is misunderstandable, and how to modify what you believe you know in order to increase mutual understanding
.]


Also published on Medium.

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