Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Graceful Dialogue

Brant and I have been having some dialogue on the Schiavo case on his blog and in the comments.

Brant commented on my Grace post:
My bias: I strangely enjoy having someone tell me "You're wrong, and here's why..." The "Here's why..." can be very helpful. If there's no "here's why", I'm not learning anything.

Sure, Bono, who's made a living taking opinionated stands, is right. The question is, how does this look? Can Christians be a strong, challenging voice, like Bono, to the status quo? If the status quo remains unjust, do we necessarily say, "Well, okay, let's agree to disagree?" Bono would say no.

Can we run the risk of being considered liberal, or being considered conservative?

Can we be humbly convinced we're right?

Absolutely. My only contention is how you communicate it and what your point is in communicating it. If you use too much rhetoric, all you do is polarize the dialogue and convince the already convinced. I actually think Brant has quite the moral base in his life and quite the intellect and could be one of the most promising voices of our time, but if you're communication communicates "How could you be so stupid to disagree?" then you are missing your opportunity to convince. (This is what Rush and Hannity do all the time, in my opinion and why have little to no interest in listening to them.)

You may in fact have no choice but to agree to disagree. Forcing your point doesn't force your point. In Brant's comments on Schiavo, there was an underlying tone that no matter what the case, vegatative coma 15 years or whatever, you never remove the feeding tube. I'm not sure I agree. Do we have to agree to disagree? Maybe, but I would prefer a mostly respectful, yet sometimes emotional, to the point dialogue. My position on Schiavo in particular has moved a bit toward Brant, though the issue than becomes about the US courts, which wasn't where my interest lies.

A graceful person would assume that there may be holes in their argument that someone else might be able to fill. A graceful person would hope that another person would grow and not just shutup and get in line, even if it took a little time.

No comments: