"Rationality and Discourse" article on the new YAS blog!

"Rationality and Discourse" article on the new YAS blog!

Last week the Young Australian Skeptics blog relaunched and I am one of the new authors!

My first article was on communicating skepticism and rationality in ways that don’t put people offside.

Here’s my opening:

Have you ever been cut off by a car with a What Would Jesus Do sticker and thought “Jesus would use his damn turn signals”? If you are a Christian, you might wish that this person didn’t have the sticker on their car, and if you’re not Christian then you’ve probably been left with a bad impression?—?even though it’s a single instance, and you know that we all make mistakes.

Of all the things in this world, irrationality frustrates me the most. I see it connected to so many of the world’s problems. Therefore, I want to help others hone their critical thinking abilities so we can all be more rational.

However, just like the way you drive can undermine the ideas expressed by the stickers on your car, the way you conduct yourself in a conversation can undermine the ideas you are trying to communicate. It doesn’t matter how right you are, or how flawless your logic is, if no one will listen if you’ve put them on the defensive or allowed them to dismiss you because of bad behaviour.

Ask yourself if your goal is to score a cheap point or to change the world. If you are emotional and want to take it out on someone else by scoring a cheap point, get over it. If you want to change the world then you can’t take frustration or anger out on the people you are talking to, even if their point has been refuted a thousand times. When someone is attacked they will get defensive and cannot easily then be self introspective.

Check out the full article here: Rationality and Discourse: A Guide for Would-Be Skeptics

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