Silly People or Silly Idea?

One of the greatest mistakes we make is to name names indiscriminately in discussion when ideas would work just as well. In fact, it is very important in communication. If you noticed I usually try to have good arguments without pointing fingers or naming names.

Now this is not always possible. Where there is public statements and discourses made, the rules change some. There are times that private discourse should be disclosed as well, however I try to make that rare and used only in extreme situations.

Intelligent Christian InteractionsCases like Ham and Nye were public (see this link and this link for my commentary on their debate), but even than I tried not to put either one down but tried to have respect for both. I tried to analyze their ideas and not them.

Sometimes you need to quote someone, but it should not be used to make them, the person, look stupid. Now maybe their ideas are silly, but that is what we are looking at anyhow, so just point it out. While not always possible, if you are going to say something, try your best to be positive (such as my thoughts on Dr. Meyer).

In other words, we should not use character assassination in our conversations. This is called an ad hominem attack or an argument against a person rather than his or her ideas. This is weak thinking and is a poor argument that makes you look silly!

In other words, if nothing you take from this post, remember this:

Be egalitarian to people but elitist regarding ideas.

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