Constructive and Respectful Resistance

Continuing the discussion from Side Comments on Evolution of the Eye:

We care about questions here, and we do not have agree on the answers.

Good conversations require constructive and respectful resistance. Conversations are boring if we all agree, but there are frustrating and bruising when we are rude tor dismissive to one another.

What, then, does constructive resistance look like? @Mung, I want to show you how I have been respectfully disagreeing with and questioning @NLENTS.

Look at this Thread: Nathan Lents: Bad Design of the Eye? - #14 by swamidass

This post: Common Ground on Bad Design

Or this set of questions:

And later…

I very much disagree with @NLENTS, but I think he is a reasonable and intelligent scientist. I’m going to get nowhere by being rude to him. I want him as a friend. I’m going to treat him with respect, even as a explain why I think he is wrong.

Other are doing this too. Look what @PdotdQ (Can Science Demonstrate Racism or Genocide is Morally Wrong? - #49 by PdotdQ), and @jongarvey write a salient test case for utilitarianism, which (to the point) can’t be resolved by science,

The conversation is much more interesting and ultimately more convincing when we keep things substantive, and respect the expertise of experts. @NLENTS is far outside his field when he argues for ethics. He is going to get more of pushback and should expect this. However, in science, he knows something more. We need to respect this too, even if we are convinced he is wrong.

These are some of the principles of communication that are a critical foundation for a new way forward here. I understand this is new rules for many people, but the rewards are high. We do not want an echo chamber here. We want common ground where people who disagree can cogently engage the grand questions.

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