I have a lot of conversations with people that hold wildly varying beliefs. Sometimes those conversations are productive. But all too often, they go nowhere.
So, I want to share some things I’ve learned (and continue to learn) about how to have a worthwhile discussion with someone who holds different beliefs than myself. This is an attempt to answer the question:
How can we discuss issues without letting it devolve into an argument?
Accept that you don’t know everything. Or at a minimum, accept that you don’t know everything about THIS person’s opinion or perspective on the issue.
2) Accept that you don’t know everything. Or at a minimum, accept that you don’t know everything about THIS person’s opinion or perspective on the issue.
3) Seek to understand the person behind the discussion. Example: If you are talking to Bob about abortion, seek to understand Bob.
4) Expect that you will likely misinterpret what they are really saying, and ask them to confirm if you understand what they are saying.
5) Complete steps 1-4, BEFORE you ever attempt to make your points and express your thoughts on the issue.
Good luck in your discussions! My prayer is that they will be productive and that you will learn just as much as you expect the other person to learn from you.