Tania Lombrozo has a great piece up at NPR on why, more importantly than common ground, is charitable ground.
According to Lombrozo:
Issues about science and religion have become so politicized and polarizing that it’s hard to find public forums in which people with different commitments can meaningfully engage in discussion and debate. You know, respectful conversations, ones in which we interpret each other charitably and don’t simply assume that those who disagree with us are foolish, immoral or just plain stupid.
I’m not arguing for a middle ground in which we all compromise. The best position isn’t necessarily the one in the middle, or the one that wins by majority vote. But I do think we need a “charitable ground,” if you will — some shared territory in which we recognize that other people’s religious and scientific commitments can be as deeply felt and deeply reasoned as our own, and that there’s value in understanding why others believe what they do.
Question for the audience – which intellectuals deal most charitably with their opponents?