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Stop debating and focus on persuasion, to drive out intolerance.

I agree with Dr. Burton (see below), and I think that when we are trying to build consensus, we have to turn away from presenting evidence and using Robert's Rules of Order. Persuasion, as Dr. Cialdini has pointed out, is based on behaviors, not ideas. When we practice reciprocity, when we appreciate consistency, and try to be likable and civil, then people are more likely to tolerate our ideas. And toleration is the best we can expect when people possess such conflicting values.  

Nautilus: Reason Won't Save Us, 2019-Oct-17 by Robert A. Burton 

There is no compelling evidence to suggest that public debate on virtually any subject can ever be resolved through reason. We migrate toward what we feel is best. Even science has its problems, ranging from replication to questions of statistical validation. However, science has self-correcting methods for slowly moving closer to supportable knowledge. Untestable opinion has no such self-correcting mechanisms.

If this argument sounds harsh or offensive, so is watching present day failure of discourse between those with differing points of view, yet persisting with the unrealistic hope that we could do better if we tried harder, thought more deeply, had better educations, and could overcome innate and acquired biases.

If we are to address gathering existential threats, we need to begin the arduous multigenerational task of acknowledging that we are decision-making organisms rather than uniquely self-conscious and willfully rational. Just as we are slowly stripping away pop psychology to better understand the biological roots of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, stepping back from assigning blame and pride to conscious reasoning might allow us a self-image that reunites us with the rest of the natural world as opposed to declaring ourselves as unique. Only if we can see that our thoughts are the product of myriad factors beyond our conscious control, can we hope to figure out how to develop the necessary subliminal skills to successfully address the world’s most urgent problems. If AI can improve itself, so can we.

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