Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks for giving questions

I'm hearing a lot of people with concerns about their ability to shine in political discussions, and particularly this Thanksgiving, with Obama's OFA advising its zealots not only to inject politics into Thanksgiving dinner, but to actually push the mashed potatoes aside and sign up some desperately needed 'customers' for ObamaCare (and we used to think multi-level marketing was a pain!), they are doubly concerned.
"I don't eat and breathe this stuff, there's no way I'm going to remember all these facts, and how can I possibly know whether or not the statistics they tell me are accurate? How am I to know which point they advance conflicts with which clause of the Constitution - If I try arguing about this I'm going to look like a fool."
To which I'd like to answer, "Yes you probably will. As would I." And I'd remind you, that responding to statistics, is the primary means which people use in order to avoid having to face up to principles.

There may be a few issues you can gain some authoritative command of the facts over, but there are very few 'Good Will Hunting' types out there who can memorize all of these points, or even recall them at just the right moment and present them in just the right way to effectively put your opponent in their place.

But there's something else to consider here, and that is, what if you do remember what you need to remember, and point it out in such a way that leaves your opponent speechless?

What has your reaction been when someone has done that to you? When you are standing there, at a loss for words, unable to answer back... do you feel convinced by them? Or do you feel annoyed, frustrated, even angry, that you were unable to make a good reply? Did that sense of humiliated frustration, sway you to their point of view?

If you did not feel converted when you were left speechless, do you really suppose they will be, should you succeed in doing that to them?

And what about those watching your discussion? Well they be more likely to think the issue over on hearing your unanswerable answer? Isn't converting, or at least getting others to consider your position and reconsider their own, your real goal?

My point is, having the right answer on the tip on your tongue, at the right time, is nice, and leaves you feeling good... but can that alone really accomplish anything more than getting you recreational slamming points?

What might be more likely to change minds?

Think about it a moment, what do you want the person you are talking to, and those listening, to come away with? Don't you want them to question what they might have previously accepted with little or no consideration?

Then... why not forget about memorizing the statistics and the witty replies, and focus more on the questions that should be asked? And by the way, if you understand, and keep your principles in mind, the right questions will naturally come to mind when someone says something that doesn't gibe with them. The questions that come to mind in that case, will be questions that the person you are speaking with, and those listening, will be far more likely to willingly participate in asking and thinking further about.

There's a Reason for that.

Western Civilization didn't catch on because of its answers... those are still being argued about more than 3,000 years on... but because of its questions, and its method of comparing your answers to reality, and pursuing the questions which those answers lead to. Questions such as:
  • What is real and how do we know it?
  • What is Good? Why should we care?
  • How can we recognize what is not Good?
  • What is a Good life?
  • What is Happiness?
  • Should what is Right and Wrong, guide our actions?
  • What is Beauty?...What is Truth?...What is Justice?
  • What does it benefit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?
Ask the right questions, and your listeners will question their own answers, and reality will do the rest.

Question what they assume to be true.

Question their assumptions that a law can make happen, what no one actually in that business for decades and trying to get an edge over their competitors, was ever able to make a reality. And a bureaucrat has solved it?
  • If insurance companies could have found a way to ignore pre-existing conditions, they would have put their competitors out of business, wouldn't they?
  • What makes you think that govt bureaucrats and regulators, are going to make work, what no business has yet been able to accomplish?
  • If we're mandating by law, that we do what must result in loses... who is going to pay for those loses? How are we going to save money, by increasing financial loses?
  • Do you think that regulations can prohibit cause and effect? Can regulatory law over rule reality?
  • Why should I not have a say in what features I do or don't pay for?
Think about what you know about your life, about your business, about trying to do your job, about having to comply with regulations or even ludicrous policies handed down by distant corporate managers which you and your fellows know to be folly, and apply them to the healthcare solutions you are being presented with.
  • How can laws and regulations written three years ago and thousands of miles away, improve my physicians ability to care for me today and tomorrow?
  • Is it possible for those laws and regulations to not make it more difficult, and costly, for any doctor to provide me the care I need?
  • How is my health going to benefit, by restricting what my physician thinks is best to do for me?
So when your Obamanautic relative brings up the wonders of signing up for ObamaCare, particularly the sort found here, listen to what they say, and question those things they assume should be unquestionable.
  • Why should I be forced to sign up for ObamaCare, if I already have insurance I like?
  • How is it Just to force me to buy what I do not choose to?
  • Is Justice served by preventing people from making their own choices?
  • Can the Greater Good be served by forcing individuals to do what they judge to be wrong for them?
  • Why should my healthcare be made into a political issue, rather than a medical issue?
  • Why do I not get to decide whether or not I even want Health Insurance?
  • Is it right that voters get to decide what I do in my personal life?
  • Can I be said to be living my own life, if the most important decisions I have to make, are made for me by distant others and against my will?
What it comes down to, is asking Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, and particularly asking them in relation with a person being able to live their own life, and with what makes life worth living.

This Thanksgiving, after family and friends, I'm most thankful for those who are willing to ask those questions which Western Civilization, and America, cannot exist without being asked and pursued.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Not only the right questions, but the demand for answers.

We're blessed and the blessings can only continue when the responsibility that allows such freedom is the goal of every citizen.