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Your task is to persuade someone to change their mind, without threats of loss or violence. Possible?

What does it take to be a catalyst for peaceful change? Or is this an impossible task? If persuasion is indeed an art form built on communication and language, how do you - or someone you can site as an example - use the tools we all possess, to reform outdated ideals?
Apply this ideal to the current OCCUPY movement.
While certainly committed to the cause - are these individuals persuasive in regard to getting results? Is the change they wish to enact clearly defined? How can they use the momentum they've gained to see their goals met?


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  • Nov 24 2011: To answer the one question, yes there are, have been, and will continue to be many champions and, they have been persuasive. Using Jesus as your example what can be concluded is that message has not been accepted by all, it has not reached all and there are competing beliefs. Whether religion is rational from a religious person's perspective is a mute point since "faiith" (and yes I understand that many consider that "blind") is what most are based on. In other words it can not be argued from a scientific platform. That chasm, between empirical evidence and belief, may never result in one or the other or a single belief system coming into place. That is the nature of homo sapiens I suspect and supports your last comment. Conversely, for certain base freedoms, there have been champions - Ghandi as an example - who succeeded. My personal belief is that these types of champions will continue to improve the world, country by country and person by person. From a practical perspective the schism(s) in religion and faith will in all probability preclude any likelihood of one central religious belief. On the other hand a set of common core values, more noticeable, will evolve. Those might be...to accept, to give, to love and to not cause pain. These things many of us already practice regardless of religion. One last point, and I am not taking the God can't be proven or dis-proven path, is creation (not in the creationist sense). We exist, we have changed and the net effect of all change has been positive over the historical record. Given we do not go extinct and change continues the collective world will become a better place.

    And on that note have a Happy Holiday even if you don't believe in Turkey's or Pilgrims...(as well as the rest of the TED Audience).
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      Nov 24 2011: Hi Stephen,

      I think you are replying to my post but may have run "afowl" of the TED "so-and-so-has-replied-to-your-comment function" which shows you the reply AND a separate comment box that - if we use it - places our reply at the head of a new thread; not after the comment we are actually replying too.

      The remedy is to click the "reply" button in the comment itself.

      So assuming your reply was to me: Thank you.

      I agree with some of what you say, disagree with a bit, and didn't quite follow some of it (in particular your reference to God and creation.)

      And thank you for your Thanksgiving greeting. As a Canadian who lives in China, I wasn't even aware it was Thanksgiving. (Canada celebrates Thanksgiving at a different time; and China does not celebrate it at all.)

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