TED Conversations

Denver Cannon

volunteer soccer coach,

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Is it accepted as ethically positive behavior to confront any view anywhere on which we do not agree?

Why must we always defend our understanding and attack those which contradict them? Is it possible to have civil discourse? Why do we have so little respect for differing views?
The comments depart from conversing on the talk, to debating semantics or ethos of other comments.
TED to my understanding should be above petty disputes(and regardless of your understanding, they are petty in that they are misplaced). My beliefs are often offended even by the presenters, but I listen to them because most contain "Ideas worth spreading". On a TEDTALK about the atrocities against women, a comment is made to suggest a solution and then the next several pages are others tearing apart her idea or defending it, debating population. People, women are being tortured and murdered! And someone offers Hope to the millions and the point is lost.
I do not deny that many of the ideas are worthy of debate. But there is a time and place, and I do not think that a debate on population is appropriate in the comments on a TALK about the atrocities committed against women. Would it not be more appropriate to debate population on another page?
TED in my understanding is a place of coming together from all humanity in our various forms to engage in civil discourse, am I wrong?
And remember, this is NOT a debate, if you wish to debate, start a DEBATE on the DEBATE PAGE. May you all be blessed and a blessing to me.

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    Dec 21 2011: If you replaced the word attack with confront... Great choice. Personally, I believe that it is always ethically positive behavior to confront ideas you disagree with, because it is the only way to truly gain a new understanding... However we are all emotional creatures, and we have to walk that line between confront and attack. I certainly have crossed that line a couple too many times, even here on TED... But, you work on it, you try to learn from your mistakes, and you try to have a more civil discussion, with less attacks, next time. That's the way I feel about it anyway.
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    Dec 21 2011: Mr Long, I have reworded the question. I agree, the word attack is not the word I should have used, I hape confront is a better way to say it.
    Mr. Kinder, thank you for example. rules are essential to civil discourse. there is a a possibility to confront without being hostile.
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    Dec 20 2011: Mr. Cannon, you have fired a powerful volley of words, ". . .ethically positive behavior. . .".
    To express one's opposing views in polite conversation seems acceptable to me.
    To attack the person of the other participant(s) seems like unethical, negative behavior.
    I think the key word in your question is, "attack", and I think the answer to your question-for the TED Conversations forum- is "No."
  • Dec 19 2011: Where I work and have a lot of meetings we make ground rules before each meeting . One of them is to respect what other people say even if you disagree with it. An attack on someone would get you thrown of a committee or out of a meeting. You can state your differences but you cannot attack.