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You’re Not Going To Figure Out The Unknown By Debating. - Grasshopper

Debating contains "known" positions. The unknown hasn't positioned itself yet.

Whether you're debating with yourself inside your head or with another using your outside voice, no new territory will be covered. You'll just take cover and fire from behind some rocks (solid positions).

 

The hole in your argument is where the unknown is found.

 

Have you ever argued for a position, perhaps for decades, and then found out that you weren't on solid ground? That's when the unknown became a known quantity. It didn't come out of debate. It actually came out of thin air. The idea arrived when you had some spaces show up between your solid thoughts of surety.

 

Debating, by and large, prolongs getting to a solution. As the character Ishmael says in the book "Ishmael," "There's no argument that will end the argument."

 

Debating could easily be renamed "Positioning." That's what a debater does: presents a known position and argues against another known position. No new knowledge is coming out of that back and forth.

 

I find that deciding ends debating. When you come to a fork in the road, consider your options quickly and then decide to move in a direction. Even if it's the wrong direction, that will become apparent quicker than you could come up with a solution by standing at the fork debating. You can then make the necessary adjustments and backtrack and go down the other road.

 

Even exploring the unknown of "wrong" will get you to where you want to go quicker than hanging around the crossroads continuing to dicker.

 

It's like the management consultant told our group 20 years ago, "when you have two opposing positions, rather than arguing them to death, 'shorten the storm' by deciding."

 

Looking for some unknown territory to explore? End the debate instead of trying to even the score.

 

All the best,

John



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