Gaining Higher Ground - Any hope for Humanity?

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 9th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

What hope is there for humanity? It seems that friction is a greater part of our lives today than at any time in the past. Do we listen to those facing trouble? It seems as if society is deeply divided and few seem to to be listening to those who face the deepest of challenges.

Facing Major Societal Issues

Clearly our society is a long way from perfect and in many respects it seems that the more we achieve the more bankrupt we are morally. From global warming, looking to the rape of India's Daughter to the indiscriminate shooting of Blacks in America, and the attacks by fundamentalist zealots it is clear the world faces serious trouble and sometimes this mess seems to be spiralling out of control with few in power having the will to change anything.

How broken is human society? It often seems that for every advance we make there are so many backwards steps that happen. On December 31st 1999 we were looking at a millennium with great hope for the future, the world may have had its divisions, but we were broadly looking in the same direction - seeing much common ground, creating hope. Yet today it is valid to ask where those aspirations have gone? As they clearly no longer exist.

The Need for Debate

One of the things people thrive on in life is debate, indeed it brings out the best and worst in some people. It is times like the current era that heightens the need for all ideas to be discussed. Every subject seems capable of touching a raw nerve and so many of these raw nerves seem so capable of spurring direct action, and not the type of direct action that people applaud, but the type that turn criminal and violent; the type that leaves society in bloodshed and irrevocably torn.

Lets be very clear from the outset that debate is good. It should act to sharpen the mind, it ensures we sharply focus our argument, and help us come to a decision (whatever that may be). The purpose of debate is both to argue different perspectives and to persuade, yet it is valid to question what happens when those in power refuse to listen? This is the time that has greatest potential for explosion and it seems an increasing number of our public officials are not paying attention to the disaffection in society and that has the greatest potential to cause an explosive kickback.

There are times that clearly we should be looking for conciliation, for ways to listen to peoples problems when they are at their greatest, and try to find ways to resolve those problems yet sometimes people are looking to be heard or simply want to try to release the stress in any situation. Discussing issues with those who are most aggrieved is not a sign of weakness it is a way to show strength, a way to find the higher ground.

Keeping Focused on the issues

One of the worst aspects of any debate is when those involved step away from the problem at hand and venture into the world of personal attacks. There is NEVER a place for name calling or snide remarks about someone's personality in any debate, the point of talking is to recognise that differences exist and try to resolve them. The person on the other side of the table may be an alleged criminal and even if they are what you consider an undesirable element in society, they still clearly have a need to be heard otherwise they would not be here. What is important is to look at the issues, not the people. Making any attack personal, rather than about the ideas demeans the person making the statement and will often rubbish everything they have said, but the truth is even experienced speakers forget this basic rule of debate.

Remember there are always more than two people involved in any debate. and what are important are the issues, not the personalities, and of course many have hidden agendas which makes problems that much harder to resolve.

Expanding Knowledge

Irrespective of the outcome of the debate much of what is said should be about improving or expanding the knowledge of those involved. This is so vital, and may actually be more important than the immediate outcome.

Changing minds is started by expanding that person's knowledge or finding some common ground, you may never get them to agree with your viewpoint but you may get them to accede that it has some validity and once you have done that then it is possible to move forward in some way.

The Result

The result of any debate should be to persuade by emotion, reason and logic. A well reasoned argument used by either side be able to at the very least create ground for future discussion, because while people are talking there is a possibility of finding a solution, once they stop talking the response may turn to either violence or illegal action.

Remember though some debates are not destined to end in one meeting they can go on to impact the whole of society for a while, but it is important to seek higher ground, taking one step at a time. Finding a way to meet again is always a better course than leaving with anger on the mind, the former opens the possibility for change while the latter can end in explosion.

Image Credits

  • Broken planet by walldatabase.com
  • Yes We Can by Green Street (royalty free images owned by author)
  • No room for hidden agendas by Green Street (royalty free)
  • Book with flying pages, royalty free from Dreamstime.com 2013.

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Tags

All Ideas, Bloodshed, Challenges, Changing Minds, Disaffection In Society, Discussed, Explosive Results, Higher Ground, Hope For Humanity, Irrevocably Torn, Listen, Refuse To Listen, The Will To Change

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
9th Mar 2015 (#)

Peter, Thanks for this timely reminder to all of us that debate should always be civilised!

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
9th Mar 2015 (#)

It is with horror, John, that I notice the world to be less civilised that it should be.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
9th Mar 2015 (#)

Peter, excellent article. I always learn from you and I really appreciate that bonus when I read articles. Personally I shy away from debates because they have a way of turning into name calling and insults. I would rather agree to disagree. Does that mean I'm a wus? I hope not.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
9th Mar 2015 (#)

It is tough when debates become personal, yet in truth it happens all too often - particularly when the debate is heated. We should be able to respectfully disagree but too many people go flying off the handle.

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author avatar Retired
9th Mar 2015 (#)

On your last point, Peter, the temptation to "fly off" is sometimes strong on Wikinut, but I hope I usually avoid doing so!

To be serious - it was borne upon me a long time ago that resorting to name-calling and personal abuse is a sure sign that the perpetrator knows that they have lost the argument, but simply won't admit the fact.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
10th Mar 2015 (#)

John you are one of the writers that do delve into emotive subjects, such as global warming, but I don't think you have ever resorted to name calling. I once saw that happen in a public speeking debate and in a split second the whole environment changed.

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author avatar Retired
9th Mar 2015 (#)

Like Nancy, I shy away from debates too, but I enjoy listening and quietly thinking things through. The world is becoming a tragic places I'm sad to say.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
10th Mar 2015 (#)

I love to see writers pick their way through delicate and challenging topics. Shying away from debate is of course a personal choice.

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author avatar Retired
9th Mar 2015 (#)

Interesting and well penned, Peter. Personally, like Nancy and others, I also prefer cooperative communication (listening) than competitive communication (arguing).

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
10th Mar 2015 (#)

Thank you.

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Mar 2015 (#)

Hope is always there, we live on it

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
10th Mar 2015 (#)

Madan, I agree hope is important.

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author avatar Carol Roach
11th Mar 2015 (#)

I find that debates do nothing really, the sides never seem to merge but keep the same view points they had before the debates started

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
11th Mar 2015 (#)

The point about debate is not the merging of the participants but their individual ability to persuade the listeners. I would prefer debate to the current world situation which is steeped in righteousness of certain beliefs and tramples down the rights and freedoms of others.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th Mar 2015 (#)

Thought provoking post Peter.I love to understand different perspectives and amenable to change even with regard to my beliefs. After all there can be only one Creator and we share the same air, the most basic of life!

We have different experiences but should never forget we are on the same boat - we have to ride or sink together. We should remember the oneness of creation but chip in with the uniqueness in each. Ego and hubris are our enemies and pride goes before a fall. Our leaders should overlook artificial boundaries and start with a helicopter view and then rise higher. Let us remember what Einstein said " It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity".
- siva

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
11th Mar 2015 (#)

Siva, we certainly do share the same air that we breath and same basics of life, yet whether one Creator exists may be be considered by many to be up for debate. There is certainly a need to engage in the type of higher thinking that benefits us all.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
12th Mar 2015 (#)

Peter , there is one subject I do not shy away from and that is ...there is always Hope in this fallen world ...and I have found it .
John 3 v 16 tells us of that hope and the solution in a nutshell.
May you be very blessed today from the God of All Hope my friend
Stella ><

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
12th Mar 2015 (#)

One of the things I appreciate from the Wikinut community is the fact that writers are not afraid to give their viewpoint, even on controversial issues.

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author avatar Retired
16th Mar 2015 (#)

Debate is a good thing, and essential to discovery and truth. I am glad that you made that point.

I find it interesting, though, that you would cite John Welford's article when referencing global warming instead of mine...actually, any of the number of articles I've written from source studies conducted by scientists who do not manipulate the data nor are interested in silencing debate and dissent.

Those articles, among others, include "Patterns of Political Fraud on Climate," another on the catastrophe-that-never-comes entitled "Climate Model Caca," and the goodness of CO2, which everyone seems to ignore, to promote instead a phenomenon that is not borne out by actual global data. "CO2 is good: The much ignored benefits of CO2."

John cites the so-called 97% consensus, but he has not read the proofs of its fabrication. Why? The media won't publish or promote arguments against the message. 97% has been debunked, disproven, even explained how that data was made to show fabricated agreement. John is but one of a mass of people who simply have heard nothing but that lie and carry it as truth when it is not.

We agree about debate, Peter. But the powers that control our society want not only to close down debate, they want to convert everyone over to their warped ideologies. They use the media to disseminate only one side of the story: Theirs. And, we, as listeners, believe the lies once we have heard them often enough. John is one of the "converted."

So, if you are promoting debate as a way to arrive at solutions, you ought to have included one of my articles on global warming right alongside John's when you exemplify a topic about which there is still debate. Unless, of course, you believe he is the authority on the subject, about which there is no more debate.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
17th Mar 2015 (#)

LeRain, there have been many articles recently on the subject of global warming and there was simply not room to include multiple references on any subject and you are right there are many, many on that subject alone.

I find it interesting that you state "the powers that control our society want not only to close down debate, they want to convert everyone over to their warped ideologies" and I could probable see John Welford or Steve Kinsman saying exactly the same from their perspective, it seems to me that perspective has much to do with how we see the world and perhaps you are right that I should have included links to John's and yours, but then I don't have an opp-cite for Grant Peterson.

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