Point of Impasse: Ceasefire Required?

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 15th Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3-sgd59m/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

One of the joys of debate is that for any ideal there are many alternative theories about the best approach to take, the trouble is it is often possible to reach an impasse and take no action at all - this rarely helps anyone when action is required.

Society's Debating Challenge

What happens when we refuse to debate?

There are certainly those that would argue that we should live by the society's accepted normal behaviour, and there is little question that maxims such as "though shalt not steal" are certainly good ones to live by. Yet another maxim of the modern world world seems to be "they have a right not to be challenged" (whoever THEY are) and indeed there seem to be cases where those proposing dramatic alternatives seem to be held up as traitors to society, yet what they seek is simple; the removal of the worst aspects of our society.

Does this mean that we accept societal norms? Truth is that when we have an idea we should fight for it even when that is a tough thing to do. Yet this modern world does seem to be afraid of any debate or challenge to societal norms.

Time for Ceasefire?

One thought expressed earlier in a comment "We refuse to debate, because he believes he is right, and I know I am right, so we agree to cease the debate when we hit the point of impasse", at least this particular commenter is debating up to some point and they are aware when there is little point in taking the debate further.

Truth is that every issue we hold dear in society today used to be considered outrageous at some point in the past. An impasse is rare in society because there are many intervening factors that cause change to happen one way or another.

We all recycle today, yet wind back the clock fifty years and the only people who campaigned for recycling were a few radical nut-cases who were generally considered to be the fringe of society, today these ideas are considered mainstream and politically correct and indeed one may question "why wouldn't you recycle?" because it is a part of every person's lives and we do it almost without thinking.

It is therefore likely that ideas which are on the fringe of society today, will be accepted as normal thinking in a few years.

"I Know I am Right"

One of the problems with knowing that you are right is that you become closed minded about this particular issue and as soon as this happens you cease to look at possibilities for change that do not accord with your way of doing things and this can become dangerous.

One of the points of any debate is to air the issues and possibilities in any situation. The limits of debate may differ according to the situation, in a business a debate will normally occur before any decision is made, but once a decision is reached everyone follows that path for the benefit of the whole organisation, to not do so could be detrimental to business development. They may not have chosen the best path, but they chose the one that seemed most appropriate with the assistance of all knowledge available at that time. Yet businesses frequently adapt and change course many times over their lifetime, many times they learn and adjust on the fly, it is something that all present can hopefully learn from at a later date.

In politics there are often multiple viewpoints supporting various differing interests in society, each of which do not go away after an election, indeed any ideas that are put back in the drawer will be dusted off and re-used at an appropriate time in the future. Yet political debate can often be associated with those who like to say "I told you it was the wrong path" and they will continue to do so.

Yet when the political debate re-surfaces and at that time public support for other alternatives may have changed enough for them to vote in new ideas and a new leadership, this should be a refreshing part of our democratic system.

Right or Wrong?

Ultimately there may be no right or wrong path, their may be two (or more) alternative approaches, and the truth is each may bring about positives, but each is likely to have negatives, but also each may bring different results.

If you think about the politics in your city, region, or country, then there may be many, many heartfelt ideas about how to solve a particular problem. It is often our background, our upbringing, our experiences, and our knowledge that gives us a sense of right or wrong, but here is the question - how bad is it when the "wrong people" get into power?

The losing of an election always seems for those involved as if the loss brings with it the end of the world, yet the truth is that for the majority of laws enacted the party in power was simply reacting to external stimuli, and have nothing to do with the party's political agenda. Indeed, it could be argued that the vast majority of laws ever passed were as the result of the need to react to events in society, something that happens today would not be part of a manifesto promise made four years ago.

One reason why radical laws survive even when the opposition party is voted into power a few years later is that the reforms bring with them a new level of comfort in society, the experiment (at least to some extent) has been successful, it is not a case of being right or wrong, it is just a case of something needing to happen at the time the change occurred. Indeed there may have been 5 or 6 such alternative ideas that should have been considered and the first idea tried is not always the best one, but at least it is a working model which can be adapted at a later time.

The Need for Debate

Within society as a whole we should be encouraging debate and even the advocating of new, and as yet untested ideas, because without these our society will wither and die. It is better that your political enemy win on occasion because you have something to compare your ideals against. Indeed what matters here is that when your opponent is in power you can mount an opposition to them because you have a society that respects the right for alternative viewpoints to exist.

The truth is there are too many "Yes people" in society, it is time we think and dig deeper, and create a thought-provoking argument rather than simply staying quiet, even old, untried ideas need to be brought out of the drawer, dusted off and applied to the modern world.

Image credits

  • Debate image from Bearingdrift com
  • Ceasefire by Peter Giblett based on image from JIA Mom's Blog
  • Right/Wrong Rhino Word Art by Peter Giblett using tagxedo.com
  • Right/Wrong Tick - Word Art By Peter Giblett using tagxedo.com
  • Illusion of Debate by rinf com

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Tags

Alternative, Change, Debate, Impasse, Political Debate, Proposing Dramatic Alternatives, Societal Norms, Traitors To Society

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
15th Jan 2015 (#)

The main problem is that people often argue irrationally, without taking all the facts of the matter into account, or prefer to use faulty logic because it leads to conclusions that are comfortable for them.

Getting people to see why their arguments are unreasonable is often extremely difficult.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
15th Jan 2015 (#)

Peter, I must say this is a fantastic article. I was going to say awesome but I wanted it to be a definite 5* article. You list so many good points in this well thought out article. I loved the section where you wrote "Ultimately there may be no right or wrong path" thank you for that. I'm going to stop now because I could go on and on. You are the best!

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
15th Jan 2015 (#)

We are too often afraid to try the unknown.

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author avatar Harris Mungai
15th Jan 2015 (#)

Great article sir,great thinking.
The problem with most people is that they don't differentiate between debate and argument!

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
15th Jan 2015 (#)

Debate should certainly be structured.

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author avatar GenkiWorld
15th Jan 2015 (#)

tht is why i love debate, i think through it we cn dig deeper and find a way for those quiet voices to speak up and reveal the gems of wisdom they are.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
15th Jan 2015 (#)

Agreed.

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author avatar jjmyles
15th Jan 2015 (#)

This is a well thought out article. I find it to be thought provoking.

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author avatar viewgreen
16th Jan 2015 (#)

Awesome article sir, Thank you for sharing this great describes of the political issue.

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author avatar Carol Roach
17th Jan 2015 (#)

excellent essay, when we don't have healthy debate we end up with a closed society such as the amish but closed societies can also become ruthless such as an military society, autocracy, dictatorship and so on

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
18th Jan 2015 (#)

Closed societies like the Amish are not necessarily bad, they may be closed to new technology but arguably it may mean their society is based on values that do not fluctuate vehemently.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Jan 2015 (#)

Throwing up ideas arising from debates is good for the society to forge ahead once a decision is made based on majority will. Sadly, in democracies debates never end and elections hardly give a breather. We should also be amenable to change our views when found there is need to. Good points Peter, thank you - siva

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
18th Jan 2015 (#)

It is true that in theory in democratic societies debates do not end, but they should evolve. Yet in many western nations these debates do get killed off because those in power make it almost treasonable to oppose their view, so opponents usually find themselves isolated.

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author avatar snerfu
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Yes I agree, and it could be people are avoiding tripping over the chair trying to get to their morning newspaper. It keeps their minds active.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
19th Jan 2015 (#)

It is good to know that there are still ' closed societies ' such as the Amish in our ever troubled and changing world Peter ..
But it is also good to know that many of the ' changes ' are beneficial to the masses , and , if we are honest , some of us might like to live in both worlds , if we could . Selah.
I like an interesting debate ...but I also stand firm on issue that are not negotiable ie..my faith . However , my intentions are never to cause another harm however much I may differ from their viewpoint.
God bless you ...and I pray your sight improves in this coming year
Stella ><

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Stella, one of the things about the Amish is that our world way fall apart and theirs will continue pretty much as if nothing had happened.

Thank you for your prayers about my eyesight - it improves daily, I can see well enough to drive with my right eye, but it the left that is still of grave concern.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Peter is there a Wikinut forum for all members?

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
19th Jan 2015 (#)

Delicia, no there is not.

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