Does civil disagreement really matter? And if so, how can we encourage its practice in a world increasingly marked by its opposite?
These are the questions I addressed in a lecture on July 18, 2019, at St. George’s Anglican Church, Colorado Springs. In that talk, I argue that civil disagreement does indeed matter—crucially so. I present both secular and theological defenses of that claim, both of which center on the following argument:
P1) If we want increase our chances of achieving clarity and reconciliation today, we need to practice civil disagreement.
P2) We want to increase those chances.
C) Therefore, we need to practice civil disagreement.
Those of you familiar with my earliest blog posts may recall that these concepts of “clarity” and “reconciliation” play a crucial role in the case for civility, as I see it. We stand in desperate need of both today—and therefore in need of that virtue, civil disagreement, which helps make them possible.
The talk expounds on the core ideas found in this blog, while also presenting some new ones. Those who wish to listen to the recording should begin at minute 12. For a copy of the handout I provided, see here.