Let's Talk It Out: An Argument for Civil Discourse
Teddi Hastreiter , PHI401: Problems In Philosophy Seminar
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor John Draeger, Philosophy
How do we respond to those with whom we deeply disagree? This presentation explores the moral belief that all human beings are worthy of respect in a disagreement where both individuals have conflicting values. To better conceptualize this idea, I offer the disagreement between Person A and Person B over whether or not doctor assisted suicide is a morally permissible choice for a family member diagnosed with an illness that is painful, debilitating, and without a known cure. Both Person A and Person B have taken time to think about and form an argument in support of their views. Because they've thought through these issues, both individuals should be treated with integrity and respect. Thomas E. Hill argues that because we share the same humanity, we're morally obligated to treat each other with respect. For Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson, respect for another's humanity requires treating their argument with a certain amount of seriousness. It requires putting aside individual self-interests, an ability to accept when one is mistaken, and a willingness to revise individual views. Civil discourse is not only a way of talking through these issues and directing better discussions, but a way to show respect for fellow human beings.
Hastreiter, Teddi, "Let's Talk It Out: An Argument for Civil Discourse" (2021). Communication and Humanities. 6.