Be charitable when arguing with others

Jun 17 2021

I took an online course in logical and critial thinking, and this was one of the concepts that most stuck with me. It's called the principle of charity when arguing with somebody else.

This principle says that you should resist finding the weakest spots when people are presenting their argument. You should treat people as intelligent, and try to understand the best version of their argument, even if they present it in a weak form initially.

If you spot simple errors in what people are presenting, assume they’ve made an honest mistake, and give them a chance to clarify.

You’re much better off if you can defend against the strongest version of an argument, not its weakest.

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  • Lucas Neumann