THE THINK TANK, Elevating Consciousness – Asking questions and searching for answers is the single most important habit for innovative thinkers.
Questions equip us to learn, understand and remember. A healthy climate is an environment where everything is up for discussion.
Growing children ask a constant stream of questions sparked by a sense of strong curiosity. The more people think they know, the less questions they ask. Brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions because it’s the best way to gain deeper insights.
French philosopher Joseph Joubert said, “It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”
In order to establish non-wavering views on public controversy and community-based problems we have to discuss, dialogue, and debate.
Debate is imperative to fully grasp an understanding of war and peace, race and creed, democracy and communisms, wealth, religion, poverty and population.
Open discussion, even in an argumentative process, is indispensable to the preservation of a free society. “How can we know the truth unless there is a free and open encounter between all ideas,” asked seventeenth century poet John Milton? “Give me liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
This is why the structure of argument, philosophy and logical debate are fundamental practices in civilized communities. Without it, individuals divert to barbaric chaos of quarrelling, hostility and ignorance.
Argumentation is an art of intelligently influencing others.
Asking questions and engaging in discussions and debates is how leaders are identified and defined. There are rules to argumentation, usually three, the claim, support, and warrant. The claim defines what you are trying to prove. The support consists of convincing materials used to prove that the claim is sound. The warrant guarantees a reliable source or relationship between the claim and support.
Others factors to consider in a logical argument are audience, definition, language and logic. Yet, the most important element of intelligently creating an argument is asking questions. Question everything, even yourself.
Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
Everyone argues. Unfortunately, many unwarranted accusations, assumptions and allegations lead to quarrelsome anarchy.
On the contrary, structured arguments always start with the right questions and end with healthy solution.