Book recommendation: TACTICS by Gregory Koukl
Any of you read this book before? I’m only about half through it but am loving it!
Here’s an excerpt (pp. 78-79) of how he deals with being called intolerant in a conversation:
“Can you tell me what you mean by that? Why would you consider me an intolerant person?”
“Well, it’s clear you think you’re right and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong.”
“I guess I do think my views are correct. It’s always possible I could be mistaken, but in this case I don’t think I am. But what about you? You seem to be disagreeing with me. Do you think your own views are right?”
“Yes, I think I’m right, too. But I’m not intolerant. You are.”
“That’s the part that confuses me. Why is it when I think I’m right, I’m intolerant, but when you think you’re right, you’re just right? What am I missing?”
Of course, you are not missing anything; she is. Her move is simply name-calling. Labeling you as intolerant is no different than calling you ugly. One is an attack on your looks. The other is an attack on your character. Neither is useful in helping you understand the merits of any idea you may be discussing.
The quickest way to deal with a personal attack is to simply point it out with a question. When someone goes after you rather than your argument, ask, “I’m a little confused about your response. Even if you were right about my character, could you explain to me exactly what that has to do with this issue?”