The Only True Option – As You Know

As You Were – looking for connections between the work of Brené Brown and Daniel Quinn as I revisit them in book clubs. See the introductory post for what this is all about. In this post, I look at:

(Commissions earned on Amazon links.)

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Five – Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil.

“We need to question how the sides are defined. Are these really the only two options? Is this the accurate framing for this debate or is this bullshit?
“In philosophy, ‘you’re either with us or against us’ is considered a false dichotomy or a false dilemma. It’s a move to force people to take sides. If other alternatives exist (and they almost always do), then that statement is factually wrong… The ability to think past either/or situations is the foundation of critical thinking… the only true option is to refuse to accept the terms of the argument by challenging the framing of the debate. But make no mistake; this is opting for the wilderness.” Quinn and Brené share the critique of either/or thinking, and each in their own ways considers both/and thinking to be in the “wild.”

“‘Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs, and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process… Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements.” Quinn’s work casts this in an important light. Civility comes from civilization, whose cultural and etymological origins are about hierarchy and city-states, both of which inherently incline people toward either/or thinking and disrespect of others. Civility, in the sense of kindness and respect, is hard work only because such things go against what’s intrinsic to civilization itself.

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