Debates and public discourse approach in this part of the world

We have a lot to unlearn in this country, and that includes the way we approach debates and public discourse.

Someone makes a post that runs contrary to a typical Nigerians worldview and learning, but instead of the responder to counter with a superior, fact-based argument , he or she would rather allow their emotions override their thought processes and end up vilifying the person instead of attacking the issue at hand.

Cursing someone and pouring invectives on them simply because they stand on the opposite side of the argument on, say, surrogacy or in vitro fertilisation, doesn’t advance the argument and consolidate your stance. Instead, it makes both the peddler of the false logic and you trying to counter them with curses, operate at the same base level of intellect.

I guess this kind of flawed manner of debating is a direct by-product of our public educational system, where most people hardly ever engaged in cerebrally-tasking debates that emphasised a focus on attacking the issues, not the person.

Most of us hardly ever engaged in debates and public speaking while in school. I mean intellectual debates that neither pander to emotions nor are fuelled by raw feelings. Hence, the natural inclination to resort to atavistic attacks on individuals rather than focus on the issues of the argument.

And until we learn to argue dispassionately with facts and sound logic, instead of pandering to our subliminal impulse to attack others with differing views, our discussions on pertinent issues will always be nothing short of a rigmarole.

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