Author Topic: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views  (Read 1212 times)

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Offline Eternally Learning

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Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« on: July 03, 2019, 01:24:06 AM »
I've had this happen to me a few times now, and I'm sure many of you have as well: You're talking with someone you know and they ask you a seemingly simple question about a topic you know is ridiculously complex to answer and usually fairly divisive.  For example, a Trump supporter I worked with mentioned that he'd asked another co-worker why she didn't like Trump and that she just said she didn't like him and left it at that.  I didn't chime in as I know him well enough to not, but I did think about how I would answer that and I waffled between having way too much to say and being too simplistic to really make a convincing statement.  It's kinda like when kids ask you what a word means that you understand but have never actually explained out loud before. 

At any rate, it prompted me to think about not just how I would answer that question, but any number of questions about contentious topics like religion, philosophy, the law, and so on.  I thought maybe it'd be fun and useful to have this thread to try and work out quick and effective ways of explaining out views on any given topic.  I realize that this means a lot of content in this thread will end up being more at home in other subs, but I thought that unless and until this thread becomes active, General would keep me from spamming every sub with a dedicated thread that most might not end up being interested in.  Also, I think this should be less conversational with a format of one person posting a topic and their elevator speech and others critiquing or offering their own ideas.

To keep it in the theme of elevator pitches (for the unfamiliar) I think we should limit ourselves to 6 sentences.  Sound good?

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2019, 01:39:30 AM »
To start, I'll answer the question that prompted this thread: Why don't I like Trump.

There are a number of different levels of reasoning for why I don't like Trump.  First is visceral because he in incredibly inarticulate, behaves like a grade school bully to get his way, and never seems to ever give a thoughtful answer to any question put to him.  Second is intellectual because he apparently possesses none of the traits I believe are integral to being a good leader; intellectual curiosity, showing regard for being correct, demonstrating the ability to accept you're wrong and then adjust your behavior accordingly, and treating those you disagree with, with a certain degree of human decency and respect.  Third is political because I disagree with just about every policy he's tried to roll out and in the rare cases where I do agree, he seems to not be able to implement them very well.  Last and perhaps most importantly is legal.  I don't believe he cares one bit about preserving the integrity of our system, flawed as it is and he seems hell bent on using his position to benefit his rich friends and family with undeserved positions in departments they loathe.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 04:52:32 AM »
I think bypassing anything that can seem like a subjective distaste is best.
Focusing on his demeanor or intellectual level might be dismissable as elitism.
With Trump- He is unstable and corrupt. He lies constantly and alienates allies while promoting dictators and political violence.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 04:58:38 AM »
I think bypassing anything that can seem like a subjective distaste is best.
Focusing on his demeanor or intellectual level might be dismissable as elitism.
With Trump- He is unstable and corrupt. He lies constantly and alienates allies while promoting dictators and political violence.

This is the core of it.

Also, his administration has demonstrated egregious disrespect for the rule of law, the process of government, scientific consensus, and basic human rights.

Offline SnarlPatrick

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2019, 12:43:23 PM »
I think bypassing anything that can seem like a subjective distaste is best.
Focusing on his demeanor or intellectual level might be dismissable as elitism.
With Trump- He is unstable and corrupt. He lies constantly and alienates allies while promoting dictators and political violence.

There's a huge gap between his diplomatic strategy for Iran, S. Arabia, N. Korea and "promoting dictators." It takes a very sideways glance to interpret that way. History will judge his actions in N Korea based on the outcome, but not knowing the outcome, anything that might bring that nightmare to an end peacefully is worth investing in. You can't be diplomatic and speak the truth about N Korea at the same time. He's counting on the country being savvy enough to know this.
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2019, 01:36:57 PM »
Don't we already have a thread about Trump?
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Online Harry Black

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2019, 01:59:53 PM »
Don't we already have a thread about Trump?
Good point.
Can we think of another example that this could be applied to?

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2019, 02:04:27 PM »
Don't we already have a thread about Trump?
Good point.
Can we think of another example that this could be applied to?

I think the title of the OP could lead to a useful discussion. But if the thread ends up being a discussion about the merits of Trump's policies, then it is not needed, as there is already another thread for this. So yes, looking for other things to apply it to would be a good idea.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Online Harry Black

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2019, 02:06:03 PM »
Don't we already have a thread about Trump?
Good point.
Can we think of another example that this could be applied to?

I think the title of the OP could lead to a useful discussion. But if the thread ends up being a discussion about the merits of Trump's policies, then it is not needed, as there is already another thread for this. So yes, looking for other things to apply it to would be a good idea.
Agreed

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2019, 02:33:10 PM »
UBI:
  • We already spend tax revenue on the public.  Sidewalks, police, etc.  This is just more of the same.
  • Supports consumer spending which is good for business and good for people.
  • Bush's $300 check to every American worked great.  Even a tiny UBI'd be great.
  • If you float payments to revenue, the program pays for itself.  Debt-free.
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Offline AllanGuldager

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2019, 03:45:19 PM »
Another topic:

I often find it very hard to discuss immigration with special regard to muslim immigrations. People often say shit like "they're less evolved", "they're more prone to violence", "they can never be integrated into society" etc., and their solution is just to close the border and leave EU. While some of their points may have some merit, it is way more complex than that. Leaving EU will create loads of other problems, strict foreign policies does not prevent immigration and hurts integration, border control is expensive and hurts our import, and the whole racial, cultural or religious aspects are often way to generalized or flat out wrong. And on top of that, the crime rate is higher among middle eastern immigrants (even adjusted for socio-economic status), and research have shown that middle eastern people have a lower IQ than Scandinavian people - facts that anti-immigrants will use - but then you have to go into nature vs. nurture also, and how having facts and analyzing facts are two different things. And nature vs. nurture is arguably more difficult than EU politics. So I almost always say nothing, when people have those views, because it is such a broad topic with way to many feelings and uninformed opinions.

So if a person says: "we should close our borders, because muslims will ruin our country", it takes some times to answer, because you must include EU politics, nature vs. nurture, integration policies, how their fear is somewhat unwarranted and lots of other stuff. And I can not do that in a few sentences.

Online daniel1948

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 04:16:40 PM »
On immigration: This is probably too difficult for most Americans to grasp, but my elevator pitch:

Yes, there are criminals among immigrants. But the vast majority come here to work hard for a better life. The percentage of criminals among immigrants is almost certainly lower than the percentage of criminals among the general population, so immigration actually lowers the percentage of the population who are criminals.

Unfortunately, the innumerate among us (i.e. most Americans) will not grasp that concept. So:

The vast majority of immigrants come here to work hard for a better life. They are the hardest workers among the general population and they make our country stronger and richer. The very few criminals among them mostly pray on their fellow immigrants.

Unfortunately, the view of racists is that "foreigners" are all lazy freeloaders and rapists. If they can find one case of an immigrant raping a citizen, they are convinced that we should put everyone who crosses the border, with papers or without, into concentration camps.
Daniel
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Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2019, 04:20:11 PM »
So if a person says: "we should close our borders, because muslims will ruin our country", it takes some times to answer, because you must include EU politics, nature vs. nurture, integration policies, how their fear is somewhat unwarranted and lots of other stuff. And I can not do that in a few sentences.

We have the same arguments here in Australia. I've given up arguing with family, friends and co-workers about their Islamophobic views on Muslim immigration. At some point in the conversation they will go full on racist.

"They don't integrate" is one of their reasons. This stale excuse was thrown out about the Greek and Italian immigration in the early parts of the 20th century in Australia. Now those of Greek and Italian heritage are a huge part of Australian society and culture.

It is even understandable why the generation that immigrates finds it hard to integrate. At least their friends speak the same language and have similar views. The next generation always integrates


Online Harry Black

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2019, 04:50:11 PM »
My answer- Muslims deserve the same right to ruin a country as christians had. They have been here for decades and we have very few problems with them compared to white dudes. The shit was blown out of their countries for oil and a war of lies so we owe them a shot to make a life.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Elevator pitch answers for contentious views
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2019, 04:56:22 PM »
What would you think of this comment from former chairman of Swedish Skeptics Association? From a different context, though.

Quote
I don’t worry. Sweden’s going to keep moving away from religion, deprogramming pious immigrant groups as they become socially integrated and generations pass. Because in a good society, the people doesn’t need that opiate.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

 

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