Rational Disagreement: An Examination
This event was part of Baylor in Washington's Robert P. George Initiative on Faith, Ethics, and Public Policy.
On social media, university campuses, the campaign trail, and even in congressional hearings, Americans seem increasingly incapable of rational disagreement. Instead, we practice the arts of emotive and often hysterical condemnation. Surveys reveal that an increasingly large percentage of Americans readily admit to hating fellow citizens who are members of the political party they oppose.
What are the sources of this decline in civility? What has led us to take such absolutist stances toward those with whom we disagree? Why do universities so often seem to encourage students in the worst habits of civic engagement? Could universities do a better job modeling rational disagreement?
On April 9, 2019, Baylor in Washington hosted the renowned social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, philosopher Robert P. George, and other intellectual leaders as they engaged these questions and proposed a way forward.