I am pro-choice in reproductive decisions, by religion. I believe that we are here to make our souls, and we can only do so by the choices we make for ourselves. By that same religion, I must allow others their own choices.

These are some of the sites I admire:
Abortion in Law, History & Religion
Abortion: Ethics
The Abortion Debate

From the work on Search for Common Ground, these are some of the differences between a dialogue and a polarized debate:

Participants hardly talk to each other before the meeting; what talk there is does not affect the meeting. Participants talk to each other regularly and their talk is an essential part of the full process.
The atmosphere is threatening; attacks and interruptions are expected by participants and are usually permitted by moderators. Facilitators propose, get agreement on and enforce clear ground rules to enhance safety and respectful exchange.
Participants speak as representatives of groups (including religions and ideologies). Participants speak as individuals, from their own unique experience.
Participants speak to their own constituents and, perhaps, to the undecided middle. Participants speak to each other.
Differences within "sides" are denied or minimized. Differences among participants on the same "side" are revealed, as individual and personal foundations of beliefs and values are explored.
Participants express unswerving commitment to a point of view, approach, or idea. Participants express uncertainties, as well as deeply held beliefs.
Participants listen in order to refute the other side's data and to expose faulty logic in their arguments. Questions are asked from position of certainty. These questions are often rhetorical challenges or disguised statements. Participants listen to understand and gain insight into the beliefs and concerns of the others. Questions are asked from a position of curiosity.
Everybody knows what's going to be said on both sides; there are no surprises. Statements are predictable and offer little new information. Individual participants have different viewpoints, come up with new ideas in the meeting. New information surfaces.
Success requires simple impassioned statements. Success requires exploration of the complexities of the issue being discussed.
Everyone speaks within a framework already taken for granted -- the local culture or customs, the dominant group ideology, whatever. Any solutions have to fit within the assumptions of that framework. Participants feel free to question the framework and "go outside the lines" for a solution. Participants may discover inadequacies in the problem-solving system itself.

Related Articles on this site:
Related Sites (not by me):


My Political Views
and Activism

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