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To attempt to win (and thereby to attempt to cause the other to lose) is already to have forgotten the main purpose of argumentation, which is to articulate and thereby risk resolving those points on which we have disagreement; in other words, to attempt to persuade the other, and to allow ourselves to be persuaded also. When those who are participating in a debate bring notions of winning and losing to the fore, they corrupt the chances of a genuine dialogue between their respective viewpoints, because they will be willing to compromise on the productivity of the discourse if that is what is required to ensure that the audience knows they are winning. In contrast, a debate which arises between two individuals neither of whom project a frame of winning and losing has a much higher chance of facilitating authentic communication, because there is much less motivation to engage in performative nonsense in order to assert your dominance over the other. In short, trying to win sort of makes you less reasonable in dialogue.

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This video clip is from 'A king in New York', a 1957 British comedy film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin (as King Igor Shahdov of Estrovia) in his last leading role, and co-stars, among others, Chaplin's own young son, Michael, as a ten-year-old historian and editor of the school paper.

There is a lot here to unpack, such as when an intellectually honest approach meets vitriolic, emotive sophistry. The video clip, on the surface, is funny, but deep down it represents how a lot of people can entrench themselves within their narrow minded, bigoted mind set, and shut out any honest attempt to dialogue with them objectively.

Timmy Walsh I did not realise that this was Charlie Chaplin at first --- he looks very different in this particular film. 😉

An important distinction needs to be pointed out between respecting a person in the sense that we admire and hold that person in high esteem, and between treating everyone with respect. Whilst admiring someone is optional, treating everyone with respect is morally mandatory.

Treating others with respect is not equivalent, however, to avoiding — at all costs — from criticising, or even condemning, someone's speech or deed. It is still respectful to express truth honestly in a balanced way, whilst taking care to inflict the least possible distress and pain — as otherwise it becomes impossible to express certain difficult truths.

This platform is fully committed towards the freedom of expression -- an essential bulwark of democracy. Members are however enjoined to express themselves cordially and respectfully. May we remind users that this platform cannot be used to conduct illegal activities, and swearwords and vulgar language are to be scrupulously avoided. Other than that, everybody is free to express his or her views in a civilised manner.

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!! Lucky September post will win 60 Euros !!

1. This competition will run from 1st September 2021, to 30th September 2021 (both days inclusive).

2. You have to be a member of, and particularly of the Zafoid group "The BEAUTY of ALL ANIMALS and LIVING THINGS", in order to participate.

3. To participate, simply create a post IN the aforementioned Zafoid group, that respects said group’s subject matter. The more posts you create in the aforementioned Zafoid group, the greater are your winning chances.

4. The best post will win 60 Euros. Each post will be judged mostly on the number of reactions that it gets from this group’s members, and secondarily, from the number of positive comments that it attracts.

5. The winner will be announced in October 2021.The winner will have two weeks time to provide the organisers with his bank account’s IBAN, after which 60 Euros will be deposited in the winner’s bank account.

Zafoid ... and the winning entry is: