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Dialogue vs. Debate and Culture of Human Rights

Source: 12Petals Media Group

Dialogue is the preferred modus operandi for cultivating culture of human rights.

The Culture of Human Rights calls for an active and participatory citizenship. For human rights to be realized, exercised, and upheld, it is essential that dialogue be favored over debate.

Dialogue differs from debate significantly. Debate is fundamentally adversarial and potentially hurtful. Dialogue, on the contrary, is intrinsically tolerant, non-violent, and empowering.

What are the fundamental principles of “Debate”?
The main objective of debate is to win. The methods used in debate are to present numerous arguments, offer counter arguments, attack points of views, find gaps and loop holes, judge personality, and question the credibility of the other side with the only goal being to prevail over the challenger. The end result is either winning or being defeated with a draw at best.

What are the intrinsic principles of “Dialogue”?
In a dialogue, curiosity, truth seeking, understanding, and reaching a consensus are the main goals. The methods used in dialogue are to put forth views respectfully, claim not to know the whole truth, exchange points of views from an equal attitude, listen intently for understanding, value the dialogue process, and acknowledge shared humility with the goal being to show a willingness to learn and move forward collaboratively. The end result here is empowering and mutually being empowered.

Therefore, to engage and participate actively for thoughts and ideas central to the culture of human rights, dialogue’s modus operandi is favored over debate.

Your viewpoint is important to us. Please share your view and thoughts on these themes: “Dialogue”, “Debate”, and “Dialogue is the preferred method.”

Persian translation of this outreach project can be seen here.

Artwork Credit:
Graphic Designer/Artist: Anna Felisha Ott
Image Production By: 12Petals Media Group, Dialogue vs. Debate. 2013

About 12Petals: 12Petals Media Group strives to be a union of visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, cinematographers, playwrights, social entrepreneurs and more, all coming together to produce inspired multimedia pieces that promote and encourage respect for those rights protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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