Our mission is to help people learn what Civil Discourse and Civility are and how to use it to communicate and find Common Ground when opinions differ.
Incivility is difficult to define but easy to recognize, especially for people it harms. Civil Discourse at its best is an exchange of information, speech or writing that is includes facts and shows polite consideration of others, even when the parties disagree. Incivility includes nonverbal gestures and actions that offend.
On the other side of the issue, Evil Speech is derogatory, disparaging or belittling and is to be avoided even if it is thought to cause no harm. Statements might not be derogatory but still cause harm to a person or property. Evil Speech includes gossip.
Comments we make can be evil even when they are true. If they are lies, it is worse.
We believe that unless we learn how to talk more civilly, we are doomed because Evil Speech can pollute everything we do.
Better Outcomes strives to help people find Common Ground, which is usually seen as an area of understanding of each other’s position that allows parties can reach agreement.
We believe the solution to these issues comes by recognizing our humanness in that we all have the same basic needs, but we all do some things differently. We also recognize that people tend to emphasize their differences before learning to appreciate the similarities.
These steps can help all of us learn to speak more nicely to each other.
By Dave Scott
Posted June 11th, 2015
I almost made a mistake a few days ago. I wrote an essay excoriating some public officials who were slinging incivility in all directions. My strategy was to sling some back.
It was so tempting. There must be something in human behavior to want to fight fire with fire. I heard some things I didn’t like, so I said some things they wouldn’t like.
A friend saved me from making that mistake.
I’m hoping this is the last time I consider using invective against invective.
Instead my strategy will be to address the public, pointing out the damage that comes from incivility, evil speech, political vitriol or whatever you call it. The result, too often, is closed minded hate.
I have concluded that instead of criticizing public officials for using attack language I should turn to the general public instead. Encouraging them to raise their awareness and resume exercising their influence in public issues is the only hope I can see. That’s where money comes in.
We are a young organization. We want your opinion (email us) and we need donations for basic expenses, marketing, maintenance of our website, and the assistance of students who will help arrange and schedule Candidate Conversations over this year’s election cycle.
If you are interested in helping financially, we ask that you donate in multiples of $18. This is because in the Old Testament, the value of the Hebrew word for “life” is 18. We think the symbolism is important. These donations are tax-deductible.
Electronic donations are coming. If you would like to donate now, and avoid bank and credit card charges, please mail a check or money order to us at:
1779 Kemery Road
Akron, OH 44333
Please include your address of email so that we can get you a receipt for your taxes.