You don’t have to school far to find conversations being held here (or being provoked) that are not “Good Faith Conversations”.
In fact, you don’t have to go many places offline to witness Bad Faith Conversations either.
But, the more I advocate for Good Faith Conversations, attempt to ensure that my own conversations are held in good faith, and celebrate them where I find them, the more that I see them.
So, there is hope.
What is a Good Faith Conversation?
A conversation held in “good faith”, assumes the best, hopes for the best, and gives the best.
A good faith question, comment, or conversation is presented in hope that both parties can gain something, whether or not their minds are changed.
In order to reflect the integrity, hope, and goodness that a good faith conversation is rooted in, they are held to strict standards of logical thinking, sound communication, and graciousness.
The opposite of a good faith conversation is one held in bad faith.
If a comment or question is presented with a tone of assumption that the other party is ignorant or nefarious, it is provoking a bad faith conversation.
If a question or comment is clearly not rooted in a desire to learn and to understand, it is provoking a bad faith conversation.
If a question or comment is underhanded, passive aggressive, accusatory, hypocritical, or reductionist, it is provoking a bad faith conversation.
Although not a logical fallacy itself, a bad faith conversation is often riddled with fallacies such as:
Appeal to Authority
Because the primary aim of a bad faith conversation is to undermine the other party and to prove oneself right at any cost, logical and reasonable thinking and communication are not deemed necessary.
Because the aim of a good faith conversation is to hear, understand, learn, grow, and gain a new lens of perspective, logical reasoning and a gracious posture are essential.
A good faith conversation doesn’t have to change anyone’s mind…but it could actually change the world.