“Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”

How to compose a successful critical commentary:
1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism. 

By D Dennet 

  

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