In These Polarised Times It Is Important To Hear The Other Side

Megan Phelps, a former member of the incredibly divisive Westboro Baptist Church has given an inspiring TED talk on why and how she left the church – of which she was one of the most zealous and committed members.

Her decision to leave the WBC was not a Damascene conversion. It was part of a long process of engaging with people who opposed her on social media. Often they did so with anger or bemused disdain, but, occasionally, she would encounter individuals who would argue with her civilly. It was these discussions that began to slowly chip away at her harsh worldview, eventually causing it to collapse.

The story of Megan Phelps is a powerful illustration of just how important it is to listen and speak to those with whom you disagree. Especially in these polarised times where people too easily dismiss perspectives they don’t like.

 

Echo Chambers, Safe Spaces and Verbal “Violence”


Our latest video.

Candice Holdsworth and Robin Gilbert-Jones discuss how the lines between the digital and non-digital world have become steadily blurred over the years which has led to the creation of online echo chambers where people are not adequately exposed to ideas and opinions that challenge them. When they do encounter a critical voice it can be a terrible shock, and may even be perceived as “violence”.