Given an exchange of views like this, even more progress can be made. Condemnation alone, we always found, would help little and might even make matters worse; it had to be accompanied by usable alternatives. Often there was reason to lament good people making condemnations and nothing achieved.
Their worked-out alternative policies or strategies could have been useful and could add to the sum of knowledge we have about our condition and what we should do about it. There used to be a good principle in some Christian circles – to try at every discussion to use this formula: “Look, what we are doing, or what you are doing, is good for this reason and that, but we can do better for the following reasons.”
That formula often got us out of the area of condemnation and into the area of even more creative thinking.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty