Question: Does our humanity thrive via commonalities?
Agree on: Similarities and shared experiences between individuals (or groups) allow for compassion to foster in the form of empathy and respect. The concept of “bridging” with the “why” we are who we are will allow for growth, but the focus on individual characteristics can lead to divides in groups.
Disagree on: the extent to which our shared humanity/ empathy towards others will slow people’s attempts at dividing groups
Question- What is a humane society?
Agree on- Knowing everyone’s differences and accepting those differences will help us connect and show more compassion towards each other.
Disagree on- There is hope that a humane society can exist in this world.
Question: How do we bridge social divisions?
Agree on: Genuine human interaction generates greater understanding between different people. Interactions allow for the humanization of others. When a person recognizes the humanity in another, they begin to “bridge” rather than “bond.”
Disagree on: what inhibits people from connecting through their similarities rather than dividing over their differences.
Question: Can ones “belonging” be made up of multiple different aspects?
Agree: Only looking at the negative stories, the stories about catastrophe and death, is not the full story. In order to fully understand a person or place fully, the good and the bad, must be heard.
Disagree: Identity cannot be compartmentalized. There are different aspects that make up a person, and one’s identity is created by those multiple different aspects.
Question: What is authenticity?
Agree: The hegemonic conception of authenticity forces people to lose pieces of their identity and promotes nationalism and exclusion by forcing people to either assimilate and lose their authenticity or to become a token minority by expressing
Disagree: We have the ability to label what authenticity looks like in our own lives
Question: How does language and proximity affect lack of empathy between groups of people, and in what ways may this be remedied?
Agree on: It is easier to empathize with a flesh-and-blood person that belongs to a specific group than a theoretical or simplified depiction of that group.
Disagree on: the importance of the role of the dominant group in defining and bridging different groups of people. The feasibility of a “humane” society.
Question: Why do people tend to oversimplify questions of identity?
Agree on: replacing tokenization with genuine respect and a voice, broadening who is in the narrative while focusing on marginalized perspectives, the consequences of reducing our own identities to fit the loudest or more prominent identity.
Disagree on: the effect of microaggressions and intent vs. impact (varying analysis of severity)