Conflicting Viewpoints Essay – Part I
Part I – Preparation and Pre-writing
Write a one to two (1-2) page paper in which you:
1. Summarize in four to five (4-5) sentences Peter Elbow’s explanation of the “Believing Game” and the “Doubting Game” from the book excerpt “The Believing Game and How to Make Conflicting Opinions More Fruitful” at http://www.procon.org/sourcefiles/believinggame.pdf.
2. Select one (1) of the approved topics from the www.procon.org Website, state your position on the issue, and explain why you chose that topic.
3. From the Procon.org Website, identify three (3) premises (reasons) listed under the Pro section and three (3) premises listed under the Con section for your topic.
4. The Believing Game is “believing” what you don’t believe – in other words, trying to agree on some aspect of a view that you disagree with or oppose. For each of the three (3) premises you chose from the www.procon.org Website that disagree with your position on the issue, answer these “believing” questions suggested by Elbow:
- What’s interesting or helpful about this view?
- What would I notice if I believed this view?
- In what sense or under what conditions might this idea be true?”
5. The Doubting Game is “doubting” what you do believe – in other words, trying to disagree with some aspect of a view that you agree with. For each of the three (3) premises you chose from the www.procon.org Website that agree with your position on the issue, answer the “doubting” questions suggested by Elbow, such as the journalistic questions:
- who, what, when, where, why, how?