God's Politics

God's Politics

Voice of the Day: Myles Horton

If people have a position on something and you try to argue them into changing it, you’re going to strengthen that position. If you want to change people’s ideas, you shouldn’t try to convince them intellectually. What you need to do is get them into a situation where they’ll have to act on ideas, not argue about them.

– Myles Horton

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Kaleb (15)

posted September 21, 2006 at 8:33 am

Christ is the only way and he is Lord. Not a lunitic or liar but Lord. he died and rose on the third day!>

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posted September 21, 2006 at 4:07 pm

I am struck by the Myles Horton quote because indeed, many of us know people who were vehemently opposed to homosexuality and who believed homosexuals were going to hell…until they actually knew someone who was gay. Once their son, cousin, friend or whoever came out, they were forced to rethink their harsh opinion, and while they may still hold a certain moral belief, they often respond with love, not hatred. Naturally, I realize there are those who do respond with hatred, and alienate homosexual friends and family members, and I pray for all families in that situation.>

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posted September 24, 2006 at 4:30 am

Honestly, It’s not that fideistic. One can show someone the implications and contradictions of their ideas and see if they truly are willing to admit error or follow through with what they say they believe. dlw>

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posted April 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I have used Myles Horton’s autobiography in the classroom for years. Along with my students, I find much of what he says to be inspiring. But then he occasionally comes out with silly statements such as the one quoted above. Why would there be a conflict between taking action and being convinced intellectually that the action would be profitable? What could possibly be wrong with trying to convince somebody of something using an intellectual argument (as Horton actually does throughout most of his book, exposing himself to a charge of hypocrisy in this case). One apparent corollary of his statement is that it would be better to convince somebody of something emotionally rather than intellectually. Isn’t that the source of many of our problems in the world already? All that being said, I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in social movements. And, as an aside, I like Horton’s implication that Jesus would be a socialist.

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