Topic 18.   17 March 2017 :  Playing “Devil’s Advocate”


[*This is a good idea borrowed from the Catholic Church (note: personally I have no religion). When the Pope speaks, all Catholics are supposed to obey what he says. Therefore he must be careful. The Pope has a special helper, a bishop called The Devil’s Advocate. The job of the Devil’s Advocate is to test every idea the Pope has by opposing it with strong arguments. If the Devil’s Advocated finds weaknesses in the Pope’s idea, then the Pope will give it up. If the Devil’s Advocate can find no weaknesses, then the Pope feels confident and speaks in public. Personally I think that being a good Devil’s Advocate is a very, very important job to help good decisions everywhere].

Task: Play the Devil’s Advocate with your partner. Whatever they suggest, you look for weaknesses and counter-arguments. For example:

1. Passports are a fairly new idea. Let’s have a system again where people can travel worldwide without passports.

2. Everybody should be paid a Universal Basic Income for living needs. After that they can work extra if they want money for other things.

3. In Australia now, married couples separate on average after 8.7 years and divorce after 12.3 years. Therefore marriage contracts should be short term, not for a lifetime. [These numbers are similar in most countries now]

4. Most people are naturally lazy (physically and mentally). There should be some kind of tax on laziness to discourage it.

5. Most diseases now are a result of eating too much, not under-eating. Gluttony used to be one of “the seven deadly sins”. People should have to pay for illnesses that come from eating too much.

6. Wars are a disaster for everyone except arms companies Therefore we should abolish armies.

7. Public transport should be free.

8. Only people who speak English should be allowed to immigrate into Australia.

9. Some countries do not allow private schools. Australia should forbid private schools.

10. It doesn’t matter how you dress. People will see your true character, no matter what you wear.

18 Playing Devil's Advocate ©Thor May 2016