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Conversations on abortion quickly become contentions for a number of reasons.

People arrive at their strongly-held beliefs using a variety of approaches that are rarely discussed and not often understood. We each use some theory of knowledge to decide what to believe. It can be helpful to directly discuss our theories of knowledge See: http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/theoryofk.htm

People aggressively assert their own firmly held beliefs, even when those beliefs do not have a firm foundation. See: http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/belief.htm

People use a divisive tone of communication when dialogue would be more helpful. See: http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/tone.htm

People establish false dichotomies that make vital parts of the solution space invisible. See: http://knol.google.com/k/leland-beaumont/false-dilemma/1oqldl2m8prj5/8#

People are unskilled in the practice of dialogue. See: http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/dialogue.htm

And people are unskilled in resolving conflict. See: http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/conflict.htm

Improving our skills in these areas can lead to more enlightened dialogues on the difficult topic of abortion. I hope these web pages, that I have written, can be helpful in moving the discussion forward.

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