Like Franklin's Junto, the Louisiana Junto wishes to avoid bitter argument, impassioned oratory and appeals to emotion over reason. As Franklin said, discussions and actions are
Please note that in 1727 parlance Benjamin Franklin was referring to heated discussions when he said to 'prevent expressions of warmth'.
"...be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute or desire of victory; and to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction,..." (Benjamin Franklin, His Autobiography)
When he spoke of discouraging 'all expressions of positiveness' he was speaking of discouraging the close mindedness that often follows the tendency to state one's opinions as positively correct. Franklin often wrote that expressing opinions as being necessarily true was foolish and the cause of many a man or woman refusing to listen to reason for fear of being wrong.
In Franklin's autobiography he wrote:
"I made it a rule to forebear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others , and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix'd opinion such as certainty, undoubtedly, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so: or it so appears to me at present. When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition;and in answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction: I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right." (Benjamin Franklin, His Autobiography)
If you have participated in online debate with friends or strangers you may have experienced the urge to not be wrong at any cost because of fear of having you entire premise appear invalid because of a single incorrect assertion or conclusion. Because of this urge many a discussion becomes a bitter butting of heads instead of a rational meeting of minds.
The Junto meetings were conducted around a set of 24 questions which led members in constructive and positive directions. Junto meetings, online or in person, will be conducted in the same manner.
The primary method used by the original Junto members to discuss matters was Socratic Questioning aka Socratic reasoning. Potential Junto members will be required to demonstrate a knowledge of the Socratic Method before being granted full membership. Online sources and sample Socratic scenarios will be made available.