Taking the Roof Off


Defense of Faith

“Taking the Roof Off is not complicated if you follow these three steps.

First, reduce the person’s point of view to its basic argument, assertion, principle or moral rule. This might take a moment of reflection. Ask yourself what the person’s specific claim is. The first step of the Columbo is handy at this point. State the idea clearly (write it out if you need to). If this is part of a conversation, check with the person to make sure you got it right. You might say, “Let me see if I understand you correctly,” then repeat the point as clearly as you can.

Second, mentally give the idea a “test drive” to see where it leads. Ask: “If I follow this principle consistently, what implications will it have for other issues? Will it produce a ‘truth’ that seems wrong or counter-intuitive? Will any absurd consequences result?” The answer to…

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