Using the Delphi Technique to Achieve Consensus
The Delphi Technique and consensus building are both founded in the same principle — the Hegelian dialectic of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, with synthesis becoming the new thesis. The goal is a continual evolution to “oneness of mind” (consensus means solidarity of belief) — the collective mind, the wholistic society, the wholistic earth, etc. In thesis and antithesis, opinions or views are presented on a subject to establish views and opposing views. In synthesis, opposites are brought together to form the new thesis. All participants in the process are then to accept ownership of the new thesis and support it, changing their views to align with the new thesis. Through a continual process of evolution, “oneness of mind” will supposedly occur.
In group settings, the Delphi Technique is an unethical method of achieving consensus on controversial topics. It requires well-trained professionals, known as “facilitators” or “change agents,” who deliberately escalate tension among group members, pitting one faction against another to make a preordained viewpoint appear “sensible,” while making opposing views appear ridiculous.
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