Author Topic: When opinions collide  (Read 7975 times)

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Offline Yip

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When opinions collide
« on: February 19, 2011, 08:37:27 am »
Here at Furtopia, they welcome the sharing of opinions, which I think is a very good thing. However, sometimes people will have disagreements. Opinions will come into direct conflict. This brings up the issue of how to handle such situations if you wish to promote an environment where people are free to express their opinions.  I've struggled for a long time trying to figure how best to say this without sounding like I'm just complaining, so hopefully this doesn't come off that way. But... I find that Furtopia's staff often handles these sorts of conflicts poorly.*

I think this stems for the following:
1) A lot of people seem to take arguments against their opinion as arguments directed at them personally.
2) The staff at Furtopia, more than anything else, want everyone to get along.

What ends up happening is that when one person says something, and another person shows the first's position to be wrong, all it takes is for the first person to refuse to admit that they are wrong (something else people have major troubles with) and the staff will more often than not side with them.  It's as though the staff sees the person saying "you are wrong" as being an aggressor, and it jumps in to protect the "weaker" side. The problem is, when we are talking about ideas here, the weaker side should fail. The truth does not need defended from honest rational consideration.

I completely support the freedom to share ideas. However, those ideas need to be able to stand on their own merit.

*To be clear, I'm not trying to pick on the staff. I love it here, and for the most part I think they do a good job. But this is an area where I see a problem. So I'm pointing this out to hopefully help Furtopia grow into an even better place.

Offline Kada-Ru

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 10:46:11 am »
I'm glad you posted your thoughts on this Vararam.  The only thing I don't agree with is telling someone that 'their' idea or opinion is wrong.  I believe that is a poor way of discussing a debate, what have you, with another person.  When I am told that an 'idea' I have is wrong, I do get defensive because how can an 'idea' be 'wrong'?  There is no right or wrong to an idea.

I can only speak for myself but to use that specific word is probably why I step in to a conversation and 'defend' the other person.  I think better words can be used instead of telling someone, "Your whole idea/theory/opinion is wrong."  Because there can be no right or wrong, especially in a debate forum.  Just peoples opinions and opinions have no right or wrong.

There are also no stronger/weaker sides in debates or conversations where there are no true facts just opinions.

You have been a very long time member here, Vararam and we all welcome your input.

I think the problem probably lies in the wording.  People really don't need to use the word 'wrong' when discussing topics with another.  Perhaps something along the lines of, "Well, I see where you are coming from but would you mind trying to see this from where I am coming from as well?"  And if the person isn't willing than nothing more can, and should NOT be said.  That only starts arguments in which the staff will step in.

telling someone they are 'wrong' about something does indeed hurt and is taken personally.  That is just how life is.  That is why I am suggesting to everyone to use more positive words instead of negative ones when corresponding with other members.  The positive attitude will go a lot farther than the negative.

I hope I didn't confuse anyone.
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Offline Avan

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 01:36:10 pm »
I suppose it would be more correct to term these opinions as "invalid" or "unfounded"? (depending on the circumstances)
Ie, if you can prove someone's opinion as unfounded, it should not carry any weight, and that person should re-evaluate their position on that item.

I'd post more, but I have to go atm, so I'll just say that I'm with var's view on this (that invalidated ideas/notions are being protected when really they shouldn't be. Not that its a problem restricted only to here by any means; it very well does permeate the real world, and in fact is probably why its here in the first place.)
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Offline Shim

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 02:26:38 pm »
If I may put in a personal experience with you, Varr..

Normally, I'm not opposed to people arguing over what is right and wrong, once a debate gets a bit out of control. However, I remember in that religious debate thread that I was blatantly attacked by you flat-out telling me I was wrong in my religious beliefs.

1) A lot of people seem to take arguments against their opinion as arguments directed at them personally.

That qualifies.

Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 03:49:37 pm »
Kada-Ru, you are getting -way- too hung up on the word 'wrong'.

There are also no stronger/weaker sides in debates or conversations where there are no true facts just opinions.
This would only be true for opinions which have no basis at all in reality.  But in most cases, opinions without a basis in reality are completely useless. For example, if you went to the doctor for some problem you were having, would you want them to just pretend to know what's causing it and make something up?  Hell no, you want them to actually exam you to find out what's really causing it. It's fine if it's their 'best guess', but it has to have a basis in the real world or it's useless.

And as long as you are comparing opinions where there is a basis in reality, it can be possible to measure one being a stronger position than another.  For example, if someone believes that the holocaust didn't happen, or that the moon landing was fake. Although in both cases it's plausible that they could be right, but that doesn't mean their position is on equal footing with those that disagree with them. The evidence supports that these things almost certainly did occur.  Even in cases where the truth is unclear, that doesn't make every possibility equally valid.

By the way, there is no magic thing called a "fact" which you seem to be alluding to. It's not like we can absolutely tell when something matches reality. Instead we have to go by reason and evidence. We call something a 'fact' when there is very strong evidence that it is true. But that still could be false, it's just unlikely.  It's not actually possible to verify, in an absolute sense, that something is true in the real world. However, it IS sometimes possible to show things to be false. (In fact, science works based on this. It's why they talk about claims needing to be falsifiable.)

If I may put in a personal experience with you, Varr..

Normally, I'm not opposed to people arguing over what is right and wrong, once a debate gets a bit out of control. However, I remember in that religious debate thread that I was blatantly attacked by you flat-out telling me I was wrong in my religious beliefs.
I remember that, and I was probably a bit too harsh in my wording (and I apologize for that harshness). However, you did say something that can be verified as incorrect. But I won't get into that here 'cause it's off topic.


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1) A lot of people seem to take arguments against their opinion as arguments directed at them personally.

That qualifies.
No it doesn't. If someone's opinions are so tied into who they are but yet are not equally tied to reality, then that person has a problem. And it's not something that other people should be held to.

To put it another way, everyone has a right to their own opinions. But when those opinions are shared, it is then possible to differentiate between the idea being shared and the one sharing it. And the idea itself should not be held to the same protections as the individual sharing it. The idea should stand on it's own merit.

Offline Shim

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 03:59:16 pm »
I feel as though my religious beliefs make up a part of who I am. By telling me that those are flat-out WRONG offends me personally. I don't understand how that does not count as a personal attack?

Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 04:37:28 pm »
I feel as though my religious beliefs make up a part of who I am. By telling me that those are flat-out WRONG offends me personally. I don't understand how that does not count as a personal attack?
You are free to hold your beliefs. However, if those beliefs don't match reality, and someone points that out, that doesn't automatically make it a personal attack. You should not blame the person pointing it out, but blame the belief itself for not matching reality.

Perhaps something you should ask yourself is why would you base who you are on a position that is indefensible? If it is not indefensible, then you have nothing to worry if these ideas are attacked.  Myself, I want my beliefs to match reality as far as possible.  And that requires that they be able to stand up on their own. Thus not only is it not a personal attack if someone points out flaws in my opinion, but it can actually be beneficial provided they can back up what they are saying.  So ultimately, the question is: do you care about whats true?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 04:50:40 pm by Vararam »

Offline Shim

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 04:51:55 pm »
So ultimately, the question is: do you care about whats true?

Who are you to tell me what's true and what's not?

Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 04:57:44 pm »
So ultimately, the question is: do you care about whats true?

Who are you to tell me what's true and what's not?
A fellow being that is experiencing reality. It's not like I'm telling you that you -have- to stop believing whatever, that's up to you. But as fellow beings experiencing reality, we can learn from each other to better understand that reality.

Offline Shim

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 04:59:21 pm »
So ultimately, the question is: do you care about whats true?

Who are you to tell me what's true and what's not?
A fellow being that is experiencing reality. It's not like I'm telling you that you -have- to stop believing whatever, that's up to you. But as fellow beings experiencing reality, we can learn from each other to better understand that reality.

Wasn't that much nicer than blatantly telling me I'm wrong :)?

Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 05:33:15 pm »
Wasn't that much nicer than blatantly telling me I'm wrong :)?
No, actually. If I'm wrong about something, I want to know.  But it's not just a matter of saying "you are wrong" but saying "that can't be true and here's why".  The 'here's why' part is critical, and yet a lot of people seem to get blinded by the 'that can't be true' part.

When I said I'm not saying you -have- to change your beliefs, I mean that...  someone presents an idea, someone else presents a reason why that idea is definitely false, then it's up to the first individual to process that and come to their own conclusions.  It could be that the person saying it's false was mistaken, in which case the first person could point that out, and so forth. And if done respectfully, both can learn from the exchange.  However, this can not happen if either is unwilling to have their opinions challenged.

Offline Shim

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2011, 05:35:13 pm »
It could be that the person saying it's false was mistaken, in which case the first person could point that out, and so forth. And if done respectfully, both can learn from the exchange.  However, this can not happen if either is unwilling to have their opinions challenged.

Keyword.

Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2011, 05:52:47 pm »
It could be that the person saying it's false was mistaken, in which case the first person could point that out, and so forth. And if done respectfully, both can learn from the exchange.  However, this can not happen if either is unwilling to have their opinions challenged.

Keyword.
Yes, but merely pointing out that someone is incorrect is not disrespectful, particularity when accompanied with a reason.

Offline Shim

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2011, 05:55:31 pm »
What you did when you attacked me was not respectful.

Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2011, 06:23:21 pm »
What you did when you attacked me was not respectful.
I already admitted that I was too harsh with that instance. I stand by my position on the issue I was pointing out then, but I agree that I was more harsh with it then I should have been. However, it wasn't a personal attack. I said nothing against you personally, only against the idea you were presenting. (if you wish to discuss the specifics of it, I'd love to. But not in this thread. Maybe over PM or something.)

At any rate, that does not invalidate what I'm saying here. People do often take things way too personally.

Offline furtopia02

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2011, 08:44:07 pm »

I think this stems for the following:
1) A lot of people seem to take arguments against their opinion as arguments directed at them personally.
2) The staff at Furtopia, more than anything else, want everyone to get along.



(Note, this is directed at 'in general' and not any particular person. I just want to show another view on this.)

The thing is though... some arguments can be, and are, attacks against individuals and someone can still be singled out to be bullied on a web forum. If I wanted to, I know good and well I could bully someone consistently and hide my motive to do so by using such logic. I could even go as far as to research someone enough to know just exactly how to directly attack them without anyone else seeing it as such. It's really not that difficult to do this tactic, and if done well I can look like a hero while running someone into the dirt for my own amusement. Manipulative? Yes. Wrong? Certainly isn't a nice thing to do someone. Possible? Very, and easy to do. A clever person can pull off this tactic (which is a great form of trolling), but it takes an even more clever person to catch it - thus the problem, and not questioning ones motives for why they are having an argument with someone so adamantly only makes it that much easier. As well, being in a "friendly" community where outright name calling, trolling, and such isn't tolerated at all - tactics like this are even more prevalent because it is harder to get to someone in a more direct manner without getting into trouble.

Offline Kobuk

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2011, 10:43:15 pm »
*sigh* Where do I even begin?

Vararam, I'm sorry if you and/or others are having any sort of difficulty understanding Furtopia's policies when it comes to respect, debating, etc., but what we have here:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php/topic,31933.0.html
And......
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php/topic,36687.0.html
.......won't be changed any time soon in the forseeable future. Those are the guidelines and rules for how discussions should be kept. If someone cannot "come to terms" with those, then they are free to seek out another place where debates and discussions are more "free spirited and uncivilised" shall we say?

People in this world have a right to believe in whatever they want. It's called "Freedom of Choice". No matter how silly or weird, etc. something is, The individual can still believe in it if they so choose. A person can come along and say that the other person's idea or belief is not correct or whatever. But attacking, disrespecting, putting down, etc. someone or their ideas/beliefs will not be tolerated here.

Bashing, Flaming, Name Calling, Baiting someone to reply, etc. are all counter-productive to having a good discussion as well as sacrificing the peace and stability of the forums here.


Quote
Even if you think that you are right and others are wrong, and that you can "push" your opinions on to other people, you can't. Everyone has the right to believe in whatever they want, even if it does offend/anger someone (and/or if that idea/belief makes sense or not.). When members cannot see eye-to-eye on things, the best course of action is simply to "agree to disagree" and walk away so to speak.

I, as well as other staff, have watched you discuss and debate numerous things over the years. Sometimes good, and sometimes bad. But I have to ask you the following:

Why can't you just let other people have their ideas and opinions and let them believe what they want?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 11:18:59 pm by Kobuk »
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Offline Avan

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2011, 01:58:30 am »
Speaking as Avan-Core, the kernel of Avan from which all Avan variants were created (and thus being Avan in the purest sense, as all the others are merely... I suppose, RP versions in a manner of speaking; primarily used in well, RP (this includes even normal interaction), as well as story creation.

Despite not being the one who the questions were directed at, I think that they are relevant enough to my own viewpoint that I will answer them anyways.

Why do you feel so compelled to get people to see the errors of their ideas/beliefs?
What is this "reality" you speak of? Why does everything have to match your perception of what reality must be?
Why must you keep seeking logic and reason to everything?
Why do you feel that everything around you has to make sense? And if it doesn't make sense, then you go on a "personal crusade" to correct others and their beliefs.
Why do you keep "pushing" your opinions on others even when people may not want to discuss things anymore and/or that they feel "attacked/threatened"?
Although I'm not Var, seeing as I've been out for the whole day, I think I need to answer some questions
1) Its more about getting people aware of flaws in their thinking/ideas/notions/beliefs/etc. They should be made at least aware that there is a flaw so that they can update their thinking accordingly.
2) There is a concrete reality, which none experience directly but through our perceptual realities we can glean information about actual reality from it.
3) I feel rather offended (in some odd, removed, sort of way) that somehow logic and reason are NOT on the highest priority list, because the greatest of all Azarian virtues. Those are the principals the azar is founded upon. I can't speak for Var, but I can speak for myself.
4) It should make sense. If it made sense to begin with, why would we bother to change it to something more sensible? I mean, something that is not sensible would be like... The person who makes the funniest face gets to be emperor of the world. That's just silly. Of course, things have varying degrees of sensibility, but the point still stands that there is room for further optimization in situations that are not optimal. And things that are not sensible are generally not optimal unless they reach the point of being only theoretically optimal in an ideal situation which can never actually be achieved and that some other less logically intuitive solution is actually more sensible given the actual conditions.
5) Well... I suppose you can't really help what the other people feel in a society that breeds and promotes ignorance. Nor can I really answer that as that's not really directed at me.


In short.....Why are you the way you are? Why are you so deeply rooted in reason and logic and things making sense and/or following reality? Why can't you just let other people have their ideas and opinions and let them believe what they want? Why the need to change others around you?
And again, I'm going to answer this, as I still do share Var's side on this matter, despite not ever having been as active as he has been.
1) Can't answer for Var, but as for myself, I'm a creature born of logic; created, designed and built from a logically devised blueprint to generate the most logical mind possible. I'm far from completion, and I must also cope with the horrible design & defects of this brain, but I've got enough ambition to overcome it, and I'm managing to harness the power of emotions by training them to react along my lines of logic, rather that fight them.
2) It is only logical to be logical (in terms of pure logic from the perspective of null/existence). That is the core of my very being. I suppose in a manner of speaking, I (Avan-Core), /AM/ logic.
3) Ok, Can't answer for Var, and... well, I do let them believe what they want, but I want to ensure that they are at the very least /aware/ that there is a flaw in their thinking.
4) Again, Can't answer for Var, and again, I'm not changing them, merely offering the catalyst for change.
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Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2011, 10:33:15 pm »
*sigh* Where do I even begin?
Vararam, I'm sorry if you and/or others are having any sort of difficulty understanding Furtopia's policies when it comes to respect, debating, etc., ....
It's nothing to do with not understanding the policies. You could have a policy that new members must cut off there little toe as a sign of allegiance, and no matter how much someone understands it, that doesn't make it right.

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.......won't be changed any time soon in the forseeable future.
So what, we should just shut up and take it? Nice. Thanks.

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People in this world have a right to believe in whatever they want. It's called "Freedom of Choice". No matter how silly or weird, etc. something is, The individual can still believe in it if they so choose. A person can come along and say that the other person's idea or belief is not correct or whatever. But attacking, disrespecting, putting down, etc. someone or their ideas/beliefs will not be tolerated here.
But here's the thing, if you are not allowed to respond to someone's ideas (what you refer to as attacking) then it completely destroys any possibility of meaningful discussion.  Note, by you saying what you are saying, you are, in fact, "attacking" my ideas. Furthermore, you are attacking what I see as the best means to arrive at a better understanding of the truth. And truth is a 'sacred' virtue for me as much as anything could be. So, by the standards you profess to uphold, you are guilty on every count.

Not only that, but several of the comments in your post are definitely directed against me and not my arguments (the very definition of a personal attack).  The arguments should stand and be judged on their own merit.  All the statements that begin "why do you....", and really the whole last half of your post is essentially one big personal attack.

Can you seriously not see the double standard being applied here?


To be clear, I'm not angry with you. But I do think pointing out this double standard is important. Things like this are exactly what prompted me to make this thread in the first place.

------------------

I'm going to ignore most the stuff you directed at me because the answers to those are not relevant to this discussion. However, I do want to address a couple of things:

Pointing out where there is a flaw in an idea someone presents gives that person the opportunity to reevaluate and perhaps come to a better understand of whatever it is. And not only for that individual, but for anyone else that's following the discussion. This applies to me as much as to anyone else.

Also, I don't want to distract this thread, but you seem to question the importance of logic and reason. Yet these are vital to understanding reality. Logic, reason and evidence are by far the best tools we have for determining that which is true from that which is not.  Nothing else comes close.


Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 02:21:37 am »
Vararam, you and I have gone back and forth about as much as anyone on this forum in the debates. I think can see why Kobuk directed those questions at you the way he did. You do put probably more emphasis on using logic, reason, and research than any debator on here. While sometimes we've agreed and sometimes you have caused me to re-think a few things, it does seem sometimes you take it to the extreme. Even though you don't mean it to be a personal attack, you (and a few others and myself too sometimes) do have a lot of one-to-one exchanges that become almost a brow beating with a single person in a thread.

Then you come in and create this thread. While on the face, your initial post sounds like it has merit, it seems you're the only one that is taking issue with how debates are treated. Dare I say lighten up? I'm guessing maybe Kobuk's questions were so we'd have more insight on why you feel so strongly about this issue. Of course I don't live in his head, so I'm just purely speculating. Though, I would be interested in your answers regardless, if you choose to answer them.

Didn't you say yourself, something to the effect that debates shouldn't be about beating someone's point into submission, but about all parties coming away with a better understanding? One thing I've learned in the debates and have tried to work on is sometimes you just have to let something go. Even if I don't get the last word in, I've tried to better pick up on when a debate is becoming just a back and forth exchange of the same things with different wording, and just drop it. Even if I don't change your mind or vice versa, I'll be happy if I think both sides have been explained enough that the other readers/debators will see our points of view. At that point I put my faith in the intelligence of the other people following along to decide who had the better argument/point/explanation/etc.

I generally don't post in "debates about debating" type threads like this because they don't interest me much. I do read them, but it's just not something I usually find the energy to get involved with. After reading this one, I figured I would throw at least $.02 in for now and say my peace because I do find you intriguing, if nothing else. :)
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Offline Avan

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 10:15:10 am »
He's not the only one *cough*, but I am far less active here.
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Offline Yip

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2011, 06:21:14 pm »
Dare I say lighten up?
Its kind of funny that you'd say this when part of the problem I was pointing out is that people often take things too personally.

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I'm guessing maybe Kobuk's questions were so we'd have more insight on why you feel so strongly about this issue. Of course I don't live in his head, so I'm just purely speculating.
If that's what he meant, he could have simply asked me why I find it so important rather than devolve into personal attacks. I said earlier that I wasn't angry about it, but that was under the assumption that people could clearly see how unfair his post was towards me, and that his post stood as sort of an example of the kind of double standards that emerge from the current policies. If that's not the case, than perhaps I should be offended by those personal attacks.

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Didn't you say yourself, something to the effect that debates shouldn't be about beating someone's point into submission, but about all parties coming away with a better understanding?
I don't think I specifically said the first part, but I definitely agree with the latter part. More likely, I've said that debates shouldn't be about proving that one's side is right. It should be about gaining a better understanding of what is right whether it's your side or not.  I don't think I fully agree with the "shouldn't beat someone's point into submission" part, mostly because I find the wording troubling. While I agree with you that it's important to try to recognize when things are not getting anywhere, and I've been trying to get better at that. But I see no problem with following an idea to it's logical conclusion, and I also see no problem with trying different approaches to get your idea across.

Offline Kobuk

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2011, 11:16:49 pm »
Vararam, I'm sorry if my questions appeared as a personal attack against you. I actually found them to be legitimate questions that I wanted to ask you about why reason, logic, etc., etc. means so much to you when discussing debateable and controversial subjects. If I wanted to "attack" you, I would have done so in a lot more negative way. But I didn't. Since the questions bother you so much.......*edits them out of my post further above*

However, I'm still curious on the following:

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Why do you feel so "determined" to get people to see the errors of their ideas/beliefs?
Why can't you just let other people have their ideas and opinions and let them believe what they want?

I'm kinda lost as to what the original purpose of this thread is? What is the goal? What is it you'd like people to do? If you're trying to ask or tell people to change their ideas and opinions because they don't make sense and don't follow your perception of reality, then you're going to find that to be a bit more difficult than you thought. Read again what I put in quote in my post further above. ;) And if you're trying to get people to prove things and present evidence for their beliefs and ideas, then that is already covered by the following guideline:
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If you intend to make any sort of scientific, political, religious, etc. "claim" in a controversial topic, then please be prepared to back up that claim with proof of facts, figures, statistics, percentages, etc. with links to well documented references/resources.

As an example, If I were to believe in that apples were actually colored blue when grown in the US, then shouldn't I have the right to believe in that regardless of whether it might be right or wrong? And what if I was so determined to believe in that idea/opinion, that nothing that anybody did or said could change my mind? What would you do? Would you keep trying to get me to change my mind even though I strongly stood my ground in my beliefs? And what if I refused to provide proof/facts to support my beliefs? Then what? Would you still keep arguing the point?
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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2011, 01:26:09 am »
Vararam, I'm sorry if my questions appeared as a personal attack against you. I actually found them to be legitimate questions that I wanted to ask you about why reason, logic, etc., etc. means so much to you when discussing debateable and controversial subjects. If I wanted to "attack" you, I would have done so in a lot more negative way. But I didn't.
Whether you intended it or not, it is still an ad hominem. Rather than addressing my arguments, you insist on pushing the conversion to questing my character. And as I've said, the arguments should stand on their own merit. It's one thing to question what it is I'm trying getting at, it's quite another to accuse me of "pushing" my beliefs on others.

In case you didn't notice, when I take a strong stance on something, it's almost always one where I'm saying something can not be a certain way. This is because it is often possible to tell such things through logic. You may claim that by talking a strong stance I am "pushing" my beliefs on others. But I'm not. I can't control what's in people's heads. They are free to go on believing whatever. What I am doing is slowing the spread of irrationality, and trying to promote the use of critical thinking.

However, your accusations do illustrate that you don't understand the basic principle I'm point out here: that there is a big difference between attacking someone's argument and attacking the individual. Its something I've noticed several members of staff don't seem to understand, though as I said, the staff are people too, and this seems to be a widespread problem among people in general.  But what bothers me most is that there are roots of this misunderstanding within some of the policies as well.

I don't expect to suddenly make everyone use good critical thinking skills. But I'd at least like the staff to be aware of this problem and the potential biases, double standards, and so forth that emerge from it.

If you're trying to ask or tell people to change their ideas and opinions because they don't make sense and don't follow your perception of reality...
Again with the "my perception of reality" bit? Reality is as it is. And all evidence suggests that this is a shared reality.  And reason and evidence are the best tools we have for making sense of this reality.

Really, if you want to debate about the nature of reality or about why we are driven to seek understanding, those could make for interesting philosophical discussions, but that's a different topic.

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As an example, If I were to believe in that apples were actually colored blue when grown in the US, then shouldn't I have the right to believe in that regardless of whether it might be right or wrong? And what if I was so determined to believe in that idea/opinion, that nothing that anybody did or said could change my mind? What would you do? Would you keep trying to get me to change my mind even though I strongly stood my ground in my beliefs? And what if I refused to provide proof/facts to support my beliefs? Then what? Would you still keep arguing the point?
You have the right to believe whatever you believe. However, if you expect to be able to convince others of your belief, you'll need to back up what you are saying. For a claim that ridiculous I'd simply point out that you are only making an assertion and that you haven't met the burden of proof. One thing you seem to be forgetting is that this is a forum. I'm not just talking to one individual, but to everyone else that's following along. As long as there is enough information for people to make good informed decisions, that's what's important.

So I can throw that back at you, how would you expect people to handle it? Allow this person to continually make post after post on how apples grown in the US are blue? And then what happens when someone steps in to point out that it isn't true? Do you accuse them of "attacking" this person's beliefs?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 05:34:58 am by Vararam »

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Re: When opinions collide
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2011, 06:04:59 am »
Here's some food for thought.

Ann, Bob, and Cat, each have beliefs about something. Ann and Bob both have the same belief. Bob considers the belief core to part of who they are, but Ann does not.  Cat's belief is mutually exclusive with that of Ann and Bob. That is, if Cat is correct, the others cannot be.

Consider the following scenarios (in each case, assume all arguments are directed at the statements made and not the individuals):
  • Ann makes a statement about the belief, and Cat states that they disagree. Is that necessarily a personal attack against Ann?
  • What if Cat shows a flaw which would prove it can't be true. Is it necessarily a personal attack then?
  • In the above two scenarios, what if Bob made the statements that Cat was responding to? (remember Bob holds the beliefs as core)
  • What if Ann makes the statement and Cat proves it's not true. Would that be a personal attack against Bob?
  • How about if Cat makes the initial statement about the belief. Since Cat's position would mean that Ann and Bob's belief must be incorrect, would that be a personal attack against them?