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Arguing on the internet

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Yes, I do think there's a point. I do think people can change their minds.

I change my mind.

I argue hard because I want to LOSE. I can test my beliefs and my thinking against people who think otherwise, and I can hope to be convinced by them and switch sides, because then my outlook has been improved.

Evolution of competing philosophies by natural selection :p: can only happen if I cram different ones into the same head and see which eats the other.

Think about all those dudes who were certain the world was flat, or that draining your patient's blood was really good for them, or that eplipetics were possessed by demons. Or the people who think communism is flawless, or that nuclear power is an unalloyed evil.

Think of all those things that are clearly wrong on a blazing, fundamental level, while the people who believe(d) them somehow walk(ed) around without noticing.

Now think about all the things you believe. What are the chances that you have managed to be perfectly right about all of them? That you have not one belief that future generations will scoff at? That you don't hold on to something as obviously wrong as (pick anything you think is obviously wrong)? All of those other people, convinced of something that is critically, laugably wrong - what are the chances that you don't suffer from the same disease? What are the chances that you are the one, perfect human?

The chances are pretty much nothing.

SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IS UTTERLY, FUNDAMENTALLY, WRONG.

...probably lots of things. Maybe most things.

That's why I like to read and discuss stuff on this forum - a lot of smart people believe things that are frequently contrary to what I believe. I want them to convince me, or at least for my own belief system to have had a good test. I don't want to find a group of people who agree with me and engage in a textual circle-jerk. What's the point?

And that's why I get frustrated when people don't want to address the points, and just want to throw insults or one-liners. How the hell am I going to see if you actually have a firmer grip on reality than I do, if you won't actually explain yourself? If I point out what I think is a flaw in your reasoning, this is as much an opportunity for you to show me why it's not a flaw, as it is an opportunity for you to reconsider your own opinion.

It is NOT an insult.

I am guilty of sloppy reasoning, and unsupportable positions. Everyone is. It is not an insult to point that out to me. You are doing me a FAVOUR.

I mean, why else are people here? Are some people really just trying to show other people how smart they are, or looking for their beliefs to be vindicated by faceless strangers? Are people just looking for an echo-chamber?

What's the point?

PS: but I need to use more smilies, because everone ends up thinking I'm a barely-suppressed inferno of homicidal rage.

PPS: and I also need to learn how to NOT write like a complete wanker. This is made more difficult by the fact that I AM a complete wanker, but think I can do it if I apply myself...
 
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There is prob more truth to this than we all would like to admit...

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If you are upset, give it a rest for a few days and do something else.

Was that to me? Or general advice?

I'm not upset...

...dammit, I really need to use more smilies.
:)

Sam: hence: talk to the argument, not the person. :)

PS: :) :) :) :)
 

So_Cynical

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i now have 2 people on ignore here...i used to have a policy of never having people on ignore cos it just sounds so wrong (big picture) but ive come to realise that there's certain people who just don't get it, free exchange of ideas and being open to reality and the possibility that you're/iam wrong etc etc.

There are people on all forums that want to push there own barrow, have an agenda..and so im finding that the ignore function actually works more like a rubbish filter..you can filter out the extremist views of the agenda driven/non stock posters and the site becomes so much more pleasant. :2twocents
 
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...you can filter out the extremist views of the agenda driven/non stock posters and the site becomes so much more pleasant. :2twocents

Yep It's called putting your head in the sand, or

If I can't control the game I don't want to play.
 

Julia

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Smelly Terror, this has the potential to be a genuinely interesting thread, so thanks for starting it.

You make some good points about having our own entrenched views challenged.
Most of us can indeed do with allowing our established convictions be so exposed.

But some, at least, of these convictions come after a lifetime of fairly careful observation and experience, and if someone rudely tells you you're a moron for so believing then the feathers are going to start to fly.

I don't know why we can't have a robust exchange of views without being personally insulting to one another and sprinkling every post with multiple asterisks that might as well actually include the word being referred to.

I've learned a lot from many people here in areas I'd not previously thought much about, and I'm grateful for that. I've also bitten back sharply when attacked and later regretted it.

Why do we engage in internet forums? Not entirely sure, but I'd say it's very largely to have our existing views endorsed. Others may disagree.
 
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I mean, why else are people here? Are some people really just trying to show other people how smart they are, or looking for their beliefs to be vindicated by faceless strangers? Are people just looking for an echo-chamber?

Why are people here? Because everyone is crying out for attention. "Look at me" is one of the first things children learn to say. Some flag their contributions with "smilies" to help attract attention.

Truce?:bier:
 

explod

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I am right.
You are wrong.
End of argument.

thankyou
]

Spot on there Nun, could not agree more, you are wrong.

I have tried a bit harder of late to come out towards others a bit more, I like the quote above "attack the argument (subject) not the person.

With Julia, this could be a good thread.
 

explod

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Leo Tolstoy, too much to go into him here, born 1828 to 1910, Russian. Had the ability to get into others heads, to see things from others views/take. Well worth reading him. A great line was "The kingdom of God lives within you".

A book "The Intuitive Edge" Golberg 1983, a very straight forward read will wet your appitite to further study on understanding yourself, capabilities, potential and connecting with others for the value.
 

pixel

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Leo Tolstoy, too much to go into him here, born 1828 to 1910, Russian. Had the ability to get into others heads, to see things from others views/take. Well worth reading him. A great line was "The kingdom of God lives within you".

Robert A Heinlein, in his novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", made the same point when he introduced the Martian concept of "grokking". It would take too long to explain the idea in fullness; but after reading "Stranger" for a few times, it occurred to me that Christian "Love Thy Neighbour" is a very close Earthling match.

The essence, probably in tune with Tolstoy's merging of minds, is the attempt to put yourself into the other person's position, try to understand what makes him tick. Doesn't mean you have to adopt everything. In another context, Heinlein says something to the effect "A scoundrel, in his own mind, isn't a scoundrel at all." However, understanding what motivates the other person, by "being him" as much as possible, gives you an enormous control over your surroundings - and, as SP rightly says, the chance to improve your own knowledge and attitude.

What's the benefit of discussing such matters on the Internet? For me, quite simple: In my immediate social sphere, not many people have read Heinlein, Homer, and Tolstoy. In a broad-based Forum like ASF, or even googling the wider net, the chances of finding a discussion partner are growing exponentially. My chances of becoming familiar with new aspects of life, even of clarifying my own mind position to myself, are thus also growing exponentially.

PS: Julia, in reference to your point about being called a moron; yes, the bristles tend to go up when that happens. But I have learned to apply that "grokking" principle especially in situations like those, when somebody tries to kill your argument by a "stupid" cliche. I can make allowance for that person's inability to be more articulate and persuasive. Often, I can also ignore his view because he obviously lacks the capacity to arrive at a rational assessment of the matter at hand. In short: I can "love my neighbour", yet still leave him.
 

wayneL

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Yes, I do think there's a point. I do think people can change their minds.

I change my mind.

I argue hard because I want to LOSE.....etc

Despite philosophical differences, I do like how you think, you are a deep person, and I suspect I'd like you if we met.

The trick with this internet caper is to not let me or anybody else get under your skin... f~~~ 'em, be the master of your own mood etc (if only I could practice what I preach :eek:).

And yes I agree that there is a point to the arguments; I'm sure many of us have secretly changed our minds about things as a result. I know I have.

Now! Let's all hold hands and say OMMMMMMMMMMMMM. :D:D
 

explod

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Which Julia?

Julia indicated in an earlier post here today that she thought this could be a good thread.

My precis was too much. Was just agreeing with her.

I learn a lot from this type of examination. Often I will talk of social science subjects. This discussion is in one such area, understanding and appreciating each other. A lot more of it would make for a better world. The field of communication is huge.

Problem is in most degrees it is to gain the technical prowess, we often fail in the area of understanding outside of our sphere.

And Pixel, a great contribution with your post, ASF is the richer for it.
 

Julia

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Robert A Heinlein, in his novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", made the same point when he introduced the Martian concept of "grokking". It would take too long to explain the idea in fullness; but after reading "Stranger" for a few times, it occurred to me that Christian "Love Thy Neighbour" is a very close Earthling match.

The essence, probably in tune with Tolstoy's merging of minds, is the attempt to put yourself into the other person's position, try to understand what makes him tick. Doesn't mean you have to adopt everything. In another context, Heinlein says something to the effect "A scoundrel, in his own mind, isn't a scoundrel at all." However, understanding what motivates the other person, by "being him" as much as possible, gives you an enormous control over your surroundings - and, as SP rightly says, the chance to improve your own knowledge and attitude.

What's the benefit of discussing such matters on the Internet? For me, quite simple: In my immediate social sphere, not many people have read Heinlein, Homer, and Tolstoy. In a broad-based Forum like ASF, or even googling the wider net, the chances of finding a discussion partner are growing exponentially. My chances of becoming familiar with new aspects of life, even of clarifying my own mind position to myself, are thus also growing exponentially.

PS: Julia, in reference to your point about being called a moron; yes, the bristles tend to go up when that happens. But I have learned to apply that "grokking" principle especially in situations like those, when somebody tries to kill your argument by a "stupid" cliche. I can make allowance for that person's inability to be more articulate and persuasive. Often, I can also ignore his view because he obviously lacks the capacity to arrive at a rational assessment of the matter at hand. In short: I can "love my neighbour", yet still leave him.
Why do we engage in forum discussions? Essentially for the joy of posts like the above from Pixel - intelligent, thoughtful and self-disclosing.
One post like this for me totally balances all the pages of insulting exchanges.

And Smelly Terror's original post on this thread which offers insight into the writer not so clear when the irritation and crankiness is predominant.

With this self-disclosure comes the capacity to do just as Pixel is suggesting, i.e. as far as it's possible to empathise with and understand the writer.
There's a cliche I hate: "I get where you are coming from". But in its pop psychology fashion, it probably is quite expressive.

Perhaps the other factor that emerges is how much we are naturally judgemental, and as a result slot people into our shelves of little boxes.

Then there's the fact that we're just seeing the typed word, no facial expressions, tone of voice, or body language, so it's probably easy to misinterpret what is being said.

But then again, some people simply set out to annoy and insult others.
Pity their outlook is so limited.
 
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I mean, why else are people here? Are some people really just trying to show other people how smart they are, or looking for their beliefs to be vindicated by faceless strangers? Are people just looking for an echo-chamber?

What's the point?

PS: but I need to use more smilies, because everone ends up thinking I'm a barely-suppressed inferno of homicidal rage.

PPS: and I also need to learn how to NOT write like a complete wanker. This is made more difficult by the fact that I AM a complete wanker, but think I can do it if I apply myself...

You are complete Wanker ..... :D:D:D:D:D:D appropriate smilies attached

Once Nurse Ratched gives you the pills everything wil be OK.
 
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If you want a psychosis of vomit then why don't you go and read Freuds " reference to an "apparatus", the id, ego, and super-ego are functions of the mind rather than parts of the brain and do not necessarily correspond one-to-one with actual somatic structures of the kind dealt with by neuroscience."

PS ....... public forums are not the place to get this kind of info !

PPS ...... Starchamber ...... PM me for more info Stephen Hawking
 
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