Do debates actually change anyone's mind?

Creeping Death

Consigliere
It seems most people who watch a formal debate only do so to listen to the person on their side confirming their narrative. The only people who are more likely to be swayed one way or another are those who had no previous thoughts/opinions on the subject at hand and stumbled across the discussion randomly or out of boredom.

I'm not sure I've seen someone be flipped by a solid point made against their stance after a single event, people are usually just too dense. Change doesn't come overnight, and probably not at all until people have really gotten used to stepping out of their eco system.

Animekitty

(ISFP)
On a scale of 1 - 10 how likely will I change my beliefs on any matter? It depends on what I know, the difference in accuracy between what I know and what is reality, and how sure I am on the collective evidence behind that knowledge(my evaluation of its accuracy).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_statistics

Bayesian statistics, named for Thomas Bayes (1701–1761), is a theory in the field of statistics in which the evidence about the true state of the world is expressed in terms of degrees of belief known as Bayesian probabilities. Such an interpretation is only one of a number of interpretations of probability and there are other statistical techniques that are not based on 'degrees of belief'. One of the key ideas of Bayesian statistics is that "probability is orderly opinion, and that inference from data is nothing other than the revision of such opinion in the light of relevant new information."[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning

Operant conditioning (also called "instrumental conditioning") is a type of learning in which (a) the strength of a behavior is modified by the behavior's consequences, such as reward or punishment, and (b) the behavior is controlled by antecedents called "discriminative stimuli" which come to signal those consequences.

While operant and classical conditioning both involve behaviors controlled by environmental stimuli, they differ in nature. In operant conditioning, stimuli present when a behavior is rewarded or punished come to control that behavior. For example, a child may learn to open a box to get the candy inside, or learn to avoid touching a hot stove; the box and the stove are discriminative stimuli. However, in classical conditioning, stimuli that signal significant events produce reflexive behavior. For example, the sight of a colorful wrapper comes to signal "candy", causing a child to salivate, or the sound of a door slam comes to signal an angry parent, causing a child to tremble.

The study of animal learning in the 20th century was dominated by the analysis of these two sorts of learning,[1] and they are still at the core of behavior analysis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoctrination

Indoctrination, or thought reform, is the process of forcibly inculcating another individual with ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or professional methodologies (see doctrine).[1] Conspiring institutions such as police and mental health institutions have been widely used as a modus operandi of indoctrinators.

Some distinguish indoctrination from education, claiming that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.[2] As such the term may be used pejoratively or as a buzz word, often in the context of political opinions, theology, religious dogma or anti-religious convictions. The term is closely linked to socialization; however, in common discourse, indoctrination is often associated with negative connotations, while socialization refers to cultural or educational learning.

Rixus

I introverted think. Therefore, I am.
Probably not. Anyone who enters a debate has already made up their mind. If it's a calmdiscus, then yes. But once it becomes a debate, never have I seen someone change their mind. I think saw a study once that showed debating on the internet actually reinforces people's preset beliefs, which corres to my experience.

Cognisant

Condescending Bastard
Believe it or not I've lost debates before, on this very forum in fact, my losses don't get much fanfare because when I realize I'm wrong I stop arguing and change my mind.

This is in contrast to the people who don't stop arguing with me when I'm clearly right and make idiots of themselves

TheScornedReflex

(Per) Version of a truth.
I can't debate but I've watched a few on this forum (real debates, i mean) and I learnt. I can't debate for shit but I have had my opinion on matters changed because of this forum.

Artsu Tharaz

Resident Resident
I don't tend to have firmly set views, rather I just learn and add things to my pile of things-I-understand. What I tend to do is adopt variations to my beliefs and pinpoint where any problems lie. So yes, my mind does tend be swayed, but more from North to North-East than from North to South.

Pyropyro

Magos Biologis
Ive lost and won several mini debates with my superiors and either i or they change their minds after both sides gave their arguments. As for big issues like abortion, convincing must go further than mere words and arguments.

nanook

a scream in a vortex
dialogue is less worthwhile, the more you pick apart what was wrong with what another person said, or voice demands about what ought to be said, instead of adding something new to the picture, that could enrich the perspective of you opponent to the point of transcendence from where he himself can see what was missing from his privision views or where he went wrong in putting things together. a debate should be all about throwing pieces of a puzzle on the table, with some minor help on how to put them together. "but if your opponent makes gross mistakes and puts rounds in a square, then what to do, but to quote and criticize?" give other examples of when rounds in squares turned out to be a dysfunctional solution, that should be more obvious to the opponent. when people won't make connections with new puzzle pieces and insist on limiting the argument to what was given before, you know they are just unwilling to make up their mind and its a waste of time.

zerkalo

.
i know i've learnt a lot watching other people argue their points before...depends on the attitude i guess. i know im ignorant as shit so a lot of the groundwork i have for my views and opinions is weak and shaky. i dont feel the incentive to only support whatever side is confirming my "narratives" when i cant even argue my side to begin with. i imagne there are lots of people like me, who dont feel confident enough about the views they hold to chime in on a debate. like artsu, im malleable. its just that, naturally, the vocal voices in any debates are the ones asserting their opinions. but yeah it IS rare to see one of the debaters actually retaliate or come around. surely though there is always bound to be a fraction of onlookers who can feel themselves ease into a whirlpool of doubt after any debate

redbaron

but why
dialogue is less worthwhile, the more you pick apart what was wrong with what another person said, or voice demands about what ought to be said, instead of adding something new to the picture, that could enrich the perspective of you opponent to the point of transcendence from where he himself can see what was missing from his privision views or where he went wrong in putting things together. a debate should be all about throwing pieces of a puzzle on the table, with some minor help on how to put them together. "but if your opponent makes gross mistakes and puts rounds in a square, then what to do, but to quote and criticize?" give other examples of when rounds in squares turned out to be a dysfunctional solution, that should be more obvious to the opponent. when people won't make connections with new puzzle pieces and insist on limiting the argument to what was given before, you know they are just unwilling to make up their mind and its a waste of time.
I think this is true of discussion, but not debate. It's great for consideration, but not decision.

Sometimes as well, a particular topic has reached a limit where useful additions are rare and unlikely to come about.

I think that an issue people have is in trying to only have the kinds of discussions they like, as opposed to having a whole array of different types of interactions. I think it's contextually important to cover the whole array of argue, debate, discuss, brainstorm, cooperate, coerce etc. as they all have different potential outcomes (outcomes of both result and learning).

You can't always be nice to everyone, you can't always be direct and forceful. I think that anyone who's met me IRL from the forum (and a few I've talked to online) could attest to the fact that I'm not made of barbed wire and am in fact pretty nuanced, playful, empathetic (even if abstractly) and even...friendly! I have different interaction styles in different contexts and I think that it's a great learning experience for anyone to be that way. I often converse in arenas where I'm well outside my comfort zone and I look fucking stupid or I say a stupid thing - but I don't value being smart or looking smart all the time, I value progress of my own understanding, and I don't think you can really understand someone else's point of view if you don't get dragged through the mud with them and graze your knees alongside them sometimes.

~

Also I'd like to think that from some of the people who've said they've learned while reading this forum, that I have in some way been a part of that learning. I doubt it's a lot because I'm pretty sure a lot of my points are buried in my barbed use of language and people prefer to read stuff that's more palatable, but I'd like to think that my words get through to some people regardless.

Artsu Tharaz

Resident Resident
One thing I forgot to mention is I tend towards trying to reframe my argument in a way that the other person will agree with. So I stay with my own opinion but try to say it differently and see if I can believe the same basic thing and eliminate the disagreements. This is based on the idea that both sides of a debate will tend to have merit, and by reframing my view to fit that of others', the view will eventually become closer to the true picture.

nanook

a scream in a vortex
I think this is true of discussion, but not debate. It's great for consideration, but not decision.
Decision is by nature a private choice. If debate (as practiced in american schools) hands this over to a third party (teacher, judge, super ego) well then i say "debate" is perverted (like politics) - but i think this thread is really about discussion.

You can't always be nice to everyone,
I am not even "nice" when i analyse someones argument. But i don't bully them around, because i don't force them to respond to this or that sentence over and over again. I don't tell anyone what to do with what i say. I demand no response. And so i find people aren't even extremely defensive about my analysis, even if they disagree. I just don't try to win anyone over to my side, expect no admission of guilt, i just share what i have and let it go. But if i have more and more critique about how i am bullied around, i can also end up fighting sometimes. People are often trying to tell me what to do, like i am their child (actually children should NOT be treated like that). Way to get me riled up.

Well you're right, I do point out when stuff is irrelevant - just as people do in a proper debate. No one addresses people point by point in an actual debate, you stick to the main point.
I agree that not every point should be picked upon (bullied) if this serves no good purpose. I think that means not picking on points that were irrelevant at all. Just ignore silently. (But sometimes people bitch about that, like hey why didn't you address my points). And sticking to the main point over and over again might be just as narrowly focused. But that really depends on what we mean by main point, so perhaps i misunderstood.

My whole point is that understanding is expansion and integration and picking on points tends to be a distraction from that mental circuit.

redbaron

but why
Decision is by nature a private choice. If debate (as practiced in american schools) hands this over to a third party (teacher, judge, super ego) well then i say "debate" is perverted (like politics) - but i think this thread is really about discussion.
I mean we both live really different lives so that's probably where the disconnect comes from. While I agree that decision is ultimately private, I don't think it's always bad to have a 3rd party to fact-check on things. Like I said I think we should engage in all kinds of discussion - formal debate, banter, argument, discussion, collaboration etc.
They all bring out different perspectives and thoughts that others don't necessarily capture.

I agree some are 'nicer' than others and more 'enjoyable' but I find that sort of meaningless if you don't have gritty discussions either, right? In my world I kind of have to get people on my side and to understand my decisions, whether employers or employees or just family-related stuff. You live a much more solitary life than I do (I think) so I think it's pretty natural that you come to your own idea on this (I'd be weirded out if you didn't actually).

nanook said:
I am not even "nice" when i analyse someones argument. But i don't bully them around, because i don't force them to respond to this or that sentence over and over again. I don't tell anyone what to do with what i say. I demand no response. And so i find people aren't even extremely defensive about my analysis, even if they disagree. I just don't try to win anyone over to my side, expect no admission of guilt, i just share what i have and let it go. But if i have more and more critique about how i am bullied around, i can also end up fighting sometimes. People are often trying to tell me what to do, like i am their child (actually children should NOT be treated like that). Way to get me riled up.
Sure, that's fine. I don't think I really demand responses either unless the person has obviously engaged in a real debate with me. I sometimes say things people disagree with a lot, like me pointing out that metaphysics is just a bullshit term because anything that affects the physical world by that very fact is obviously naturalistic.

This upset quite a few people, although I had multiple people also mention to me that they agreed with my POV in that thread but they couldn't be bothered arguing with the other people. I got construed as 'laying traps' by Animekitty, but it seems that other people just really agreed with my point - different perspectives.

The thing is, what you said about Sinny in the other thread rings true - someone assault her subjective reality and she got offended. There was some other user I can't remember either, they did the same thing really. The thing that sparked the debate was me saying metaphysics isn't real and by the same token, I didn't really request anyone specifically respond to me, it's just a thought I had while reading through.

So yeah a debate can spring up and you know, I'm very often the one who disengages from a debate as well. It may not seem that way because of my uhh... aura? I dunno, people seem to attribute a lot more aggression to my posts than I ever intend to put there, but I very often have let people have the last word in debates here as I've decided it wasn't worth continuing or that my point had been made.

nanook said:
I agree that not every point should be picked upon (bullied) if this serves no good purpose. I think that means not picking on points that were irrelevant at all. Just ignore silently. (But sometimes people bitch about that, like hey why didn't you address my points). And sticking to the main point over and over again might be just as narrowly focused. But that really depends on what we mean by main point, so perhaps i misunderstood.
I guess I covered some of that above and yeah, I have the same issue. I can ignore it silently, but sometimes people react to that even more poorly than outright dismissal. So, what do?

Main point? I often start with a certain context in a post I make and I make a point based on that context. Usually, I try to stay within that context and I point out when people are taking me out of that context. To me, that's just how debate works - you debate in the context of the point being made. If I say that generally men are taller than women and someone starts telling me how in Tajikighanaplobanastan women are taller on average, or an anecdote about some really tall woman they know...I'm obviously gonna tell them that such a thing is irrelevant.

Admittedly I often feel like I just shouldn't have to explain WHY something is irrelevant, but it would probably have helped if I did so (in hindsight).

nanook said:
My whole point is that understanding is expansion and integration and picking on points tends to be a distraction from that mental circuit.
Yes and no. I think you can't really understand some things properly if you don't know the finer points and expansion is why I like to discuss in a variety of ways.

But expansion isn't understanding, I disagree with that. It's just...more stuff. Understanding isn't always about more, it's about going D33P3|2 In2 da V0iDddDD

EditorOne

Prolific Member
I'm not sure what each of you is calling a "debate." Some of it sounds like a discussion. Other comments sound like deciding a policy at work. I'm thinking more of something like the Lincoln-Douglass debates, which helped a lot of people see the dominant issue of the era in different ways from how they'd framed the issue in the past. The result was not so much anyone changing their mind, but more seeing their way toward understanding particular actions and issues, whether that was abolition or secession - polarization, in other words, as the debates, while regional, were widely publicized.

The "debates" usually seen among politicians these days are not the same. A real debate would have had, for instance, Hillary Clinton explaining why a hard line on Russia serves national interests and Donald Trump explaining why we (U.S.) could afford to extend a hand in friendship and see what the reaction from Russia might be. We got none of that, we just got an exchange of accusations and petty jibes ("Putin doesn't want me because I'm not a puppet." "Oh, you are the puppet.") The end result is the same as the Lincoln-Douglass debates, in one measure, in terms of additional polarization, but without any thoughtful understanding of the real issues, on both sides, for most people. If you're a thoughtful person that has to be disappointing.

Jennywocky

guud languager
The "debates" usually seen among politicians these days are not the same. A real debate would have had, for instance, Hillary Clinton explaining why a hard line on Russia serves national interests and Donald Trump explaining why we (U.S.) could afford to extend a hand in friendship and see what the reaction from Russia might be.
Yup, and there the voting populace would have finally had an actual choice, where candidates lay out their rationale and why their framework would be more beneficial to the US in the long run, etc.

It's not just the candidates, it's also a media system that (taken as a collective) increasingly just focuses on splash, soundbite, and scandal, and a populace that can't be bothered to think as deeply and big picture about candidates.

The Russian thing freaks me out a bit, but more in how it seems to be under the table + past US history; I would have welcomed a bit of rationale so that I could evaluate the reasons and see if they made sense. Instead we just got accusation, denial, and obfuscation.

redbaron

but why
Russia #1 cyka blyat xAXaXAXAXAXAAXAXAXA

Animekitty

(ISFP)
Clinton doesn't like Russia, Trump likes Russia, i am 29 years old. Easy choice: Trump

EditorOne

Prolific Member
Clinton doesn't like Russia, Trump likes Russia, i am 29 years old. Easy choice: Trump

Wouldn't you like to know why they each take their position? And somewhere in there I lost you, as I'm not seeing being 29 years old as anything but a nonsequitor.

Animekitty

(ISFP)
Wouldn't you like to know why they each take their position? And somewhere in there I lost you, as I'm not seeing being 29 years old as anything but a nonsequitor.
I can infer their position just like you did in you post but yes I would like to know the details.

As with being 29, I was not raised with cold war propaganda being shoved down my throat. I learn from books and the tv than Vietnam was a lie and that duck and cover was retarded. The nuke shield never worked. The nuke sites had keys that could be hacked so a loose general could start a war. The McCarthy trials were a scam witchhunt. Half the reason Russia imploded in 1991 was because of the CIA laundered money into accounts that hide and fund their operations to destabilize the Russian economy. Red dawn the movie was militarily infeasible because America controls Canada. An arms buildup would be noticed by satellites for the invasion across Canada. Game theory prevented both sides from launching nukes because just like in the movie war games, the only way to win is not to play. Nato and America have thousands of bases encircling Russia and china (containment strategy). Russia no longer operates by a centralized propaganda source. That was destroyed by the loss in faith in the system in 1991.

The only reason Clinton wants to go hard on Russia is because Clinton is a Cold War Warhawk. She will follow any plan that her puppeteers want her to do. She wants to collapse Syrian government like Obama is now doing. There are people in the government that want to go to war with Iran. Trump will work with Russia to contain Iran. Clinton would have destabilized more countries through the CIA like in Ukraine. Neocons are insane motherfuckers that will do anything to kill Americas enemies. There are people in the government who still want to nuke Russia. Bush did his bullshit and Clinton would do more Bush war of terror bullshit. Clinton wants to push back Russia so American can go for its next target: IRAN. Trump want to negotiate with Russia to contain Iran. Clinton can suck eggs.

EyeSeeCold

lust for life
I'm stubborn sometimes but I immensely value the dialectical method and would be willing to change my opinion immediately upon discovery of new facts.

As for political or even scientific debates, no I don't think those change people's minds. People become too polarized over the social authority or political power at stake.

I can infer their position just like you did in you post but yes I would like to know the details.

As with being 29, I was not raised with cold war propaganda being shoved down my throat. I learn from books and the tv than Vietnam was a lie and that duck and cover was retarded. The nuke shield never worked. The nuke sites had keys that could be hacked so a loose general could start a war. The McCarthy trials were a scam witchhunt. Half the reason Russia imploded in 1991 was because of the CIA laundered money into accounts that hide and fund their operations to destabilize the Russian economy. Red dawn the movie was militarily infeasible because America controls Canada. An arms buildup would be noticed by satellites for the invasion across Canada. Game theory prevented both sides from launching nukes because just like in the movie war games, the only way to win is not to play. Nato and America have thousands of bases encircling Russia and china (containment strategy). Russia no longer operates by a centralized propaganda source. That was destroyed by the loss in faith in the system in 1991.

The only reason Clinton wants to go hard on Russia is because Clinton is a Cold War Warhawk. She will follow any plan that her puppeteers want her to do. She wants to collapse Syrian government like Obama is now doing. There are people in the government that want to go to war with Iran. Trump will work with Russia to contain Iran. Clinton would have destabilized more countries through the CIA like in Ukraine. Neocons are insane motherfuckers that will do anything to kill Americas enemies. There are people in the government who still want to nuke Russia. Bush did his bullshit and Clinton would do more Bush war of terror bullshit. Clinton wants to push back Russia so American can go for its next target: IRAN. Trump want to negotiate with Russia to contain Iran. Clinton can suck eggs.
I was convinced by your argument for Trump, but it tapers off for me at Iran. Could you explain the Iran situation as well?

Animekitty

(ISFP)
I was convinced by your argument for Trump, but it tapers off for me at Iran. Could you explain the Iran situation as well?
to be ownest I don't think Clinton really can go after Iran and she knows this but if she talks hard talk about Russia she can motivate people who dislike Russia on her side. If the neocons can't get Iran directly they can use proxies. Clinton wants what any neocon wants, more economic and land power for Ameria and away from countries not on our side. She and Bill were at their peak in the 90's. Bill had to govern the situation after Soviet Union collapsed and so Bill and Hillery were very deep into the contain, contain, contain Russia mindset. The don't want the Soviet Union reborn.

The problem is that Russia is not stupid enough to want communism anymore. Its a dumb system where the intelligentsia are still in place because the proletariat only do what the rulers tell them to do. The only way Russia maintained stability was to develop technology and have the workers believe this technology served the workers. It served the military and the military was the government. The military controlled the workers. In Russia, today the government is only half way military.

Russia is strong and has incorporated many capitalist principles in their mixed economy similar to china but European and no five-year plans. Trump is a capitalist he will deal with Russia the way a capitalist would. Making deals i.e. doing business with them. Clinton still thinks in terms of military supremacy. She wants to cut off Russia economically and militarily and she thinks Iraq was a good idea. And Iran would be a good idea to her also.

Trump doesn't want to do this. He knows that if he deals fairly Russia will do what he wants them to do. That is, contain Iran. Clinton doesn't want Russia's help. She wants to hurt them. She wants to hurt Iran. She wants to use cold war tactics to wage the cold war forever against Iran and Russia. Neocons can't invade Iran like the did Iraq. Clinton was their best shot at the continuation of the cold war.

Oh and Iran doesn't like Isreal, the CIA destabilized the middle east so an arms race would not happen, surrounding Isreal with nukes. Only American allies should have nukes is the thinking.

Member
I debate for the fun of it. I feel so good after every debate, though sometimes frustrated when faced with my opponent's selective memory. Also, "it's just my opinion, though." You can have your opinion; that's your freedom. But that shouldn't be an armor against other people having an opinion about your opinion. You can have your opinion, but you can't stop me from having an opinion about your opinion. Stop using that fucking card, you wimp. Most people take things too personally too. Hard to find a good debate partner apart from online acquaintances.

Before I watch a debate, I have no opinions. After I watch a debate, I still have no opinions.

EditorOne

Prolific Member
"As with being 29, I was not raised with cold war propaganda being shoved down my throat. I learn from books and the tv than Vietnam was a lie and that duck and cover was retarded. The nuke shield never worked. The nuke sites had keys that could be hacked so a loose general could start a war. The McCarthy trials were a scam witchhunt. Half the reason Russia imploded in 1991 was because of the CIA laundered money into accounts that hide and fund their operations to destabilize the Russian economy. Red dawn the movie was militarily infeasible because America controls Canada. An arms buildup would be noticed by satellites for the invasion across Canada. Game theory prevented both sides from launching nukes because just like in the movie war games, the only way to win is not to play. Nato and America have thousands of bases encircling Russia and china (containment strategy). Russia no longer operates by a centralized propaganda source. That was destroyed by the loss in faith in the system in 1991."

One doesn't have to be 29 to know all that. Although Red Dawn was just a movie, nobody thought it was feasible. What you left out is the Koch family and its ancient history of funding anti-Communist Republicans like McCarthy and the John Birch Society, with both those manifestations of conservative paranoia and authoritarianism still in existence today in the right wing of U.S. politics. The Kochs are still pushing the same agenda today and Republicans are the primary recipients of their largesse. That makes current events really, really interesting, does it not? There's an explanation.

You also left out the Clintons in the streets with us in the 1960s protesting the war in Vietnam, although they were too straight to get arrested or throw things. They were, however, pretty far left, and at least one of their advisors was in the contingent that went to Hanoi with Jane Fonda to look at the war from the other side. PM me for the name, I'm not tossing it out into the open.

Meanwhile, Russia today is hardly communist and more a corrupt fascist kleptocracy headed by the former head of the Russian secret police, which has been a dreadful presence in one form or another from czar to commissar to Putin. Putin is a strong-man leader without morals or scruples with the typical powermongering of such. One does not have to be a Cold Warrior, which Clinton was not, to find motive for wishing to restrain such a person's ambitions.

I'm not disputing or necessarily disagreeing, just tossing out some more information, ideas and perhaps insight. :-)

The only reason Clinton wants to go hard on Russia is because Clinton is a Cold War Warhawk.

think again losers
I don't change my mind during debates - that's insanely difficult. But I take note of what points are scored against me, and I'm opened up to that vantage. Next time I come across an article online that pushes a similar view, I'll be far more likely to explore it.

I may not ever change my mind entirely, though this has happened... But I will have a greater appreciation for that position so long as I'm engaged and it's not immediately dismissable.

If you expect immediate change in opinions during a debate, I think you have very little understanding of how people work. Large-scale shifts in beliefs is a gradual process.

The Gopher

President
Yeah I debate to win even if I'm wrong. Hopefully if I do manage to win it'll frustrate them into being better next time.

Minuend

pat pat
People perspectives on certain things are the result of a long period of time where they've accumulated info and thoughts on the matter. Shattering that built up belief is often not done in a single debate. Though, some do adjust their opinion slightly if there are new data, but perhaps sometimes they have a different motivation for maintaining their belief than facts alone. Like preference of life style, consideration of others, values and weird stuff like that.

As I've grown older, my opinions on certain things usually have a longer route of ideas and impressions, where a lot of the counterpoints have been searched and discarded. I think I fairly easily change an opinion if I realize some of my assumptions have been faulty, but I do need some time to process everything. When I was in my teens, all ideas were novel and worth exploring, not so much anymore.

As for formal debates, is that referring to when people are there basically as their job? Because I think that limits their ability to voice a change of heart. Like, if you're representing a party, can you even change your opinion when you're speaking on their behalf?

pls xplain

TMills27

beep
If two sides are clinging to their opposing opinion, and there's nothing new shared, it's a quarrel. I generally don't like quarrels. So being in a quarrel with me would mean i automatically lose because I give up. They win. But that doesn't mean I'm necessarily wrong because I give up, or they necessarily right. So what's the point of quarreling except for the love of quarreling?

Just as long as new points are being brought in, and the topic is going somewhere, then it's considered a discussion. In a discussion, the members seem more curious and open, and want to learn something. It's nicer. It's a lot more fun.

Creeping Death

Consigliere
If you expect immediate change in opinions during a debate, I think you have very little understanding of how people work. Large-scale shifts in beliefs is a gradual process.
God you're dense, first of all for implying that I implied that I expect immediate change in opinions during a debate (however it may have happened before I'm sure), and second for failing to realize that I titled this thread with a rhetorical question.

ProxyAmenRa

Here to bring back the love!
Yes, watching and participating in debates have led to my mind being changed.

Happy

ENTP
Yes, watching and participating in debates have led to my mind being changed.
Yeah me too.

Actually, my mind is made up on remarkably few things, so I'm very open to changing my mind if given a good reason to do so. I'd even go so far as to say I enjoy discovering that I am wrong.

It saddens me to see this trait in so few other people. However, I'm certainly open to the idea that this may be due to some internal bias of mine.

It's my observation that many people just have a need to be right, and the idea of being wrong scares them.

On another note:
It's always amusing (to me) where, midway through arguing a point against someone, I might either see their side and begin arguing with them that we share the opinion; or even have an epiphany and argue a new third side.

Maybe I just like arguing for the sake of arguing.

Intolerable

Banned
Depends on where it is. In some places expressing an opinion is like pissing on the wall. It's highly discouraged. In others it's highly encouraged.

It's usually cued behind 'time and place' logic.

Think it do it

SISU
Debates usually don't change my mind(usually I make sure I am 99.9% right when I debate something, this isn't just arrogance is confidence in reason). Might change the way I look at others; when others are so swayed by something said that hadn't an ounce of fucking logic and people are sitting there almost in tears? like wtf I guess I am supposed to feel some type of way and cut them some credit now because they were so moved by emotions, even though it made no fucking sense.

Anling

Well-Known Member
I have changed my mind in response to debates. If someone provides new information or can explain logically why my favored position is wrong then absolutely I will change my mind. It doesn't happen immediately, I need to think it through myself and do more research before making up my mind. But even my deep seated beliefs and opinions can be changed by a convincing argument.

bvanevery

Redshirt who doesn't die
I became interested in the MBTI because I used to do a political debate group in a pub in Seattle. After a year and a half or so, I could always predict the kind of stance my opposite number would take, no matter what the subject! So I became interested / concerned about the fundamental psychological attitudes that people express, regardless of any input. In hindsight, we were in permanent "P vs. J" conflict, myself being the P. I bet my opposite was an ENTJ.

Debates aren't valuable for convincing opponents - generally, you won't. They've valuable for convincing audience members who are watching the debates, haven't thought much about the subject, and haven't done the homework. Corollary: if there is no audience, and you're locked in some ego-driven death match on the internet where nobody else cares or wants to hear it anymore, you are completely wasting your time.

Jennywocky

guud languager
...Debates aren't valuable for convincing opponents - generally, you won't. They've valuable for convincing audience members who are watching the debates, haven't thought much about the subject, and haven't done the homework...
I agree with that.

Don't argue to reverse the opinion of a committed opponent; argue to educate the center mass of observers still learning and still making up their minds so they can come to a better informed decision. They are the ones you would need to convince and who also are open to convincing (aside from any Damascus Road conversions that might occasionally appear). Plus, the argument might help you discover problems in your own reasoning that you can correct in some way.

higs

Omg wow imo
Somewhat... I have at the very least modified and added nuances to my opinions through debate, even on this forum. Rarely have I completely changed my mind, to believe the opposing theory to the one I believe because I only make my mind up when I know a lot of sides to the argument which means I need radically new info for that to occur.

QuickTwist

Prolific Member
I would say for the people involved in the debate, minds don't tend to change. There is a kind of power struggle in a debate that people's ego gets involved in in bad ways sometimes. That said, it can help make someone outside the debate change their mind about something so I wouldn't say debates are pointless.

The problem arises because most people don't analyze things rationally, but instead think more about how likeable someone is/how charismatic someone is. Not consciously ofc, but most people are subconsciously looking for things to identify with. To most people, while they say they want to just believe the facts, they more often look at how the information is presented. Lastly, most people have an emotional investment in the debate matter and this skews their judgement into only really looking for things they already agree with, or rather, what they disagree with.

Humans are made to find "errors." That's why people don't change their minds: because people would rather see what is "wrong" with the other side than what is correct with the other side.

QuickTwist

Prolific Member
I mean we both live really different lives so that's probably where the disconnect comes from. While I agree that decision is ultimately private, I don't think it's always bad to have a 3rd party to fact-check on things. Like I said I think we should engage in all kinds of discussion - formal debate, banter, argument, discussion, collaboration etc.
They all bring out different perspectives and thoughts that others don't necessarily capture.

I agree some are 'nicer' than others and more 'enjoyable' but I find that sort of meaningless if you don't have gritty discussions either, right? In my world I kind of have to get people on my side and to understand my decisions, whether employers or employees or just family-related stuff. You live a much more solitary life than I do (I think) so I think it's pretty natural that you come to your own idea on this (I'd be weirded out if you didn't actually).

Sure, that's fine. I don't think I really demand responses either unless the person has obviously engaged in a real debate with me. I sometimes say things people disagree with a lot, like me pointing out that metaphysics is just a bullshit term because anything that affects the physical world by that very fact is obviously naturalistic.

This upset quite a few people, although I had multiple people also mention to me that they agreed with my POV in that thread but they couldn't be bothered arguing with the other people. I got construed as 'laying traps' by Animekitty, but it seems that other people just really agreed with my point - different perspectives.

The thing is, what you said about Sinny in the other thread rings true - someone assault her subjective reality and she got offended. There was some other user I can't remember either, they did the same thing really. The thing that sparked the debate was me saying metaphysics isn't real and by the same token, I didn't really request anyone specifically respond to me, it's just a thought I had while reading through.

So yeah a debate can spring up and you know, I'm very often the one who disengages from a debate as well. It may not seem that way because of my uhh... aura? I dunno, people seem to attribute a lot more aggression to my posts than I ever intend to put there, but I very often have let people have the last word in debates here as I've decided it wasn't worth continuing or that my point had been made.

I guess I covered some of that above and yeah, I have the same issue. I can ignore it silently, but sometimes people react to that even more poorly than outright dismissal. So, what do?

Main point? I often start with a certain context in a post I make and I make a point based on that context. Usually, I try to stay within that context and I point out when people are taking me out of that context. To me, that's just how debate works - you debate in the context of the point being made. If I say that generally men are taller than women and someone starts telling me how in Tajikighanaplobanastan women are taller on average, or an anecdote about some really tall woman they know...I'm obviously gonna tell them that such a thing is irrelevant.

Admittedly I often feel like I just shouldn't have to explain WHY something is irrelevant, but it would probably have helped if I did so (in hindsight).

Yes and no. I think you can't really understand some things properly if you don't know the finer points and expansion is why I like to discuss in a variety of ways.

But expansion isn't understanding, I disagree with that. It's just...more stuff. Understanding isn't always about more, it's about going D33P3|2 In2 da V0iDddDD
I see what you did there.

TAC

Inspectorist
It depends on the personality types in the debate/discussion/argument. This is where the J vs P comes in. I generally like to think of the J function as quick to close (their minds; semi joke, semi truth) meaning that once thought has been focused on a topic and has come to a conclusion further thought on that topic is cut off. This makes it very difficult to sway the opinion of a j type unless. You need to:
1) Do all of the thinking for them (They thought about it once, formulated or adopted an opinion and moved down to the next topic on the checklist)
2) Convince them that they should consider an alternate opinion and more precisely; yours

P types on the other hand should be easier to hold debate with because they don't mind dwelling on a subject and exploring other options from multiple angles.

QuickTwist

Prolific Member
Also, no one is 100% rational.

Niclmaki

Disturber of the Peace
I changed my mind in a debate. It was whether or not Superman could be cut by a lightsaber. I initially thought not because he is supposed to be rather indestructible to all natural things sans kryptonite. But some random guy pointed out that the crystals that power lightsabers are supernatural. Superman has no resistances to magical things, and I'd say those crystals count.

Changing my mind on bigger issues... I'm not sure how willing I would be. But I am quite uncommited to anything. ENTP, yo.

cheese

Prolific Member
I think they do sometimes. I've had my mind changed before.

Also, cool subreddit showing some people really are looking to at least consider the other side. (And yes, some threads result in the person doing a 180 on their previous belief.)

https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/

IIRC the prevailing research demonstrates people's beliefs become *more* entrenched after opposing arguments.

Redfire

and Blood
It seems most people who watch a formal debate only do so to listen to the person on their side confirming their narrative. The only people who are more likely to be swayed one way or another are those who had no previous thoughts/opinions on the subject at hand and stumbled across the discussion randomly or out of boredom.

I'm not sure I've seen someone be flipped by a solid point made against their stance after a single event, people are usually just too dense. Change doesn't come overnight, and probably not at all until people have really gotten used to stepping out of their eco system.
Debates can change a person's mind only if they're willing to change it. You can usually tell when someone is willing to truly listen to you. Otherwise: it's like planting a seed. The person may think about what you said in the future and change their mind on their own over the years.

However: in my experience there are better ways to spend your time and energy. Such as studying, training and working.

tpaper91

Redshirt
Some people will debate even though they know or even realized during the debate that they were wrong (cough cough intj) So yes they can if they aren’t emotionally attached to the debate or don’t have a big ego