View Poll Results: Do you think your debating skills will ever change the minds of notable DP members?

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Thread: Converting Other Debaters

  1. #11
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    I think for the vast majority of these debates, the purpose is not so much to convert or sway your opponent ...but more so for the benefit of the third parties who, may or may not have a solid position one way or the other. ... in the course of discussion there is a good probability that others who are not so opposed can be exposed to the issue and the opposing positions, and use this to help hone their opinions as well.

    Plus it is fun
    Ding ding ding WE HAVE A WINNER!

    Couldn't have said it better.

    G.

  2. #12
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    If anyone here remembers the old me, they would realize that I did change.

    That was in part from actually SEEING some of the problems through my job change from military to law enforcement.

    The other stuff was from many people on this forum.

    More specifically Gysgt

  3. #13
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Spending time on here is more for personal growth than conversion of others. My personal experience has led me to further my efforts of understanding the view from both sides of an argument, which many seem to lack or are blinded from doing in some fashion.

    There are still some good debates to be had.
    "Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head."
    - Warren Buffett

  4. #14
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Edify_Always_In_All_Ways View Post
    This is a question for everyone here, nonpartisan and partisan alike.

    In these endless hours of debate we engage in, the thousands of posts we write, all our reasoning, all our anger and anguish, do you believe we will ever convince the "other side" of anything?

    Liberals: do you think you will get JamesRage to start waving rainbow flags? Goobieman to give up his guns? Gill to accept global warming? Felicity to hand women back their wombs? CelticLord to cheer President Obama on with the stimulus plan?

    Conservatives: Will you ever get SeargantStinger to admire Bush or even give him a half-decent smiley? Will DisneyDude ever let go of the flaws of the old Administration? Will NewCoupForYou ever be persuaded to try women for a change? Will Kandahar shout down the Kyoto Protocol? Will Rivvrat shed a tear for discarded fetuses?

    I'm not sure how many people have changed their minds after reading a post on these boards, but unless I count myself I'm pretty sure I could use one hand, minus the pinky, ring, middle and forefingers. Truly, I often wonder what the point is.

    I do not think I will ever change anyone's mind. I have changed my mind about a few issues. Mostly it wasn't because of some poster.Although the exception was probably the view on the alleged bridge to nowhere,jallman convinced me that it wasn't pork.


    JamesRage to start waving rainbow flags?

    Not all rainbows are gay.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  5. #15
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    I think for the vast majority of these debates, the purpose is not so much to convert or sway your opponent to your way of thinking. to some degree it is an exercise in futility of you are going to get someone ideologically opposed to you to change their mind. Minor concessions here and there, perhaps, but a wholesale conversion, no, save for a few rare circumstances, there are open minded objective people here who can and will sway their opinion based on sound evidence, but there are a multitude as well that will never be persuaded on some issues.

    I think in these diametrically opposed debates, the opposing viewpoints are not so much to "convert" your opposition, but more so for the benefit of the third parties who, may or may not have a solid position one way or the other. It is a chance to get an exposure and awareness of both sides of a topic that this third party reader or participant may not have a solid knowledge base of, or opinion on.

    These discussions are not a one on one battle, although it often gets framed that way. It is more of a spectacle for an audience (participatory or not), and they are the one that often reap the benefits of these discussions.

    I know I have engaged people where I realize actually changing their opinion is futile, but in the course of discussion there is a good probability that others who are not so opposed can be exposed to the issue and the opposing positions, and use this to help hone their opinions as well. At the same time, it enables us individually to sharpen our positions, increase our knowledge, and reinforce our arguments (at times this could in fact mean a shift in position, or a softening of opposition for some).

    In short I think these confrontations where we know there is no chance of a conversion of our direct opponent are more for our personal benefit, and to a lesser degree for the benefit of others who will read and question the topics of the debate in their own minds, and perhaps, just perhaps it is these bystanders whose opinion gets established, swayed, influenced, developed, honed, what have you.

    Plus it is fun
    I have changed positions based on these debates and am presently, slowly, coming to a new position on another issue (legalized pot) as a result of reading these exchanges.

    OBL 11/24/02

  6. #16
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Engaging in intellectual debate with my girlfriend in real life has swayed her opinions on a few things that I like.. (guns, being the major victory).

    Here, I don't expect to change anyone's beliefs to be honest.. but in real life.. through honest discussion, yes it's possible to sway people.
    George Washington didn't use his freedom of speech to win the war with Britain... He shot them.

  7. #17
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkad View Post
    I have changed positions based on these debates and am presently, slowly, coming to a new position on another issue (legalized pot) as a result of reading these exchanges.
    This is an awesome punctuation mark for my post (especially since I have been arguing for legalizing so prolifically here).

    Thank you!

  8. #18
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    There was, however, one thread where Captain Courtesy debated a pedophile who carried out some pretty stunning mental acrobatics, claiming that his predilection was perfectly normal. By the end of the thread, the pedophile acknowledged his sickness and claimed that he would seek help.
    holy ****, where was that at?

  9. #19
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    In around 2% of the debates I've seen around here, extreme positions were mellowed significantly, but not completely reversed. This was done only through patient and thorough debate that was grounded in respect for the other member. In 100% of the cases where sarcasm and ridicule were used, the opposing side hunkered down into a more extremist position than ever before.

    There was, however, one thread where Captain Courtesy debated a pedophile who carried out some pretty stunning mental acrobatics, claiming that his predilection was perfectly normal. By the end of the thread, the pedophile acknowledged his sickness and claimed that he would seek help.

    That was the first and last complete reversal I've seen on an online debate forum.

    I think that most of the people who use hostility and ridicule are perfectly aware that they're not changing any minds, and are just using the anonymity of the internet to vent. Most of them are probably pretty decent people in "real life."
    The case with Captain Courtesy is easy to believe as he is already a head doctor anyways, he just did a huge favor to whoever that guy decides to hire when he goes to "seek help"

  10. #20
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    I don't really care about "converting" the fanatic partisans, as they're lost causes. I can definitely say that I've been shifted on plenty of points over the years here.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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