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

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  • Yes

    9 28.13%
  • No

    17 53.13%
  • I'm here because Facebook isn't an efficient enough time-waster

    1 3.13%
  • Can't... stop... now... I've got him/her pinned to the wall of reason, I swear...

    5 15.63%
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Thread: Converting Other Debaters

  1. #31
    Sage

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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    I've certainley had a few posters here influence a change in my POVs before. I know talloulou has convinced me of the pro-life argument. I know some libertarians have swayed me towards their side on some domestic issues, especially regarding states rights. Kandahar has made sense of FTAs for me. Several people on the left, swaying me towards the side of gay marriage, or at the least recognizing civil unions by the government for all and reserving marriage as a private matter. Most of these issues I would say I was swayed, simply because I had never before engaged in conversation about them and reading the debates I found myself agreeing with the arguments they put forth.

    And conversely, regarding issues I did have relative experience with, I have found people even more educated and insightful on these topics that share the same general view point with me, and thus I admittedly become more tightly bound to that side of the issue because my experiences are "validated" by their study and expertise. People like GySgt, donsutherland, Tashah for their ME views. Someone like rivrrat, who has grown up in the small town America like I did.

    I have a lot of varied interests in many things. However I am admittedly not nearly an expert in any of them. The only thing I think I could "teach" on this forum, is about insurance or how to fix an F/A-18 fighter jets avionics. Not really interesting topics. I mostly like to learn from others here, and if it sparks an idea or thought, share that idea with them be they opponent or on the side I am arguing for.
    "Loyalty only matters when there's a hundred reasons not to be-" Gen. Mattis

  2. #32
    Meh...
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Caine View Post
    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
    Because I'm sexy? That's what changed Kelzie.

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  3. #33
    Equal Opportunity Hater
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    Re: Converting Other Debaters

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I don't really care about "converting" the fanatic partisans, as they're lost causes.
    For them perhaps, but there is some value in debating the lost causes as they serve as a guide as to what not to become. Aquapub for example essentially attacked Obama's use of the Petreaus's strategy in Afghanistan for no other the reason then Obama was a democrat. Debating those crazies serves to remind us the dark, hopeless alleys that exist should we stray too far. I agree, they are lost causes themselves, but they do serve a sort of Greek tragedy as to what to avoid.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

  4. #34
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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?
    Well, generally, those who have solidly planted their flag on one "side" are as RightInNYC properly defined as "lost causes." Aside from serving as examples of what to avoid becoming in the future, they are essentially not worth talking to as they are generally so entrenched in their positions that they will not budge no matter the circumstance. (You can only pick on a YEC so much before it gets boring) That said, those with weak roots in a side can have their positions moved or even reversed if that person is open to an adult discussion based on facts, merit and civil discourse. Obviously that isn't this place most of the time and why I took an 9+ day break.

    In the greater picture and in my own experience, most people only examine their beliefs when challenged and when they are seemingly disproved but are willing enough to go actually research if what their opponent said was right. People change their positions when they make the deliberate choice to being open to new ideas. I changed my position on polyculture farming after research. I changed my position on nuclear after research. What debaters do is often provide the seed that causes someone to stop and think about their beliefs. It is up to that person to explore that seed.

    Sadly, most people don't examine their positions on virtually anything and most aren't willing to go research and self examine under any circumstance. It's why we often see Republicans bashing China for its weak EPA and market regulation and yet proclaiming the key problems of America to be environmental and market regulations set forth by the evil Democrats. Why we see Young Earth Creationists bashing Evolution yet using its products on a daily basis. Why we see Liberals call for energy independence yet protest nuclear power.

    Doesn't make much sense, but that's the human race.

    Liberals: do you think you will get JamesRage to start waving rainbow flags?
    Well, James isn't exactly your typical Republican. James is anti-immigration, anti-free trade and anti-gays. I've seen him bash alleged Conservatives for their positions contrary to his as well as constantly decrying the GOP. He's no partisan and I give him props for that. Too many people here aren't willing to actually apply their principles on a single basis. Double standards line the walls of this zoo like flies. James is the one of the few who doesn't subscribe to double standards. But I feel that he's not exactly open to discussing issues of trade openly and willing to do the research on his own. As stated before, other people have argued that discussions with people unwilling to open their mind to the possibility they are wrong is not for the benefit of the debaters, but for the people reading.

    As for the rest of your list, I might be able to take Kandahar up on the Kyoto Protocol as that treaty is total garbage.

    Truly, I often wonder what the point is.
    The point aside from the ones I made is to cause people to examine the positions they make in a debate. When someone forces you to back up your claim, you often go searching for information. I've not posted numerous times after researching what I thought was fact and what wasn't. Chevy has a thread about precious metal investing, but after researching the 30 year price data, I decided not to post as my argument wasn't as strong as I thought it was. But then again, I'm open to the fact that I may be wrong and the positions I hold are incorrect. I know for a fact I cannot say that about most people here.

    What I think you are focusing too much on is the lost causes, those who refuse to admit they are wrong, refuse to acknowledge they could be wrong and will defend their positions to the most ridiculous heights. They are not worth talking to other than to serve as a Greek Tragedy of when higher brain functions stop.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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