3 New Years Tips For Cooling Off Debates - Comments

  • #1
anorlunda
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Greg Bernhardt submitted a new PF Insights post

3 New Years Tips For Cooling Off Debates
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Continue reading the Original PF Insights Post.
 

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  • #3
Bystander
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... perhaps a bit more a "guideline?"
 
  • #4
Orodruin
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When a thread has replies already that you agree with, but there is something you want to add, start with something to the effect of "In addition to what has already been said, ..." Missing that earlier responders may think you are trying to correct them and take offence. I know this from experience and now I try to include it whenever I remember.
 
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  • #5
In my own case, I have found that the temptation to flame gets reduced drastically when I first try to state as clearly and honestly as I can the position I disagree with.
 
  • #6
Stephen Tashi
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Discussion need not be debate - which is not to imply that the Insight article says otherwise, but it's natural for people to concentrate on defending previously formed ideas in conversation rather than reconsidering them anew.

Edward De Bono advocates the "PNI" ( positive-negative-interesting) technique for thnking about things. This is useful if you are conversing with another person familiar with the "PNI" method. However, if you are discussing things with a person who has the outlook "I don't need anybody to tell ME how to think" then the best you can do is deal with the "P" and "N" calmly because the "I" will probably be omitted.
 
  • #7
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My most important tip, never debate on an empty stomach or on low sleep :D
 
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  • #8
davenn
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My most important tip, never debate on an empty stomach or on low sleep :D


.... or before your first cup of coffee :biggrin:
 
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  • #9
StatGuy2000
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A useful article, and I pretty much agree with the bulk of it. However, I do take something of an issue with the notion that 0% of people can have their opinions flipped. This is highly dependent on how firmly these people are wedded to a particular opinion (which is based on how firmly those opinions are tied to their sense of identity, or how firmly they are either aware of or care about a given opinion). If someone only has a mild opinion of a given topic, it's generally much more likely they can be persuaded to flip their opinion, as opposed to someone who is firmly wedded.
 
  • #10
scottdave
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Nice article. I will try to remember 50% of the time.
 
  • #11
WWGD
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Nice job.
I would add to what has been said ( Wink-Wink, Nod-Nod, @Orodruin ), to try to interpret your opponent ( if this is a suitable tag ) , in the most generous way possible, i.e., do not jump to ridicule your opponent's view even if it seems at first * to be laughable, ridiculous. I guess this is somewhat of a variant of avoiding engaging in Red Herrings. Clearing up differences in definitions, assumptions may lead to a radically-different discussion, but one needs to remain open to this.

*And it may ultimately be
 
  • #12
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do not jump to ridicule your opponent's view even if it seems at first
Agreed, far too often people debate to "win" or "beat the opponent" when mutual understanding and learning from both vantage points is the true victory.
 
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  • #13
WWGD
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Agreed, far too often people debate to "win" or "beat the opponent" when mutual understanding and learning from both vantage points is the true victory.
And , actually, challenging your own views makes you a better debater and makes your views stronger.
 
  • #14
The problem being, "professional debaters" such as politicians generally do not want cool and rational debates - they want to push their narrative at all costs, even if it is wrong. _Rational_ debate is not good for them - it may expose that narrative is false.

They don't care whether it is true or not, the narrative is merely a tool for them - to gain popular support, to appear to be "the good guy, battling against evil forces". Your only hope is to support him, or else all is lost, disasters and genocides are practically assured.

Since they practice doing this literally for years or even decades, they are real masters. Ever heard about "controlling the narrative", i.e. _preventing_ debate from deviating from controlled track and into having intelligent discussions with rational arguments?

This often confuses and frustrates people who are new to "discussions" of this type. They are lost. They can't figure out who is right or wrong, whose "outrage", "indignation", "shock" has any real substance or it is just theatrics.

It seems to be contagious. Non-politicians also somehow get drawn into this behavioral pattern. Maybe subconsciously, we are all "a bit politicians"?
 
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  • #15
WWGD
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The problem being, "professional debaters" such as politicians generally do not want cool and rational debates - they want to push their narrative at all costs, even if it is wrong. _Rational_ debate is not good for them - it may expose that narrative is false.

They don't care whether it is true or not, the narrative is merely a tool for them - to gain popular support, to appear to be "the good guy, battling against evil forces". Your only hope is to support him, or else all is lost, disasters and genocides are practically assured.

Since they practice doing this literally for years or even decades, they are real masters. Ever heard about "controlling the narrative", i.e. _preventing_ debate from deviating from controlled track and into having intelligent discussions with rational arguments?

This often confuses and frustrates people who are new to "discussions" of this type. They are lost. They can't figure out who is right or wrong, whose "outrage", "indignation", "shock" has any real substance or it is just theatrics.

It seems to be contagious. Non-politicians also somehow get drawn into this behavioral pattern. Maybe subconsciously, we are all "a bit politicians"?
While I agree, I need to add the caveats that :
1)Politicians do this because people allow them , and maybe even want them to.
2)Politicians are treated as if they came from other planets. No, they come from our schools, churches, general institutions. If they are rotten is because the societies that produce them -- meaning all of us -- are also rotten.
Sorry for the rant, but this blame-the-politician thing really gets us nowhere.
 
  • #16
Fervent Freyja
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When a thread has replies already that you agree with, but there is something you want to add, start with something to the effect of "In addition to what has already been said, ..." Missing that earlier responders may think you are trying to correct them and take offence. I know this from experience and now I try to include it whenever I remember.

When I get better and grow up a little more, I'm going to start one with you and win. Just so you know.
 
  • #17
While I agree, I need to add the caveats that :
1)Politicians do this because people allow them , and maybe even want them to.
2)Politicians are treated as if they came from other planets. No, they come from our schools, churches, general institutions. If they are rotten is because the societies that produce them -- meaning all of us -- are also rotten.

I don't think they are "rotten". Politics by its nature is a field where doing things cleanly and honestly usually isn't the best strategy. Any politician needs to learn some tricks, not all of them "clean", to succeed.
 
  • #18
Baluncore
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I should add, that 50% of the time I believe it is 80% probable that “possible” means 20%, while it is only 20% possible that “probable” does not mean 80%. If you see what I mean.
 
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  • #19
BillTre
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I should add, that 50% of the time I believe it is 80% probable that “possible” means 20%, while it is only 20% possible that “probable” does not mean 80%. If you see what I mean.
Probably
 
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  • #20
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Agreed, far too often people debate to "win" or "beat the opponent" when mutual understanding and learning from both vantage points is the true victory.

Yes.

My favored tactic is to simply say this is a fundamental point of disagreement. You have your view and I have mine. We both have aired our reasons for holding such views. Its out there now - others can decide yada yada yada. Then finish with its a pleasure to have a discussion with those of a different view - it really allows me to examine mine and understand others.. That last bit tends to really cool it off.

Thanks
Bill
 
  • #21
sophiecentaur
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Threads with controversy can be much less heated when there are a number of contributors with different views. You can often find that an argumentative total idiot is actually fairly reasonable, once someone else with your own view has made a mediating contribution. There are a number of very good pacifiers on PF. Perhaps that could be an 'award earning' feature.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they can dig us out of emotional pitfalls.
 
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