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Subject: What's the point of discussing stuff? rss

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Martyn Smith
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So, it's a New Year and a chance to reflect and reconsider where one is at...

In terms of my own ideology I think there are various clues in my avatar, etc.

I hold these views earnestly and yet I am coming to the realisation that I no longer feel much desire to foist them upon others or even to talk about them too much.

It sometimes feels as if we've all made our minds up and that very few are capable of engaging in authentic, open-minded dialogue.

Instead, we state our position, trash that of those who disagree, re-confirm what we already knew, learn absolutely nothing new and so on ad infinitum. It is by these means that we contribute to the ideological stagnancy and torpidity that pervades every part of our culture.

I fully realise that this is a HUGELY stereotypical viewpoint which totally lacks subtlety and nuance.

And yet...

Does anyone else out there feel the same?

Just a thought...
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Paul DeStefano
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thechangingman wrote:
It sometimes feels as if we've all made our minds up and that very few are capable of engaging in authentic, open-minded dialogue.


Maybe YOU have made up your mind.

There's quite a few time where I have no opinion of a topic, then I see it discussed in a forum like this and I form an opinion.

It becomes educating.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Not really, I have changed my opinions in a couple of subjects, but only where facts have been presented that make me re-evaluate what I think I know. But my mind has never been changed by 'truths'. At the end of the day of you come to forums intending to preach you may well end up disappointed, if you come to learn you won't be. Also I don’t really take RSP that seriously, after all we are not going to change the world by pissing into the wind.
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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There are few issues that I post about. But RSP as an informal international news and discussion forum often allows me to see two or more sides of the issue under discussion as if I'm looking at it through those old fashioned 3-D glasses with one red cellophane lens and one blue cellophane lens. Ok, sometimes the vision is distorted but I don't get a headache afterward.
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Chad Ellis
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As I've said on other threads of this type, why should "changing minds" be the only or even the primary reward for this type of conversation?

I first started discussing religion on the forums of CARM, an evangelical website. I had no wish to "convert" anyone to atheism; my main goals were to improve my understanding of a group with a very different worldview from my own and to help them understand mine. I was very happy with comments like, "Before talking with you I thought atheists were immoral hedonists, angry with God and so arrogant they wanted to be rulers of the universe, almost like Satan." The only time I got someone having an actual crisis of faith (sadly because when some rough times had caused him to behave like an ass I was the only one to show sympathy rather than condemnation) I told him to pray about it and not to throw out something important to him because of the behavior of other people. (Granted, I had to give my toaster back to the Evil Atheist Society...)

On RSP I've learned a lot about the subtleties of libertarianism, Mormonism, quozlism (OK, I still don't get it but one day!), hard-core conservatism and a bunch of other viewpoints. I've changed a few minds on one subject dear to my heart (same-sex marriage).

Along the way I've modified a lot of my own viewpoints and the ones that are largely unchanged are generally on stronger footing now that I've seen counter-arguments and a broader set of data and perspectives.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
As I've said on other threads of this type, why should "changing minds" be the only or even the primary reward for this type of conversation?

I first started discussing religion on the forums of CARM, an evangelical website. I had no wish to "convert" anyone to atheism; my main goals were to improve my understanding of a group with a very different worldview from my own and to help them understand mine. I was very happy with comments like, "Before talking with you I thought atheists were immoral hedonists, angry with God and so arrogant they wanted to be rulers of the universe, almost like Satan." The only time I got someone having an actual crisis of faith (sadly because when some rough times had caused him to behave like an ass I was the only one to show sympathy rather than condemnation) I told him to pray about it and not to throw out something important to him because of the behavior of other people. (Granted, I had to give my toaster back to the Evil Atheist Society...)

On RSP I've learned a lot about the subtleties of libertarianism, Mormonism, quozlism (OK, I still don't get it but one day!), hard-core conservatism and a bunch of other viewpoints. I've changed a few minds on one subject dear to my heart (same-sex marriage).

Along the way I've modified a lot of my own viewpoints and the ones that are largely unchanged are generally on stronger footing now that I've seen counter-arguments and a broader set of data and perspectives.


The only threads I have seen of this type seem to be from Faithers, is this observation correct?
 
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Jasper
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Does it even need a point? Points are overrated.
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Moshe Callen
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Why isn't understanding other people's points of view, even if one disagrees, enough of a "point"?

BTW I have no idea of the implications of the symbol of the OP's avatar.
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whac3 wrote:
Why isn't understanding other people's points of view, even if one disagrees, enough of a "point"?

BTW I have no idea of the implications of the symbol of the OP's avatar.


It's a celtic knot symbolizing the synthesis of Paganism and Christianity that occurred as Christianity spread across northern Europe and into the British Isles, forever changing both religions into a hybrid theology.



(I just made that up)
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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TheChin! wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Why isn't understanding other people's points of view, even if one disagrees, enough of a "point"?

BTW I have no idea of the implications of the symbol of the OP's avatar.


It's a celtic knot symbolizing the synthesis of Paganism and Christianity that occurred as Christianity spread across northern Europe and into the British Isles, forever changing both religions into a hybrid theology.



(I just made that up)


Not quite made up now is it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triquetra.
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slatersteven wrote:

Not quite made up now is it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triquetra.


Well, how about that! I guess intuitive extrapolation from subconscious semi-forgotten knowledge (i.e. educated guess) can hit close to home once in awhile.
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Aaron Potter
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Wikipedia = totally made up.

As for the OP, threads like this usually produce a number of people protesting that they participate in discussions hereabouts to understand the opposition. I'm always tempted to cry BS, given how frequently discussion drags on well after the sides are clear. No doubt there are instances and individuals sincerely all about the harmonious kumbaya moment, but I suspect more frequently we cross blades in the honest belief we can confound and embarass the other side into changing their minds...though the actual conversion is likely to occur off-thread, in private, and after lengthy agonizing.

Plus, we're gamers aren't we? Scrapping is fun.

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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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I participate because I'm a pedant.
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Boaty McBoatface
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potterama wrote:
Wikipedia = totally made up.

As for the OP, threads like this usually produce a number of people protesting that they participate in discussions hereabouts to understand the opposition. I'm always tempted to cry BS, given how frequently discussion drags on well after the sides are clear. No doubt there are instances and individuals sincerely all about the harmonious kumbaya moment, but I suspect more frequently we cross blades in the honest belief we can confound and embarass the other side into changing their minds...though the actual conversion is likely to occur off-thread, in private, and after lengthy agonizing.

Plus, we're gamers aren't we? Scrapping is fun.



Sory I think what happens is the desire to make sure the other side knows they have not won. For example your comment about wikipdia, thus forcing me to reply to it with more information http://christianity.about.com/od/symbolspictures/ig/Christia.... This is why sometimes conversations drag on, the need to explain everything rather then being able to say I disagree and having others respect that you might have in fact thought about it without explaining yourself.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Salo sila wrote:
I participate because I'm a pedant.


Pervert.:whistle:
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Salo sila wrote:
I participate because I'm a pedant.


Me too.

That is, I participate because Salo Sila is a pedant.

When I'm allowed to participate, anyway.

Which is infrequently.
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slatersteven wrote:
Salo sila wrote:
I participate because I'm a pedant.


Pervert.:whistle:


So, ten years on, we finally know who attacked that paediatrician's home in Newport...
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Martyn Smith
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I like the comment about 'points' being overrated!

These interesting responses have given me further cause to reflect on the more foundational issue of language/speaking and what they are actually FOR?

I believe that, generally speaking, people speak in order to impress others and to get people to admire/respect them. I see very few exceptions to this.
 
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True Blue Jon
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
quozlism (OK, I still don't get it but one day!)


You'll get quozlism after we switch bodies, "Freaky Friday"-style.
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Boaty McBoatface
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thechangingman wrote:
I like the comment about 'points' being overrated! :D

These interesting responses have given me further cause to reflect on the more foundational issue of language/speaking and what they are actually FOR?

I believe that, generally speaking, people speak in order to impress others and to get people to admire/respect them. I see very few exceptions to this.

Lets have an experimant, from now in you can only repond with four words on this thread, lets see what kind of a discusion we have.

I shall start it off.


I am not sure.
 
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Dave G
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quozl wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
quozlism (OK, I still don't get it but one day!)


You'll get quozlism after we switch bodies, "Freaky Friday"-style.


Aw, I was hoping you'd switch bodies "Brokeback Mountain"-style.
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thechangingman wrote:
I believe that, generally speaking, people speak in order to impress others and to get people to admire/respect them. I see very few exceptions to this.


If you always view people as seeking to impress chances are that's what you'll see. In general I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. And while there are certainly a number of people like that, I think there are a good many exceptions in this forum alone. Which is what makes it worth discussing stuff. (:
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Personally, one of the things I "get" out of participating in RSP is a sharpening of my own arguments.

It's not really conceivable that I'll change my mind as a result of discussions in RSP (at least on the topics I usually participate in, I could, of course, be educated in topics I'm not fluent with) because I don't think the evidence required to change my mind could really be presented in a format such as this. Likewise, I don't really expect to change any of my antagonist's minds (though I do have some vague hope that lurkers can be moved).

But I do get to practice argument for the sake of argument, and I find that valuable enough to stay engaged here.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
quozl wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
quozlism (OK, I still don't get it but one day!)


You'll get quozlism after we switch bodies, "Freaky Friday"-style.


Aw, I was hoping you'd switch bodies "Brokeback Mountain"-style.
Two words: pics plz.
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Venga2 wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
quozl wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
quozlism (OK, I still don't get it but one day!)


You'll get quozlism after we switch bodies, "Freaky Friday"-style.


Aw, I was hoping you'd switch bodies "Brokeback Mountain"-style.
Two words: pics plz.


One word: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
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