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icon14.gif Discussion vs Debate  [message #70935] Mon, 25 January 2016 14:45 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13282



I know I've posted on this before, and I will be grateful if someone finds that thread.

Debates have winners and losers. Debating is, pretty much, a no holds barred full contact sport. It sets out entrenched views and does nothing useful to seek to change the views of those who disagree.

Discussions are similar but different. We can discuss things and allow our views to form or change during the discussion. We can say that our views have changed without fear of losing.

Despite my certainty on some topic or other, I am not correct. Despite your certainty, neither are you. Together, though, we may reach a view that surprises one or both of us, unless you try to force your view upon me, when I will defend mine, even if it is ridiculous, or I try to force mine on you, when I predict you will react in the way I do.

I have long held that we should discuss things here, but never debate them, for the reasons set out in this short post. In this manner we can discuss the undiscussable without war breaking out.

[Updated on: Mon, 25 January 2016 14:46]




Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
Re: Discussion vs Debate  [message #70936 is a reply to message #70935] Mon, 25 January 2016 16:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
WestcliffWriter is currently offline  WestcliffWriter   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: May 2015
Messages: 75




Could my response to a recent thread have prompted this one Tim? I am a very bad discusser haha. I have views on certain things and state them. In my view, on most topics it is very hard to discuss them because they are usually controversial and so it will always in most cases drift to a debate.

An example of I may. If we were talking about a recent dinosaur that had been discovered in Argentina and we were forming opinions on how old it was, this for me would be a discussion. A time to bounce ideas of one another, to find insight and to broaden our knowledge on the fossil. The Dinosaur's age is not by any means inflammatory to you, nor me it is just unknown and we can discuss it to hopefully come to a conclusion. There is no need to debate it.

If however we are discussing something that promotes strong feelings (such as the recent pedophilia topic a few days ago which got some hearts racing a little) then it is hard to discuss and will naturally always lead to debate. Debates are indeed like a boxing ring, but if everyone is mature enough then normally the fight can end with no one getting hurt. 

Your point about each side of the argument never being correct is very true in most cases, which I think is the reason the world is so screwed up. Freud would be laughing in his grave if he saw what went on in some people's minds trying to justify the unjustifiable. There are of course some debates where one side (or person) is correct. I am reminded of the plight of Galileo who was ridiculed and sent to Jail because he said the earth was not at the Centre of the solar system. He was right and yet he was argued against. A good reason to keep an open mind I think. To feel strong about something does not mean you are automatically closed minded. It's just one person's view on something that differs from another.

So to conclude, as i said I am a bad discusser, but I like to think I am a good, fair and gentlemanly debater. I disagree strongly with a lot of what is said in these forums, especially those who are liberal on certain subjects. However I have never (and my record is here for all to see) attacked a person personally for their own views and I do not think any less of a person because they disagree with me - A point I felt I had to make to Smokr as we tend differ on a many subjects discussed. Bus as said, (to use Smokr again as an example) he debates maturely and I respect him for that. As long as debates are kept to the debated then we should debate away.

Thoughts?   
Re: Discussion vs Debate  [message #70937 is a reply to message #70936] Mon, 25 January 2016 16:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
WestcliffWriter is currently offline  WestcliffWriter   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: May 2015
Messages: 75




Another thought...

Would your post and my post in this thread be considered a discussion or debate?
Re: Discussion vs Debate  [message #70938 is a reply to message #70937] Mon, 25 January 2016 17:34 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13282



Quote:
WestcliffWriter wrote on Mon, 25 January 2016 16:25Another thought...

Would your post and my post in this thread be considered a discussion or debate?

--
That is simple to answer. My post and yours have each imparted information. We are each wiser because we have read and received it. This is true whenever we receive information whether we accept that information or not. At present, or at least before this post of mine now, we were neither discussing nor debating.

I would suggest that you find it far easier to discuss than you have said. The long post of yours giving us information is evidence of that. The information that you detest paedophilia, a reasonable thing to detest, is useful to us should we choose to discuss that topic further. It is, for example, clear to us all that you will oppose any suggestion that paedophilia is anything except a bad thing.

I think you will oppose a suggestion you disagree with strongly, and I see no harm in that, especially because you have said that you will avoid ad hominem attacks. You may disagree, but I see that as discussion. You most definitely hope to change someone's mind on the topic to be more closely aligned with your own thinking, and you will do it with facts and persuasion, not with a cannonade of bluster.

From all that you have said I picture you as someone with a strong set of moral principles, but, and this is important, not one whose mind is closed. You will listen, and then state disagreement or agreement clearly and carefully.

Examples of folk with strong moral principles who have changed their minds are those who voted to legalise homosexuality, those who voted to lower the homosexual age of consent from 21 to 16, those who voted for gay civil unions, those who voted for gay marriage. We know that many stayed set in their views, and others changed their views. Please do not think for a moment that I am suggesting you change your views on those above the age of consent and those below it, though there is a whole discussion to hold about the age of consent as a concept. Your views are your views. You have a right to bring them here and to express them with absolute clarity.

You asked if my post was triggered by one of yours. It was. I have made similar posts in the past triggered by what other folk have said. I have no issue with strong statements here at all. I am pleased when I am disagreed with. My only issue is always the manner in which things are said. So I try to steer conversations in the direction of peaceful discussion, not win at all costs debate.

Does that help?



Inconsistent use of capital letters is the difference between Bobby helping Uncle Jack off a horse, AND Bobby helping uncle jack off a horse!
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