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Confirmation Bias Cannot Be Beaten!

GWL-CPA
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6/14/2013 11:59:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I want to discuss voters, voting, and confirmation bias and point out some voting anomalies.

Before I begin discussing this subject, I want to share excerpts from the following Internet articles on confirmation bias and in-group favoritism. Confirmation bias is a very powerful determiner of what people believe and directly affects their decision making processes, e.g., voting on debates at DDO.

It is almost impossible to change a person's confirmation bias or beliefs (e.g., global warming is caused by man) regardless of the evidence or arguments presented by the other debater (e.g., global warming is not caused by man).

Why am I discussing confirmation bias?

I believe that confirmation bias makes it impossible to have a fair debate at DDO; therefore, debating is pointless and proves nothing.

Because you cannot have a fair debate, losing the debate does not prove you did not have better arguments, better evidence, or are a less skilled debater.

And, conversely, winning the debate does not prove your evidence and arguments were better or that you are a more skilled debater.

"Confirmation bias is the dastardly human thought tendency that makes objectivity virtually impossible, and fair analysis nearly so. It is the human instinct to view external facts and events in such a way that they confirm pre existing beliefs, or, if they challenge these beliefs, to find reasons to distrust the facts or explain them away."
http://ethicsalarms.com...

"Confirmation bias is the tendency for people to only seek out information that conforms to their pre-existing view points, and subsequently ignore information that goes against them. It is a type of cognitive bias and a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study."
http://rationalwiki.org...
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Half-a-century of research has placed confirmation bias among the most dependable of mental stumbling blocks.
http://youarenotsosmart.com...

There are other forms of bias that affect the outcome of debates, e.g., in-group favoritism.

"In-group favoritism is a central aspect of human behavior. People often help members of their own group more than members of other groups. In-group bias is a central aspect of human behavior. Across a variety of scenarios, people tend to be more helpful to members of their own group rather than to those of other groups." In-group favoritism has been shown to occur based on real-world salient groupings, such as ethnicity, religiosity and political affiliation""
http://www.nature.com...

An example of this group bias is clique voting at DDO. These debates are not won on merit, but on clique bias, which is a form of in-group favoritism.

Confirmation bias and in-group favoritism are huge determiners of the outcome of debates. The outcome of any debate will solely be determined by the number of people in the audience (voters) that agree pre-debate with the hypothesis or do not, e.g., global warming is man-made; illegal drugs, medical marijuana, and gay marriage need to be legalized or vote because they are part of the clique.

For example, if the debate audience has a total of 100 people (voters) and 75 believe that global warming is man-made, no matter what evidence and arguments are put forth by the con debater, the Con debater will lose the debate.

Is confirmation bias easy to confirm? Depends on the issue being debated and whether all the voters have completed "The Big Issues" section of their profiles.

Members are given the opportunity to state their positions on 21 big issues (e.g., Abortion, Drug Legalization, Estate Tax, Medical Marijuana, etc.) by indicating "Pro", "Con", "N/S " Not saying" or "N/O " No opinion" in their profiles by completing the section called "The BIG Issues."

I believe DDO included "The Big Issues" section in the spirit of having an open environment for debates, and to collect statistics on the membership, which DDO shares with everyone.

But, for some unknown reasons, many members choose not to complete "The Big Issues" section or to even disclose their birth date or age.

You also learn something about each voter's confirmation bias based on how they complete the first two questions when voting. Voters can place a check mark in one of three columns (i.e., Pro, Con or Tied). The first two questions have 0 (zero) points, but the questions raise some serious questions, which I will address latter. The first two questions are:

1.Agreed with before the debate.

2.Agreed with after the debate.

Although the first two questions have no point value, they are very revealing and important:

If voters checks the Pro column for the 1st question, they are stating that they already agree with the Pro's position. If they check the Con column, they are stating that they already agree with the Con's position. That is confirmation bias. And, as noted above in the articles about confirmation bias, it is very unlikely that these voters will change their pre-debate beliefs regardless of whatever evidence or arguments are presented by the Pro or Con debaters.

Depending on how these voters answer the second question will determine if these voters' votes should count or be thrown out completely.

Voters checking both questions before and after the debate for either pro or con confirm their voter confirmation bias. The votes of these voters should not be counted.

However, if voters change their positions after the debate and switch from pro to con or vice versa, then that should mean that the pro or con arguments and/or evidence was sufficiently persuasive to overcome their confirmation biases. Those are the votes that should be counted in addition to voters that had no pre-debate position.

The other votes that should be counted are where voters check tied on the first question (Agreed with before the debate) and then voted for pro or con on the second question (Agreed with after the debate). These are voters that had no pro or con views before the debate but were persuaded by the arguments and or evidence to vote for pro or con.

I have noticed a few voting anomalies.

What I find most amusing is when a voter checks the "Tied" column "Agreed with before the debate" and also checks the "Tied" column "Agreed with after the debate"; but, then awards points to pro or con.

Isn't that logical inconsistency? By checking tied before and after, are you not saying that neither pro nor con changed your neutral beliefs on the subject of the debate?

If that is true, you should not be giving any points to either pro or con. If you do, you are saying that neither party changed your mind and you are till neutral on the debate topic, but you still thought the arguments and or evidence presented by pro or con was better or more convincing.

In these situations, points for spelling and grammar, and conduct are meaningless. Actually, those categories are meaningless to the heart of the debate; and, those categories should be changed to a zero value.

I love the voters that vote pro or con because they always vote the opposite of what another voter has voted. I don't know how often this happens. This is as bad as friends in the huge clique at DDO voting for their friends instead of on the merits of the debate.

Anyway, I am not a debate coward as stated by YYW.

Debating is just pointless at DDO and proves nothing for all the reasons noted above and more.

I am not sure debating at any Internet proves anything other than confirmation bias.
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years."

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

Mark Twain
PrivateEye
Posts: 972
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6/14/2013 12:12:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I, too, think confirmation bias f*cks the world. It's how people think, they gotta lock things in, and most of those things are firmly tied to their identity. Over on Epicmafia, where I played mafia, people would point the finger at you, fos'ing you, as they say, and you'd have to combat that, which was confirmation bias. The only way I ever managed it was trying to sound really smart, making my opposition sound really dumb, and stating new points over and over again, asking my target for manipulation to think about the new information and how it effects things over and over again until he breaks. Information overload combined with appeal to authority, all rhetoric. But then that's nowhere near the same as trying to change someone's political ideology which, again, is firmly tied to a person's identity usually. You literally gotta smash people's worlds but do it in a nice way because defiance is a f*cking motherf*cker too
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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6/14/2013 12:14:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Soooo... Don't debate?

Not all of us debate just for the sole fact of getting a win. In fact, winning at the end of the day is really quite mundane.
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 12:46:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I figure people also consider preachers as assaulting them in some sense too. Like if you argue vehemently for ages and seemingly with no success it's not as bleak as it seems always. The person is just resisting you, but if you were to then leave, leaving your opinions behind, those opinions are then actually more likely to be paid attention to, because the assault element is gone and the person is left wondering were you actually right and they wrong for the first time ever... You gotta give people a chance for peaceful self-reflection
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 12:48:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 12:46:01 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
I figure people also consider preachers as assaulting them in some sense too. Like if you argue vehemently for ages and seemingly with no success it's not as bleak as it seems always. The person is just resisting you, but if you were to then leave, leaving your opinions behind, those opinions are then actually more likely to be paid attention to, because the assault element is gone and the person is left wondering were you actually right and they wrong for the first time ever... You gotta give people a chance for peaceful self-reflection

This sort of thing is common in hypnosis. You're perhaps underestimating the effect you've had GWL
philochristos
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6/14/2013 12:55:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 11:59:03 AM, GWL-CPA wrote:

I believe that confirmation bias makes it impossible to have a fair debate at DDO; therefore, debating is pointless and proves nothing.

If the only purpose of debating was to win points, I probably wouldn't do it. In spite of the biased voting, I still enjoy the game, though. I don't think it's pointless.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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6/14/2013 1:06:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Why are you here?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 1:07:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
For example, I called darkkermit murderous for his ideas there a while back and now he's all about small scale communism all the time because he thinks this consideration fixes things, that he's actually thought about since I left, but he's still an idiot really. Maybe next time I leave for a while he'll get it right. First there was the defiance of debating me on the matter, then once i'd left there was actual consideration.
Magic8000
Posts: 975
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6/14/2013 1:13:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I completely agree. It's rare to see objective voting.

http://www.debate.org...
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.

"So Magic8000 believes Einstein was a proctologist who was persuaded by the Government and Hitler to fabricate the Theory of Relativity"- GWL-CPA
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 1:29:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 12:12:48 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
I, too, think confirmation bias f*cks the world. It's how people think, they gotta lock things in, and most of those things are firmly tied to their identity. Over on Epicmafia, where I played mafia, people would point the finger at you, fos'ing you, as they say, and you'd have to combat that, which was confirmation bias. The only way I ever managed it was trying to sound really smart, making my opposition sound really dumb, and stating new points over and over again, asking my target for manipulation to think about the new information and how it effects things over and over again until he breaks. Information overload combined with appeal to authority, all rhetoric. But then that's nowhere near the same as trying to change someone's political ideology which, again, is firmly tied to a person's identity usually. You literally gotta smash people's worlds but do it in a nice way because defiance is a f*cking motherf*cker too

Actually it is near it: it's a nice illustration of how people come to their retarded beliefs. Nobody likes to say they don't know.
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 1:30:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My beliefs, however, are not retarded. I'm really smart and you should all listen to me.
GWL-CPA
Posts: 627
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6/14/2013 3:44:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 1:06:52 PM, Noumena wrote:
Why are you here?

I enjoy the comedic effects caused by reading most of the comments, debates, and forums from a membership that is mainly very young and naive.

A membership where 35% of the members do not report their birth dates, which is why if you look at the age demographic bar chart, it only adds up to 65%.

Thanks for asking though; I feel much better now.
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years."

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

Mark Twain
Noumena
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6/14/2013 3:46:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 3:44:49 PM, GWL-CPA wrote:
At 6/14/2013 1:06:52 PM, Noumena wrote:
Why are you here?

I enjoy the comedic effects caused by reading most of the comments, debates, and forums from a membership that is mainly very young and naive.

A membership where 35% of the members do not report their birth dates, which is why if you look at the age demographic bar chart, it only adds up to 65%.

Thanks for asking though; I feel much better now.

I should have been more specific. Why post about this when no one takes anything you say seriously? Yer a prime example of why age doesn't equate to intelligence.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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6/14/2013 3:48:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 1:08:58 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
It's gorilla warfare out there. UP THE RA

guerrilla*

Are you leaving yet? You're presence on this site is really quite irritating.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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6/14/2013 3:49:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 1:07:15 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
For example, I called darkkermit murderous for his ideas there a while back and now he's all about small scale communism all the time because he thinks this consideration fixes things, that he's actually thought about since I left, but he's still an idiot really. Maybe next time I leave for a while he'll get it right. First there was the defiance of debating me on the matter, then once i'd left there was actual consideration.

hey badger, remember when i debated communism w/ you and you forfeited your rounds and closed your account. I also completely crushed your arguments you made.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
thett3
Posts: 14,334
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6/14/2013 3:59:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 11:59:03 AM, GWL-CPA wrote:


1.Agreed with before the debate.

2.Agreed with after the debate.

Although the first two questions have no point value, they are very revealing and important:

If voters checks the Pro column for the 1st question, they are stating that they already agree with the Pro's position. If they check the Con column, they are stating that they already agree with the Con's position. That is confirmation bias. And, as noted above in the articles about confirmation bias, it is very unlikely that these voters will change their pre-debate beliefs regardless of whatever evidence or arguments are presented by the Pro or Con debaters.

This is problematic because you aren't supposed to vote on who you agree with after the debate, but rather who made the better arguments. So someone being unlikely to change their opinion on the issue doesn't indicate the likelihood of them voting against their beliefs.

I agree with you that more popular positions have an edge, but this doesn't mean its "impossible" to win a debate on the side most people disagree with. Like I've mentioned to you previously, I've won debates against drug legalization and individualism, in favor of monarchy over democracy, ect. all things that most people disagree with. This shows that confirmation bias actually can be beaten. Moreover I'm not even that great of a debater so anyone can do it.


Depending on how these voters answer the second question will determine if these voters' votes should count or be thrown out completely.

Voters checking both questions before and after the debate for either pro or con confirm their voter confirmation bias. The votes of these voters should not be counted.

Even if they vote for the opposition? You realize people wold just stop checking the "Agree with before/after" boxes...right?


However, if voters change their positions after the debate and switch from pro to con or vice versa, then that should mean that the pro or con arguments and/or evidence was sufficiently persuasive to overcome their confirmation biases. Those are the votes that should be counted in addition to voters that had no pre-debate position.

The other votes that should be counted are where voters check tied on the first question (Agreed with before the debate) and then voted for pro or con on the second question (Agreed with after the debate). These are voters that had no pro or con views before the debate but were persuaded by the arguments and or evidence to vote for pro or con.

I have noticed a few voting anomalies.

What I find most amusing is when a voter checks the "Tied" column "Agreed with before the debate" and also checks the "Tied" column "Agreed with after the debate"; but, then awards points to pro or con.

Isn't that logical inconsistency? By checking tied before and after, are you not saying that neither pro nor con changed your neutral beliefs on the subject of the debate?

It's about arguments not belief. Just because neither convinced you of the truth of their position doesn't mean neither of them won the debate. Read up on how to judge debate before saying stupid statements like this.


If that is true, you should not be giving any points to either pro or con. If you do, you are saying that neither party changed your mind and you are till neutral on the debate topic, but you still thought the arguments and or evidence presented by pro or con was better or more convincing.

In these situations, points for spelling and grammar, and conduct are meaningless. Actually, those categories are meaningless to the heart of the debate; and, those categories should be changed to a zero value.

I love the voters that vote pro or con because they always vote the opposite of what another voter has voted. I don't know how often this happens. This is as bad as friends in the huge clique at DDO voting for their friends instead of on the merits of the debate.

Anyway, I am not a debate coward as stated by YYW.

Debating is just pointless at DDO and proves nothing for all the reasons noted above and more.

I am not sure debating at any Internet proves anything other than confirmation bias.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
Posts: 14,334
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6/14/2013 4:12:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 3:59:56 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 6/14/2013 11:59:03 AM, GWL-CPA wrote:


1.Agreed with before the debate.

2.Agreed with after the debate.

Although the first two questions have no point value, they are very revealing and important:

If voters checks the Pro column for the 1st question, they are stating that they already agree with the Pro's position. If they check the Con column, they are stating that they already agree with the Con's position. That is confirmation bias. And, as noted above in the articles about confirmation bias, it is very unlikely that these voters will change their pre-debate beliefs regardless of whatever evidence or arguments are presented by the Pro or Con debaters.

This is problematic because you aren't supposed to vote on who you agree with after the debate, but rather who made the better arguments. So someone being unlikely to change their opinion on the issue doesn't indicate the likelihood of them voting against their beliefs.

I agree with you that more popular positions have an edge, but this doesn't mean its "impossible" to win a debate on the side most people disagree with. Like I've mentioned to you previously, I've won debates against drug legalization and individualism, in favor of monarchy over democracy, ect. all things that most people disagree with. This shows that confirmation bias actually can be beaten. Moreover I'm not even that great of a debater so anyone can do it.



Depending on how these voters answer the second question will determine if these voters' votes should count or be thrown out completely.

Voters checking both questions before and after the debate for either pro or con confirm their voter confirmation bias. The votes of these voters should not be counted.

Even if they vote for the opposition? You realize people wold just stop checking the "Agree with before/after" boxes...right?


However, if voters change their positions after the debate and switch from pro to con or vice versa, then that should mean that the pro or con arguments and/or evidence was sufficiently persuasive to overcome their confirmation biases. Those are the votes that should be counted in addition to voters that had no pre-debate position.

The other votes that should be counted are where voters check tied on the first question (Agreed with before the debate) and then voted for pro or con on the second question (Agreed with after the debate). These are voters that had no pro or con views before the debate but were persuaded by the arguments and or evidence to vote for pro or con.

I have noticed a few voting anomalies.

What I find most amusing is when a voter checks the "Tied" column "Agreed with before the debate" and also checks the "Tied" column "Agreed with after the debate"; but, then awards points to pro or con.

Isn't that logical inconsistency? By checking tied before and after, are you not saying that neither pro nor con changed your neutral beliefs on the subject of the debate?

It's about arguments not belief. Just because neither convinced you of the truth of their position doesn't mean neither of them won the debate. Read up on how to judge debate before making stupid statements like this.


If that is true, you should not be giving any points to either pro or con. If you do, you are saying that neither party changed your mind and you are till neutral on the debate topic, but you still thought the arguments and or evidence presented by pro or con was better or more convincing.

In these situations, points for spelling and grammar, and conduct are meaningless. Actually, those categories are meaningless to the heart of the debate; and, those categories should be changed to a zero value.

I love the voters that vote pro or con because they always vote the opposite of what another voter has voted. I don't know how often this happens. This is as bad as friends in the huge clique at DDO voting for their friends instead of on the merits of the debate.

Anyway, I am not a debate coward as stated by YYW.

Debating is just pointless at DDO and proves nothing for all the reasons noted above and more.

I am not sure debating at any Internet proves anything other than confirmation bias.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
PrivateEye
Posts: 972
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6/14/2013 4:35:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 3:49:05 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 6/14/2013 1:07:15 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
For example, I called darkkermit murderous for his ideas there a while back and now he's all about small scale communism all the time because he thinks this consideration fixes things, that he's actually thought about since I left, but he's still an idiot really. Maybe next time I leave for a while he'll get it right. First there was the defiance of debating me on the matter, then once i'd left there was actual consideration.

hey badger, remember when i debated communism w/ you and you forfeited your rounds and closed your account. I also completely crushed your arguments you made.

No, no you didn't. You're an idiot dude.
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 4:36:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 3:48:22 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 6/14/2013 1:08:58 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
It's gorilla warfare out there. UP THE RA

guerrilla*

I'd actually wondered why it would be gorilla warfare all right...

Are you leaving yet? You're presence on this site is really quite irritating.

No, I'll stay a while sorry. But I'm a very enlightening person if you can get over yourself
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 4:42:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
darkkermit, capitalism is firmly tied into the American identity, there's no denying this and then everything I've stated here is scientific fact. Go have a read and think about it.
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 4:46:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
And there is no European identity btw but generally free thinking and Europe is much more socialist than Ameirca for practical reasons, because they've been through so much war, have potentially hostile and very close neighbours

Americans have a constitution that emphasizes the right to property which they've been praising since birth... It's what gave them life they believe, great America
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 4:49:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 4:46:23 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
And there is no European identity btw but generally free thinking and Europe is much more socialist than Ameirca for practical reasons, because they've been through so much war, have potentially hostile and very close neighbours

And these reasons are very obvious, not nonsense like the social calculation problem or the TotC

Americans have a constitution that emphasizes the right to property which they've been praising since birth... It's what gave them life they believe, great America
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 4:50:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The social calculation problem and the TotC are examples of self-deception, elusive and vague
PrivateEye
Posts: 972
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6/14/2013 4:52:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Realize also that I am very intelligent and wasn't raised to believe in any political ideology like you were. My mind is free of indoctrination on this matter and again I'm very intelligent. The only thing the Irish inherit from their culture is alcoholism
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 5:00:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 4:46:23 PM, PrivateEye wrote:
And there is no European identity btw but generally free thinking and Europe is much more socialist than Ameirca for practical reasons, because they've been through so much war, have potentially hostile and very close neighbours

Americans have a constitution that emphasizes the right to property which they've been praising since birth... It's what gave them life they believe, great America

Noticing any parallels to the belief in the christian god and the resistance to giving it up?
PrivateEye
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6/14/2013 5:05:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Consider the possibility that you are just like believers in the christian god please, indoctrinated just as they were. I bet they fail to see reason often in your opinion but all the while come across as reasonable otherwise...