Total Posts:11|Showing Posts:1-11
Jump to topic:

How to get along with people on DDO...

Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 5:36:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I've been here on and off for a fairly long time, and though I can't honestly claim to have never gotten into any sort of flame session on the forums, I think that I've succeeded in not making any real enemies during my time here. Seeing the current craziness, I thought that it might be good to go over which factors I believe have contributed to the generally amicable to ambivalent relationships that I've fostered.

1. Hitting the reset button. When I get into a conversation with someone, I both take into account what I've learned about them during previous conversations, and also forgive any transgressions and start the conversation in a more calm tone which steers clear of personal attacks. Probably the biggest example that comes to mind is Zarroette, whom I had a pretty heated altercation with when she first joined the site (I think it was over veganism, originally). When she came back, I kept in mind the things that I now knew about her: she has strong opinions, and a mean temper once the insults are broken out, but is usually willing to reexamine her view if your case is well presented. Knowing those things, I had a completely civil conversation with her on transgenderism. It is important to both learn from one's experiences, and to realize that you never get a full understanding of someone from one experience, and that people deserve second chances (and, sometimes, third, fourth and fifth chances.)

2. Learning to cherish differences of opinion. No one will ever believe exactly as I do, and that is quite obvious to me, and to most people. Yet many people are still willing to turn relationships hostile over a difference of opinion, often one in which they are emotionally invested. This is very counter-productive, for the following reasons:

A. It lessens the hostile person's understanding of the other side of the argument. This deprives them of the ability to either reassess or strengthen their own opinion in absence of the information which they may have gleaned by reaching a hand across the aisle. This means that their position will become less of a rational one capable of rigorous defense, and more of an emotional one which they cannot discuss calmly, thus further feeding the problem.

B. It deprives the hostile person of all of the other person's positions and the rationales for them because of one small point of disagreement. This narrows one's worldview, and can lead to cultural myopia when the emotional point is one which is probably due to a clash of cultures.

C. It builds cliques around small, emotionally volatile topics, and breaks down discussion on a large scale, while, ironically, making the emotional topic the center of attention and causing a huge distraction to everyone else.

D. It makes it impossible for the hostile person to ever positively influence the person with whom they disagree by shutting down communication.

3. Being selfish when it comes to knowledge. I try to avoid enter a conversation with the sole intent of converting the other person to my point of view. When I discussing something with someone else, I am usually there to learn, to take whatever is given, and to give only what is asked of me or what I need to to clarify the points on which we differ. When a conversation is started on an evangelistic note, it shuts the other person down entirely, because the tone is 'I am right, you are wrong, and we're going to see how long it takes you to accept this.' Why would the other person want to be involved in this conversation? If they don't want to be in this conversation, then what reason do they have to consider your points and examine their own deeply held beliefs? What reason do they have to even open up and share their justifications for those deeply held beliefs? This is the biggest problem in the religion forums, in my opinion, and the biggest culprits are those atheists who start just about every conversation with a religious person (or even an atheist like me who they assume is religious) with the same tone: you believe in silly fairy tales, I'm a more civilized and mature person than you, and it's about time you realized it. That's not a discussion, it's mental masturbation. And just using soft language doesn't make this tone go away, as it is rooted in a deeply seated belief which the evangelist holds: that they are on this world to teach more than they are on this world to learn. This is a bad mentality for anyone to have, because it stifles personal growth and destroys potential friendships in their inception.

So, in short: forgive, but don't forget. Differences of opinion should be celebrated as a chance to learn. Listen before speaking. These things should be attempted by all people, even though we will sometimes fail, because they foster both knowledge and understanding not just of ideas which are foreign to us, but to the people who hold them as well. Take it for what it's worth.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 6:23:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:36:36 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:


I think there is a lot of wisdom in what you've said here. But my philosophy has always been that people deserve second chances, not third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. chances. If someone repeats a bad pattern of behavior, the burden is on them to reconcile the third, fourth, or fifth time. The first time they did it, you put them on notice as to why their behavior was unacceptable and upsetting. The second time, perhaps you gave the person a simple reminder. But the third, fourth, etc. times, the person has to take agency for changing. If you are constantly forgiving *anything*, people will walk all over you and think they don't really need to change. You're willing to accept their bad behavior.

In addition, the type of discussion process your described was: listening to the other person without trying to change their mind. Act like you are both in this together, in a search for truth. I think that's great, and I can have those types of discussions with certain people. But it's a two way street. In good conversations, both parties are just discussing things and want to get at the truth. Sometimes they agree to disagree, but noting that one of them simply finds a rational argument more persuasive than the other. And then convinces the other that there is at least a legitimate basis for disagreement.

In contrast, some people on the site just want to argue with you. They want to convince *you* that their position is right. They don't care what you have to say. Everything you say is just another argument for them to defeat. Talking to such people is mentally exhausting because it is like shouting at a wall. It doesn't feel like the other person cares at all what you have to say. They're not really testing their beliefs; they're testing their debating skills. They're seeing if they can dream up an answer -- any answer -- to the things you say. They're not trying to evaluate how convincing their answers are. They just want you to be wrong. You're not in it together. For those people, it's just not worth my time to be their argument plaything. They just want to use me to help them validate their own beliefs. "Even the great bluesteel couldn't dissuade me" -- because *nothing* could dissuade them, since they aren't listening with an open mind.

I really don't mind having principled disagreements with people. Oryus and I, for example, tend to agree on a lot of things, but when we disagree, it's perfectly civil. We both see whether the other is coming from. But there are people that I could never have that with.

For pretty much everyone on the site, I am bound to disagree with them on *something.* But I can easily list for you the members who I can have civil disagreements with, and those with whom I cannot have civil disagreements with because they don't treat a discussion like a "discussion." They don't treat it like a two-way street. They just want to beat my argument. They're not really using the rational part of their brain to say, "well, we disagree, but it's because I value X more than you do, and you value Y more than I do." Instead, they think they are objectively right, and don't care what you have to say.

And I'm simply not willing to have some arguments with people over and over again. I don't want to discuss whether the Holocaust really happened. I've already had a debate on it and seen the Denial evidence. I don't find it convincing. I don't want to have discussions about gay marriage. I've seen literally every iteration of the counter-argument, and I don't find any of them compelling. And when certain people try to discuss this issue with me (and simply want to change my mind), they're ignoring the fact that I've seen arguments from much *better* debaters and scholars than them, and am still not convinced. I will often tell them the counter-arguments, but I don't want to sit their and rehash a debate I've already seen hundreds of times. My time is more valuable than that.

tl;dr People don't deserve "fifth chances." If someone keeps letting you down, at some point you need to be realistic. If you keep coming back for more, you send the message that you don't care how many times they do the same bad thing.

tl;dr 2 Only certain people and subjects demonstrate that they *merit* the lengthy and time-consuming process it takes to seriously consider the other side's opinion. People can't expect you to discuss issues with them and truly *listen* to them, if they are not willing to listen to you. And it is tedious to rehash a debate on a subject you have already debated a thousand times, if the other person's only goal is to convince you. But you've seen all the arguments many times before, and they are not persuasive. Your life is short; use your time selectively.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 6:53:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 6:23:01 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:36:36 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:


A lot of this is implicit in what I said, (I do think that this process is a two way street.) You and I disagree, I think, primarily on the degree of forgiveness which ought to be given. I don't hold everyone to the same standard of patience, my 'third, fourth, fifth' comment was gauged more towards 'give as many chances as you feel necessary', not to do so indefinitely.

I do think that once someone proves intractable it is better to avoid contact with them, ignore any contact on their part and, if that fails, to report them to moderation for harassment.

I also agree that certain ideas get tiresome (homosexuality and evolution are the big ones for me). I just generally avoid discussing them because I don't think that there are any novel arguments on either side worth my time.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YYW
Posts: 36,242
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 7:04:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I think a lot of what you said has merit, Skep. And being nice and easy going with people is definitely a good thing do do. But, I am in agreement with Bluesteel with regard to the question of how many chances people deserve... sort of.

I'll give people under the age of 24-25 three or four chances, sometimes more. I don't really give people over the age of 25 more than two or three. Life is too short.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 7:19:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 6:53:28 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/22/2015 6:23:01 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:36:36 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:


A lot of this is implicit in what I said, (I do think that this process is a two way street.) You and I disagree, I think, primarily on the degree of forgiveness which ought to be given. I don't hold everyone to the same standard of patience, my 'third, fourth, fifth' comment was gauged more towards 'give as many chances as you feel necessary', not to do so indefinitely.

I do think that once someone proves intractable it is better to avoid contact with them, ignore any contact on their part and, if that fails, to report them to moderation for harassment.

I also agree that certain ideas get tiresome (homosexuality and evolution are the big ones for me). I just generally avoid discussing them because I don't think that there are any novel arguments on either side worth my time.

So we're not really in disagreement. You just tend to be more forgiving than I am. Although in fairness there are a lot of people who I have given third and fourth chances to, against my better judgment.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 7:26:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 7:04:04 PM, YYW wrote:
I think a lot of what you said has merit, Skep. And being nice and easy going with people is definitely a good thing do do. But, I am in agreement with Bluesteel with regard to the question of how many chances people deserve... sort of.

I'll give people under the age of 24-25 three or four chances, sometimes more. I don't really give people over the age of 25 more than two or three. Life is too short.

Mostly, I don't understand your problem with Envisage. He seems like one of the most intelligent, contributing members on the site. I see him in the religion forums a lot, and he maintains a level head and a civil tongue better than I do at times, in an environment which I think we can all agree is less than conducive to patience.

I don't know much about your prior contact with Zarroette, Wylted or Ajab, though I know that there is some, so whether to continue to interact with them is up to you.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YYW
Posts: 36,242
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 7:28:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 7:26:29 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/22/2015 7:04:04 PM, YYW wrote:
I think a lot of what you said has merit, Skep. And being nice and easy going with people is definitely a good thing do do. But, I am in agreement with Bluesteel with regard to the question of how many chances people deserve... sort of.

I'll give people under the age of 24-25 three or four chances, sometimes more. I don't really give people over the age of 25 more than two or three. Life is too short.

Mostly, I don't understand your problem with Envisage. He seems like one of the most intelligent, contributing members on the site. I see him in the religion forums a lot, and he maintains a level head and a civil tongue better than I do at times, in an environment which I think we can all agree is less than conducive to patience.

I don't know much about your prior contact with Zarroette, Wylted or Ajab, though I know that there is some, so whether to continue to interact with them is up to you.

http://www.debate.org...
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 7:31:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 7:19:57 PM, bluesteel wrote:
So we're not really in disagreement. You just tend to be more forgiving than I am. Although in fairness there are a lot of people who I have given third and fourth chances to, against my better judgment.

Yeah, I don't think that forgiveness is necessarily a virtue, it's just the way that I am. People who don't forgive may have valid reasons for doing so; I don't know what experiences have led to that decision on their part. I just think that, instead of holding on to rage and flying into conversations with pent-up frustrations of past slights, one should simply ignore/avoid the other person. I don't think that really applies to you, as I haven't seen you do that to anyone.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 7:34:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 7:28:41 PM, YYW wrote:
At 2/22/2015 7:26:29 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/22/2015 7:04:04 PM, YYW wrote:
I think a lot of what you said has merit, Skep. And being nice and easy going with people is definitely a good thing do do. But, I am in agreement with Bluesteel with regard to the question of how many chances people deserve... sort of.

I'll give people under the age of 24-25 three or four chances, sometimes more. I don't really give people over the age of 25 more than two or three. Life is too short.

Mostly, I don't understand your problem with Envisage. He seems like one of the most intelligent, contributing members on the site. I see him in the religion forums a lot, and he maintains a level head and a civil tongue better than I do at times, in an environment which I think we can all agree is less than conducive to patience.

I don't know much about your prior contact with Zarroette, Wylted or Ajab, though I know that there is some, so whether to continue to interact with them is up to you.

http://www.debate.org...

So? It's just a debate. I think that this is an example of him trying to debunk traditional norms in as dramatic a way as possible (proving a nihilistic point). I don't see why it makes him a bad person, or worthy of being shunned, or whatever. It's a null point.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Chuz-Life
Posts: 1,788
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 9:48:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
How to get along with people on DDO...

My method is simple. I stay focused on the issues only and I expect those who I argue with to do the same. It's not about me and it's not about them. (or you)
"Sooner or later, the Supreme Court of the Unites States is going to have explain how a 'child in the womb' is a person enough to be recognized as a MURDER victim under our fetal homicide laws but how they are not persons enough to qualify for any other Constitutional protections" ~ Chuz Life

http://www.debate.org...
EndarkenedRationalist
Posts: 14,201
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/22/2015 11:09:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net...

I do consider forgiveness a virtue and nothing to be unforgivable, but then, I think I use the word a bit differently, as forgiveness doesn't necessarily entail acceptance/toleration.