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Why do you debate?

Beginner
Posts: 4,292
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11/2/2015 11:18:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Hey. Welcome to me sharing something I found to be interesting. As fellow debaters, you will probably find this to be interesting (and maybe helpful) too. :)

I read this excerpt from a recent book I picked up:
"You can't win an argument. You can't because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.[..]
A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still."

-Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)

Now I don't entirely agree with Carnegie here, but I think it provides an opportunity for introspection as to why we are here on DDO. I know there are a number of us who genuinely enjoy debating, who love the challenge offered and who love to share/test their ideas. I also know that there are a number of people who argue for the sake of being right. They argue to win, to show off. I think those aren't necessarily bad motives per se, but - in light of what I've seen occur among some of our user base -
I think that on some level, Carnegie may be right. It is incredibly difficult to convince someone of your side when their pride is at stake or when you are clearly motivated by selfish reasons (ego, material gains, etc.)
However, I don't think that being convincing is impossible. I believe intention matters, and I think that going into a debate/argument with unselfish motives would save a lot of bad blood.
Try to understand the other side. Try to understand the effect that you might actually be having on them when you argue. Are you trying to convince them or are you just trying to be right?

Finally, a little curiosity on my part to anyone who's read this far:
Why do you debate? To share/test ideas? To win? Do you enjoy the exercise in and of itself? Other reasons?
The introspection might help you become more convincing. So please do tell. I would love to know.
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fire_man
Posts: 23
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11/2/2015 11:30:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:18:46 PM, Beginner wrote:
Hey. Welcome to me sharing something I found to be interesting. As fellow debaters, you will probably find this to be interesting (and maybe helpful) too. :)

I read this excerpt from a recent book I picked up:
"You can't win an argument. You can't because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.[..]
A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still."

-Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)

Now I don't entirely agree with Carnegie here, but I think it provides an opportunity for introspection as to why we are here on DDO. I know there are a number of us who genuinely enjoy debating, who love the challenge offered and who love to share/test their ideas. I also know that there are a number of people who argue for the sake of being right. They argue to win, to show off. I think those aren't necessarily bad motives per se, but - in light of what I've seen occur among some of our user base -
I think that on some level, Carnegie may be right. It is incredibly difficult to convince someone of your side when their pride is at stake or when you are clearly motivated by selfish reasons (ego, material gains, etc.)
However, I don't think that being convincing is impossible. I believe intention matters, and I think that going into a debate/argument with unselfish motives would save a lot of bad blood.
Try to understand the other side. Try to understand the effect that you might actually be having on them when you argue. Are you trying to convince them or are you just trying to be right?

Finally, a little curiosity on my part to anyone who's read this far:
Why do you debate? To share/test ideas? To win? Do you enjoy the exercise in and of itself? Other reasons?
The introspection might help you become more convincing. So please do tell. I would love to know. : :

I don't debate. I'm only here to find those who agree with me. Life is much easier when you find good friends who don't try argue with every claim you make. This is why I only make statements instead of trying to set up an argument with stupid questions that have been asked a million times in forums like this.
Beginner
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11/2/2015 11:33:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:30:30 PM, fire_man wrote:
I don't debate. I'm only here to find those who agree with me. Life is much easier when you find good friends who don't try argue with every claim you make. This is why I only make statements instead of trying to set up an argument with stupid questions that have been asked a million times in forums like this.

OK. I'm not sure about the implying that I post stupid questions (that's mean QQ), but I understand. I mean.. I fundamentally disagree with your motive, but you do what you do.
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kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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11/2/2015 11:37:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I debate for many reasons.

1: To explore new topics. Occasionally I will debate a topic that catches my interest that I have no strong opinion on to feel out the topic.

2: Academic exercise. Sometimes a debate on topics that I feel like I know a good deal on and argue an unpopular side to see how well I can do.

3: Its fun. Of course its not always fun, but sometimes it is.

4: Something to do... Sometimes I am just bored.

I am sure there are other reasons... though these are the main four.
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"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

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fire_man
Posts: 23
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11/2/2015 11:37:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:33:40 PM, Beginner wrote:
At 11/2/2015 11:30:30 PM, fire_man wrote:
I don't debate. I'm only here to find those who agree with me. Life is much easier when you find good friends who don't try argue with every claim you make. This is why I only make statements instead of trying to set up an argument with stupid questions that have been asked a million times in forums like this.

OK. I'm not sure about the implying that I post stupid questions (that's mean QQ), but I understand. I mean.. I fundamentally disagree with your motive, but you do what you do. : :

Have you ever tried making friends with people that you argue against every point they make?

A good salesman knows how to win friends and influence people. They simply enjoy the conversation until their friend signs the dotted line. Then they remain friends with that person forever.
fire_man
Posts: 23
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11/3/2015 12:35:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:47:40 PM, SM2 wrote:
I debate because I'm bored and starved of social interaction. : :

The best way to connect to other people is to listen to their stories without judging them. Forget about arguing with them because arguing causes strife and mistrust. Trust is necessary to make good friends.
Nac
Posts: 326
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11/3/2015 12:35:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:18:46 PM, Beginner wrote:
Hey. Welcome to me sharing something I found to be interesting. As fellow debaters, you will probably find this to be interesting (and maybe helpful) too. :)

I read this excerpt from a recent book I picked up:
"You can't win an argument. You can't because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.[..]
A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still."

-Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)

Now I don't entirely agree with Carnegie here, but I think it provides an opportunity for introspection as to why we are here on DDO. I know there are a number of us who genuinely enjoy debating, who love the challenge offered and who love to share/test their ideas. I also know that there are a number of people who argue for the sake of being right. They argue to win, to show off. I think those aren't necessarily bad motives per se, but - in light of what I've seen occur among some of our user base -
I think that on some level, Carnegie may be right. It is incredibly difficult to convince someone of your side when their pride is at stake or when you are clearly motivated by selfish reasons (ego, material gains, etc.)
However, I don't think that being convincing is impossible. I believe intention matters, and I think that going into a debate/argument with unselfish motives would save a lot of bad blood.
Try to understand the other side. Try to understand the effect that you might actually be having on them when you argue. Are you trying to convince them or are you just trying to be right?

Finally, a little curiosity on my part to anyone who's read this far:
Why do you debate? To share/test ideas? To win? Do you enjoy the exercise in and of itself? Other reasons?
The introspection might help you become more convincing. So please do tell. I would love to know.

I actually am reluctant to perform formal debates anymore. I dislike being placed into a position where acknowledging the strength of an opponent's argument can harm me, and where changing my mind is a loss.

I prefer the forums, much more suitable to the type of discussions I adore seeing.
Beginner
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11/3/2015 6:12:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:37:02 PM, kasmic wrote:
I debate for many reasons.

1: To explore new topics. Occasionally I will debate a topic that catches my interest that I have no strong opinion on to feel out the topic.
Same. I've pretty much defined every facet of my philosophies, morality and religious beliefs through DDO.

2: Academic exercise. Sometimes a debate on topics that I feel like I know a good deal on and argue an unpopular side to see how well I can do.
Oh yes. This in particular. DDO has definitely made me an infinitely better writer/essayist.

3: Its fun. Of course its not always fun, but sometimes it is.
Of course.

4: Something to do... Sometimes I am just bored.
Makes sense. I think many of us share this one.

I am sure there are other reasons... though these are the main four.

Thanks for sharing.
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Beginner
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11/3/2015 6:15:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:37:06 PM, fire_man wrote:
Have you ever tried making friends with people that you argue against every point they make?
My best friend and I are debate fanatics. We constantly try to find things to disagree on, but we're also on extremely good terms.
In short, yes, but not everyone will be debate fanatics. However, not everyone will be completely averse to debating. I think there's a spectrum.
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Beginner
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11/3/2015 6:18:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 11:47:40 PM, SM2 wrote:
I debate because I'm bored and starved of social interaction.

You should join the DDO google hangouts.
There will be people there every evening anywhere from 5PM - 1AM P.S.T. We're just there to talk. There are new faces all the time.. you could be one of them. We can do live debates, play mafia/games, or chat about life or philosophy, politics, whatever.
It might help. :P
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Beginner
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11/3/2015 6:30:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/3/2015 12:35:47 AM, Nac wrote:
I actually am reluctant to perform formal debates anymore. I dislike being placed into a position where acknowledging the strength of an opponent's argument can harm me, and where changing my mind is a loss.

I prefer the forums, much more suitable to the type of discussions I adore seeing.

Ah I see. There are of course, pro's and con's to debating officially through the debate function and debating via forums.
You're right in the forums don't have an encoded system to 'punish' you for not wanting to argue a point any further.
However, many forum debates devolve into flame wars and the point is often loss. There are much less moderation and much weaker standards.
Formal debate offers less wriggle room, but conversely it punishes people for not following structure and for derailing the topic. I find that arguments and ideas are a lot better exercised when both side are forced to squish all their arguments into concise text. There's less of an impetus to think of and to refute arguments effectively when the discussion is open-forum.
Less flame wars, to the point and well.. if you don't care about your ELO, I think debating is probably the best way for you to learn/explore new ideas.

Of course, it depends on personal preference. Do you want open discussion with more participants or closed discussion with less participants and more concentrated ideas?
I think that's what it boils down to.
-Maybe a bit of both?
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