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| | |-+  Have you ever actually been persuaded/persuaded someone else in an argument?
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Question: ...
Yes, I often change my opinion   -2 (2.4%)
Yes, I sometimes change my opinion   -25 (29.4%)
Yes, but I almost never change my opinion   -15 (17.6%)
No, I never change my opinion   -3 (3.5%)
Yes, I often sway other people   -9 (10.6%)
Yes, I sometimes sway other people   -14 (16.5%)
Yes, but I almost never sway other people   -14 (16.5%)
No, I never sway other people   -3 (3.5%)
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Total Voters: 46

Author Topic: Have you ever actually been persuaded/persuaded someone else in an argument?  (Read 2781 times)
Emperor Scott
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« on: August 03, 2012, 01:44:36 pm »
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I was browsing another message board last night, and found myself engaging in yet another debate about homosexuality and gay marriage.  I argued with one person in particular about the philosophical aspects of the subject, paragraph after paragraph, for about three or four hours straight until he proclaimed that since he wasn't swaying anyone to his side, his time would be better spent sleeping, and ceased replying.  I find it rather common for me to be debating with someone about an issue, but even after plethoras of text walls and hours of sleep gone, neither me or the person on the other side of the issue nudge one bit, and the conversation takes off from there.  Then it is as if all the time and effort from both our parts to persuade the other were, in a way, completely wasted.

So this prompts me to ask- have you ever actually changed your or someone else's opinion on an issue through debating it?

I vote options 3 (the stubborn debater that I am) and 7.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 12:14:23 pm by Senator Scott »Logged

Redalgo
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 02:08:04 pm »
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I picked, "Yes, I sometimes change my opinion," and, "Yes, but I almost never sway other people."

For instance, in political debates people have convinced me to change positions before on the issues of abortion, affirmative action, anti-terrorist monitoring, gun control, international trade, multiculturalism, the war in Afghanistan, and progressive taxation. If anything the selection of Option 7 is iffy because I cannot remember an occasion on which I convinced someone else to adopt one of my positions. It's probably occurred at one point or another though. xD
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 02:13:45 pm »

Yes, it's a foible of mine too; getting involved debating strangers on the Internetz, at the cost of better things. Still, the time isn't necessarily entirely wasted. The point of such debates is not to get the other person to change their mind but rather to influence other people who may be watching/reading, and may not feel as strongly. It can also help you organize your thoughts so that you'll be more articulate next time. To answer your question: yes. O/c, it's usually not in hot button issues like 'gay marriage', 'abortion', etc. but narrower or more esoteric subjects.
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 02:16:19 pm »
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I picked, "Yes, I sometimes change my opinion," and, "Yes, but I almost never sway other people."

For instance, in political debates people have convinced me to change positions before on the issues of abortion, affirmative action, anti-terrorist monitoring, gun control, international trade, multiculturalism, the war in Afghanistan, and progressive taxation. If anything the selection of Option 7 is iffy because I cannot remember an occasion on which I convinced someone else to adopt one of my positions. It's probably occurred at one point or another though. xD

Are you a former neoconservative, Redalgo? Tongue
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 02:22:50 pm by Senator Scott »Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 02:35:49 pm »
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Are you a former neoconservative, Redalgo? Tongue

I was a Trot, democratic socialist, then social democrat before arriving at my current ideology.

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. . . people have convinced me to change positions before on the issues of abortion, affirmative action, anti-terrorist monitoring, gun control, international trade, multiculturalism, the war in Afghanistan, and progressive taxation . . .

On the issues aforementioned, succinctly, my shifting positions were something like these:



Reduce human population --> woman's choice --> discourage third-trimester abortions

Pro-affirmative action --> anti-affirmative action --> wavering in-between --> repeat twice

Spy on suspected enemies of the Revolution --> protect privacy --> balance privacy and security

Confiscate all guns --> heavily regulate guns --> lightly regulate --> moderately regulate

Protectionist / neo-mercantilist --> strictly fair trade --> mostly free trade --> moderately fair trade

Crush religion and archaic customs --> preserve threatened cultures --> mixed stance

America! [INKS] YEAH! --> immediate withdrawal --> gradual, phased withdrawal

Very steeply progressive taxes --> high flat tax with large "prebate" --> steeply progressive taxes



There have been quite a few other strange transformations in stances over the years. lol ^^
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 02:59:13 pm by Redalgo »Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 05:25:20 pm »
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2012, 05:47:41 pm »
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Yes, I've changed peoples' opinions fairly often. I don't change my opinions that often, but that's because I either have an opinion and then usually have thought it through so well that I won't be convinced by counter-arguments (I've already considered them, most of the time) or I don't have a strong opinion and then I can't change it. Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 06:29:09 pm »
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Both instances are quite rare.
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2012, 08:32:13 pm »
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     I've changed my opinions at times, though I think my views are more set in stone today than they were in the past. Don't know that I've ever persuaded anyone else, though. I normally avoid debating issues, since I think the only effect it has is making me look stupid.
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2012, 10:10:59 pm »
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Options 2 and 6
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2012, 11:06:38 pm »
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"Yes, sometimes" for both.  And I, like Beet, don't do it to get the other guy to change, he's almost always a nutter.  I do it to get the lurker to see things at a different angle.  And like Beet, I do it to get better at it and to firm up (or shake down) my own positions.
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 08:41:34 pm »
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Of course! However, this is more on single issues than entire ideologies.
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 08:50:38 pm »
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Yes, I'm essentially responsible for my close friends political leanings at this point. One of my friends is a liberal Democrat because of me, one of my friends is significantly more moderate than he otherwise would be because of me etc. In real life people tend to give tremendous respect to my views for some reason, especially fellow liberal-leaners. One of my polisci professors even remarked on this. I don't understand it but I accept it.

I am swayed by data-based arguments so in RL, I'm never swayed while on the internet I'm very susceptible to changing my view.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 08:53:30 pm by TheDeadFlagBlues »Logged



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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 09:05:57 pm »
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On the issues aforementioned, succinctly, my shifting positions were something like these:



Reduce human population --> woman's choice --> discourage third-trimester abortions

Pro-affirmative action --> anti-affirmative action --> wavering in-between --> repeat twice

Spy on suspected enemies of the Revolution --> protect privacy --> balance privacy and security

Confiscate all guns --> heavily regulate guns --> lightly regulate --> moderately regulate

Protectionist / neo-mercantilist --> strictly fair trade --> mostly free trade --> moderately fair trade

Crush religion and archaic customs --> preserve threatened cultures --> mixed stance

America! [INKS] YEAH! --> immediate withdrawal --> gradual, phased withdrawal

Very steeply progressive taxes --> high flat tax with large "prebate" --> steeply progressive taxes

Can we have Redalgo v. 2.5 (bolded) back? I rather like that one.
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 02:34:07 pm »
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When I was in college, I was naive enough to think I could change the mind of a Protestant born-again evangelist on an online college newspaper forum.  Needless to say, I know better now.  Tongue

Also, I think I have gone over my political transformation over the years enough that I don't see the need to go over them again. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 02:39:43 pm by Frodo »Logged

Lt. Governor Dr. Cynic
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2012, 02:42:22 pm »
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It's happened twice, once both ways. I was convinced to oppose the death penalty while I convinced someone who was previously pro-life to change their position.
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2012, 05:51:50 pm »
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Whenever I go through a change in beliefs, it's usually due more to a personal epiphany than something someone else told me.

I tend to think that throwing around the labels of "liberal" and "conservative" is a bad thing, because you tend to get people trying to live up to their labels rather than actually thinking things through. I'm guilty of it too.

Most recently, I've come around and am now against the death penalty.

So to summarize... I don't really get convinced. I have swayed some other people before, but mostly in person rather than over the internet.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 01:39:41 am by HagridOfTheDeep »Logged

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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2012, 06:48:02 pm »
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The first instance is incredibly rare, because I am at heart a very, very stubborn person -- the only permanent change of opinion I can in fact think of is an ex-girlfriend (we're still on good terms, but 'ex') who convinced me to switch from Coke to Pepsi.

As to the second one, very frequently. High schoolers do not have strong opinions about economics or foreign policy (as opposed to social policy like abortion or gay marriage) and are therefore very willing to listen to someone they trust who does, like me. When politics is discussed in my clique, it usually comes down to me saying something and everyone agreeing. I am a rather persuasive person in real life (I recall a rather heated argument about Libya with my English teacher, where I was actually against intervention and she was for it, where I managed to convince the entire class that Gaddafi was preferable to the rebels, and f**k the mainstream media).
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2012, 08:41:02 pm »
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As to the second one, very frequently. High schoolers do not have strong opinions about economics or foreign policy (as opposed to social policy like abortion or gay marriage) and are therefore very willing to listen to someone they trust who does, like me. When politics is discussed in my clique, it usually comes down to me saying something and everyone agreeing. I am a rather persuasive person in real life (I recall a rather heated argument about Libya with my English teacher, where I was actually against intervention and she was for it, where I managed to convince the entire class that Gaddafi was preferable to the rebels, and f**k the mainstream media).

This is true. I take great joy in doing this to other students sometimes. I could probably get a large portion of the class to cite Hayek and von Mises as their favorite economists if I told them they were; I did get a couple people to believe Gaddafi was the King of Egypt for a while too.
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2012, 12:42:11 am »
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Yes but almost never to both. How easy it is to change someone's opinion depends a lot on the issue and often how well you know them. Let's face it, you're very unlikely to change someone's views on gay marriage when you're arguing with a complete stranger over the internet. Sweeping cultural views like that change slowly, often over the course of years, influenced subtly by many conversations and relationships. Smaller, less ideologically divisive issues can often be influenced by a conversation. I am almost sure I've changed the mind of a few friends on small issues over the years, such as how to vote in a levy or a referendum on whether or not a municipality should build a certain project, etc. Often changing someone's mind requires presenting the situation in a new way they haven't thought of before, a twist that reconciles divergent points. This tends not to be possible on divisive issues like abortion or gay marriage that have been argued to death and practically everyone has heard about. There may be some people in the middle of the issues who can be influenced by either side, but the people on each side are very unlikely to change their mind because of a certain argument.

I have noticed that most of the time when my mind has been changed by an argument, it was changed by someone I started off agreeing with. For example I used to be a huge advocate of legalizing gambling in Ohio, but switched positions after reading an editorial for the state referendum to build casinos. I used to support the death penalty, but was turned against it by someone arguing for it.
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« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2012, 10:26:23 am »
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Both Beet and dead0man make the good point that debaters debate for the audience and themselves as well as for their direct debate opponent. Even in a formal tournament it's the judges who must be swayed by the strength of the argument, not one's opponent.

I would also like to expand on Vosem's comment. The core there is that information can move judgements, unless there is a stronger underlying belief. On subjects where one has a significant edge in knowledge and there is little personal involvement, debate can be very effective. Conversely, I find that it is equally effective to be open to points where someone else has the knowledge edge. It shows that person respect and makes that person more likely to concede your points when knowledge is in your favor.
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« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2012, 11:05:55 am »
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To be persuasive in political debates one must avoid triggering the unconscious prejudices and biases of their counterpart, framing ones points using words and arguments they can relate to and appreciate as opposed to tripping their brain's automated defenses with certain phrases or tones which almost invariably lead to that other person fighting tooth and nail to rationalize their way into "winning" the conversation instead of having an intelligent, given-and-take, open discussion about the issue at hand. It is all about the symbolism utilized - folks are not purely logical critters.

I like the quote, "Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected." Yet that in itself is not enough. The message has to be presented attractively, and the messenger needs to present their self more like a friend than a passionate enemy or fiery preacher. In practice I do not focus on persuasion though, believing it is best left to each individual for people to decide for themselves what to think and believe. I merely like to present my point of view, respond if responded to, and otherwise leave folks be as they are.

Well, that and I'm not as skilled and wise a communicator, scholar, or theorist as many people around me.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 11:15:07 am by Redalgo »Logged

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« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2012, 11:46:52 am »
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Yes to both, though it's very rare and depends heavily on the salience of the topic. I've actually changed someone's mind on abortion before, but in general, such kneejerk issues are almost impossible to budge someone on, at least all at once. The only times it usually happens for any issue of any significance is if you can get someone (or yourself) to think about something from an entirely new angle that they really hadn't considered before, allowing them to reconceptualize whatever it is you're talking about. It shouldn't really be a goal, though, because trying to do so only makes it more difficult.

Edit: ..and I pretty much just said the same thing as TJ, though he said it more eloquently. Damn him for thinking similarly to me. Tongue I guess that's why I should read the thread first.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 11:49:26 am by realisticidealist »Logged

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« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2012, 09:40:23 am »
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I was browsing another message board last time, and found myself engaging in yet another debate about homosexuality and gay marriage.  I argued with one person in particular about the philosophical aspects of the subject, paragraph after paragraph, for about three or four hours straight until he proclaimed that since he wasn't swaying anyone to his side, his time would be better spent sleeping, and ceased replying.  I find it rather common for me to be debating with someone about an issue, but even after plethoras of text walls and hours of sleep gone, neither me or the person on the other side of the issue nudge one bit, and the conversation takes off from there.  Then it is as if all the time and effort from both our parts to persuade the other were, in a way, completely wasted.

So this prompts me to ask- have you ever actually changed your or someone else's opinion on an issue through debating it?

I vote options 3 (the stubborn debater that I am) and 7.

I was trolling my boss's facebook with her cousin once about abortion. Great times. Ended the same way.
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2012, 10:41:39 am »
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Of course. I'd have to be either an all-knowing genius or a blowhard douche not to have my mind changed at any point. Considering I'm only 23 and have plenty more to learn about everything, there's not a chance in hell my views are gonna stay the same forever.
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