View Full Version : Debating, opinions, and you.

11-20-2007, 08:33 PM
I am curious about why some of you debate, and how it can effect some of your opinions over time.

I come on Kavar's whenever I have free time to type something out and see how it goes, but my words never really stick as my opinion on something can change subtly to drastically a few times over on a topic/thread. Some days I have completely different opinions that the ones I had the previous day due to a few short conversations or even listening to a song. I'll type out a long post, come back the next day, and then wonder why I believed that in the first place. I'm not the most intellectual person in most topics this forum discusses, so I mostly debate to better expand my knowledge.

So, what does debating do for you? Does your opinion change a lot, or stick solid? Is it for fun, or some other reason?

Jae Onasi
11-20-2007, 09:26 PM
I'm interested in seeing what other people think of a given issue--with so many different cultures represented in the LF population, there are a host of different, and often fascinating, viewpoints on many things. It's fun to see the different ideas bandied about.

Occasionally, I just feel like ranting about something because I'm frustrated about a given issue, and this is an appropriate outlet if done respectfully.

11-20-2007, 11:57 PM
Jae summed it up pretty well in the first pp. Sometimes you learn something, even if it's only why people believe what they believe. Other times, just to sling the bull, so to speak.

11-21-2007, 12:41 AM
Depends for me, Sometimes I have a strong opinion in one direction, and Iwill take the opposing viewpoint of my own and attempt to attack my own viewpoint with a vengance. I generally know the counter to my own opinions pretty well, and know the strongest answers in opposition. Then there are times I feel strongly for a position, but don't know enough about it. Of course the big thing for me is to get as much knowledge both pro and con for my position.

If I see a majority of people arguing for my position, I'll take the opposing side. If too many are arguing against, I take my position. It can throw people off balance sometimes when they meet me in person. I can get into a disagreement with anyone haha

11-21-2007, 12:42 AM
I agree, the reason I frequently visit Kavar's Corner is because I wan to see other people's opinions on different topics. I have relized that lately some of the topics that are are LF (specifically Kavar's Corner) I discuss with my parents, and get their opinion on the matter. I just find debating as a 'fun' thing to do. IMO, of course. :)

Web Rider
11-21-2007, 01:39 AM
I tend to mostly enjoy debating as it's been said, to hear a more "real" POV. Not some media hyped "this is what people think" and not some government garbage from a politician who thinks I should care what they think.

My opinion can change in the course of a single post, which is why at times, my posts can seem contradictory because I'll start off with one point and as I think about, actually write and think about it, my opinion changes.

So yes, debate also helps me solidify my opinion as to what I think.

Ray Jones
11-21-2007, 07:17 AM
I debate only so I can shove my views down other people's throats. I have a Dotanuki, so it's not that hard too, eh. :p

11-21-2007, 07:45 AM
I don't debate much, mostly lurk around to check out different opinions and such. I do join in at times, to throw some wood in the fire. ;)

More than raw knowledge, what I learn here is how every person is for his or her own, and how their opinions and knowledge interact to form an answer. A lesser reason why I'm around is to just see how strong my beliefs are, and how they are valid against the many seemingly valid opinions of others.

11-21-2007, 07:56 AM
I come here also to get others takes on things. Unlike some of the others, I do not debate anything unless I care about the subject, yet I try not to debate anything that I too strongly care about (although I occasionally break that rule). I never take the opposite view of my own, as I always hated that requirement in school.

I try to look at all sides of an argument if real life before making a decision and yes my opinions do change over time and with new information. Reading others thoughts here just gives me a new perspective in that regards.

While I try to stay away from posting in religious threads, I do read a lot of them and they have changed my perspective in some ways. I try not to post in religious threads because I do not want to offend others about something so important to them with my beliefs, because there is no real evidence that mine are correct. This is the area I have changed the most before I never could understood why Atheists would care about anyone religious beliefs. Why didn't they just laugh at those of us that believe and go on about their business? Achilles and others pointed out to me how people of faith use that faith everyday to make decisions that have consequences for us all.

I do find it fun, especially reading some of the bias in the media discussions. I really enjoy just reading some of the debates when you know one member is setting up another. Something I personally do not have the stomach for, but do find it entertaining if done in moderation. I just want to yell or PM the person “don’t go there,” but too late.

Web Rider
11-21-2007, 03:08 PM
on that note, I love to play Devil's Advocate, it's endless fun.

John Galt
11-21-2007, 05:00 PM
I debate because I enjoy it. However, there are some issues I do not touch, like abortion.

11-21-2007, 08:22 PM
I debate because I found this cool political view and I want to throw it out to see how quickly opponents of it can demolish it to the ground.

Works every single time. :)

[In the rare cirmustance that I may actually care about the issue I am debating about, the reason would be "How best can I convert someone else to my cause?" This second aim is usually an unqualified failure, and the opponent's succesful attempts to refute my argument ends up having me lose my support for the cause to begin with.]

I sometimes play as the "Devil's Advocate", altough I have failed many times in that role.

11-21-2007, 10:51 PM
Truth be told I generally spend more time playing Devil's Advocate than actually defending my own position. I try to tell people that I'm playing devils advocate most times.

It can be loads of fun when you get someone who has no idea who you are, claiming you are a racist, bigotted, gay-bashing, devil-worshiper, and show that attitude to your friends who happen to be black, gay, Christian, or whatever, and see how silly the argument gets. It can be a bit dangerous though. When my friend stepped in on one board I used to frequent, it got very heated.

I was defending the legality of some silliness regarding homosexuality with no real passion, and it ended up turning into "YOU HATE GAYS YOU GAY BASHING PRICK!" in less than family friendly language. When I said that that was not the case at all, and that I had friends who were gay, was signed to an indipendant label owned by gay men, etc, he simply called me a liar. My gay friends saw the posts, joined the web site, and started going off on the guy who had lambasted me... 10 to 20 people all attacking the same person was not pretty.

11-21-2007, 11:16 PM
So basically, you're not playing Devil's Advocate, you're just trying to be offensive. Mature.

11-22-2007, 12:39 AM
No, in fact just the opposite. I play Devil's Advocate. When people aren't defending the opposite side, the debate gets stale and you end up with a huge echo chamber. A whole bunch of "Yeah I agree" posts gets boring. When you force people to defend their position, it creates an atmosphere that more people who may only have minimal information can actually learn. Sometimes people take my position too far, and infer things about me that are not true. I have had Conservatives call me a Liberal weenie, and Liberals call me a Neo-Con Warmonger. As I said, I defend the less defended position. Can you explain how that is not playing the devil's advocate?

Because I defend the position does not mean that I actually agree with the position. I defend the morality positions of pro life, even though I am pro choice. I understand both sides of an issue, and can usually remain rather dispassionate.

I think it is very important for people to understand the opposition. If you cannot defend the opposition, you run the risk of not being ready to defend your own position.

In the incident described above, I made no statements that were bashing gays, nor did I say anything that could infer that I in any way hated the GLBT community in any way shape or form. I was however defending the legality of the situation with the currently existing laws of that area. Whether those laws were morally right, or not was not what I was defending(and I said as much in my posts), because the debate was not morality(which as I had shown in the "Sith" threads depends largely on your perseective). When someone in there asked me to explain how it could be morally defensible, I explained regarding religious/cultural views etc. That was when I was attacked personally. I did not infer that I believed in those religions/cultural views, just that those views exist.

Jae Onasi
11-22-2007, 01:23 AM
When I said that that was not the case at all, and that I had friends who were gay, was signed to an indipendant label owned by gay men, etc, he simply called me a liar. My gay friends saw the posts, joined the web site, and started going off on the guy who had lambasted me... 10 to 20 people all attacking the same person was not pretty.

Let's not start any flame wars here using that technique, kthx.

11-22-2007, 01:34 AM
Trust me it was not my intention to start a flame war. Flame wars only stifle good debate. I showed it to my friend to merely ask whether I had made any statement that appeared to him to be that way. I didn't know that he would go home join the site and get his "girls" together on it. I was really upset about it. Hence why I never go there anymore(self imposed perma-ban). I also sent the site owner a heartfelt appology for the incident, and my last post in the site was a public appology to all the forum goers there for the incident.

Samuel Dravis
11-22-2007, 10:18 PM
A large portion of my posts on Lucasforums are either here or in the Senate. Why? Because there are interesting topics discussed here that actually affect me, unlike the next Guitar Hero or trailer thread. I can live without those; I can't live without deciding how to deal - in some way - with global warming, skepticism, religion, politics, and the other assorted topics. Talking here allows me to present the best ideas I have on a subject and see other people's responses - some of which have convinced me to change my own position.

I don't play devil's advocate. If there is a better side to a discussion, I want to be on it. Extending a debate beyond its useful life - or creating a debate where there is not one - is not something I find useful.

In the extremely rare situation when I create a thread here, I do so because I believe that others will benefit when they think about their responses as much as I do when I read them.

11-23-2007, 04:20 AM
There's a difference between playing Devil's Advocate to encourage thought and playing Devil's Advocate to bait the other debaters. Now, you may be doing the former, but it sounds a lot more like the latter to me.

11-24-2007, 05:04 PM
^Agreed. Devil's Advocate isn't just promoting outrageous views/inciting riot simply to cause mass flame wars. (this is just in general, I'm not talking about you, Tommycat :) - I haven't seen any of your posts so I'm not going to judge you on something that I know little about) Anyways....

I guess I just can't refuse a debate, especially when it is something that I feel strongly about. I seriously doubt whether my or my opponent's views will really change that much (maybe over time), since both of us are probably set in our beliefs (I try to keep an open mind, of course), but sometimes I just think that perhaps people "spectating" will be those who actually are affected in some way. Maybe. I dunno.

It just comes down to me just having to stick my two cents in about important stuff (religion, politics, etc.), I guess. Whether I really have the time or not. :)

Gargoyle King
11-24-2007, 06:19 PM
I don't particularly like "Flame Wars" or causing them (although i think i've come close once or twice :lol: ).

I like to debate, especially if it's something you want to get off your chest and an online environment is the perfect place to that to meet like-minded people or to argue your point sometimes pointlessly as someone or someones whose opinions differ to your own. I think that is the key focus to debates, opinion, in that it can turn even the simplist of discussions in to something something much more developed and involved, as someone has always got something new to bring to the board. I'm glad there's a Kavar Corner here at LF, it's good to talk somethimes methinks! :D

11-24-2007, 09:35 PM
There's a difference between playing Devil's Advocate to encourage thought and playing Devil's Advocate to bait the other debaters. Now, you may be doing the former, but it sounds a lot more like the latter to me.
As it seems more like you are baiting, I think this will be the last response I give to you on this subject.

I see more baiting in your posts than I have shown in mine. If you can point to any posts I have made in here that seem more flame bait rather than encouraging looking deeper into an issue than simply the surface. Have I demonstrated some baiting? I don't believe I have. I have taken the least defended position(in many cases). I guess that in itself can be offensive to some. Some people become overly sensitive on some issues. What can be fun isn't those situations, but when you see your own arguments being thrown back at you. The arguments you have used yourself being used against your position in the thread. It is extremely difficult to challenge yourself to find an argument against the way you personally feel.

If you want the full details on what exactly happened, I will be happy to give full details(within reason). I just don't think this would be the best thread to post out the whole list of arguments. Needless to say, I make my best effort to avoid attacking a person. Instead I attack the issue at hand.

11-25-2007, 11:38 AM
Actually my reasons vary pretty widely. Sometimes it's to sharpen my arguements and get a firmer idea of why I believe what I do.

Other times there's more of a "scientific method" of debate. Throw out a hypothesis stated in arguement form, and see if someone can effectively knock it down.

Other times, it's a desire to understand other points of view on an issue that tends to have strong effects on people.

But also, it's just fun.

11-26-2007, 01:16 PM
Sometimes to meet like minded people to convince myself I'm not insane.
Sometimes to escape the boredom during maths.
Sometimes to see how people feel about different issues.
Sometimes to debate about things I feel strongly about.
Alltimes to have fun and learn something at the same time.
Sometimes to see if people bother to read my long and boring posts :ears1:

11-26-2007, 02:39 PM
I don't debate much on forums per se, I enjoy reading mostly. I like to know as much as I can from both sides of an issue. I try to keep a very open mind about any and all topics because sometimes the general public isn't always given the "full" story. That extra information could cause me to completely change my mind on something.

11-26-2007, 03:12 PM
The reason I usually get drawn into a debate thread is because I seem to be automatically skeptical of people with strong beliefs. This often leads me to question how strongly someone will adhere to their viewpoint under a variety of conditions. In doing so, we can elicit general values, discuss them, prioritize them, and draw a bit more meaning out of an otherwise specific thread topic. The added benefit is that this helps me get to know others in a more substantial way than in Ahto for example.

12-02-2007, 01:59 AM
I used ot get all mad at people when i discussed thing slike evolution, Christianity, etc, etc. i think debatign on allt hese different forums i've been on has finally given me the proper perspective of debating though, so it was good for me in the longrun. i've gained some new philosophies myself , and my opinions have changed as i've been proven wrogn before, but now i'd coem back here to debate seriously cause it's well... refreshing. it's nice to discuss the big questiosn and debates in life for soem reason...
What i basically liek to debate:
Politics, morals, science
Why i know in my mind Christinity is true and my scientific reasoning behind it
a bunch of other stuff...

Lolz i want to start up a huge Science proves Chrisitnity debate. all i'm worried about is that a bunch of peopel will get mad at me for doign it and a flame war will occur and i'll have o ask the moderators to close the thread cause everyone gets out of control...

12-02-2007, 02:34 AM
If you intend to make a thread like that, you may want to consider using spellcheck.

12-02-2007, 02:37 AM
agreed. i should probably do that more often.

12-02-2007, 02:49 AM
i want to start up a huge Science proves Chrisitnity debate. all i'm worried about is that a bunch of peopel will get mad at me for doign it
Don't worry about what other people think, because that will get you no where. All you need is some, as many others would call, "proof", put the thread in Kavar's Corner and you are set to go! I can tell you that I will definately be in that thread if you make it. :)

12-02-2007, 05:59 AM
Don't worry about what people think Arc, if you manage to prove the existence of the christian god, you will probably convert every atheist here. Though I hope you have some evidence other than what you posted some time ago.

12-02-2007, 10:50 AM
yeah bakc then i was a little mixed up, but now everything i've leanred since then is clickign into place. i've studied so much science since then... and all athiestic proof agaisnt christianity only seems to prove it more... but there is one thing i'm not sure about, so i'll start a thread about that one thing first to fidn out what it's about to make sure i've covered all my bases.