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Old 10-20-2008, 02:10 PM   #1
Arcesious's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NE
Posts: 1,876
Current Game: Mass Effect
Lightbulb Not saying what we mean

I've heard a lot of interesting stuff from my pastor and lots of apologetics... (Before you go, OMG, not again! I will first say: this thread is not about me, lol, it's about a communications clogging effect I've noticed in many debates.)

Interesting thing I've found is the arguments they speak of and what arguments they argue with the opposite side.

They've got a lot of complicated arguements based on stuff from people like RB Theime, Ravi Zacharias, etc, etc. Lots of Apologetic stuff. They actually have quite a complicated and well-thought-out argument about how the unbeleiver cannot understand the 'word of God'... (It's very complicated - ask my pastor for details, lol.)

Anyways, they make interesting arguments about how the 'unbeleiver' as they call people like me, think, and what it is like to debate with a person of our perspective.

Here's what's intriquing- when they come to argue with a secularist or someone of a different religion/perspective face to face, they never seem to fully reveal the argument they have, even though that is the intention in debating. This is because their argument leaves presuppositions about the opposition, about how the opposition thinks. They have to be careful in their wording, and they can't entirely reveal their true opinion.

It's like this- the pastor presents his lesson to his congregation. But the lesson he makes is one that he would never use on a person who does not beleive his religion. It's kind of like how you can say one thing to your friend because your friend 'understands' and won't be offended, but you say another thing entirely to someone who you could offend with the argument. They thereby convey the argument with the same intention of meaning, but it is interpretted differently. This is because the argument they make to teach another needs to be carefully presented to someone you are debating with, lest the argument you debate with is rejected by the opposition because the argument sounds arrogant.

And guess what, thinking about it the other way... Secularists like me do the same thing. I and others discuss something together, whilst sharing the same perspectives, one way, but speak of it differently with a person of a different perspective.

This seems to kind of tie into the 'Courtier's reply' concept. (Edit: IE, the emperor's new clothes)

I don't know what this effect is actually called, but I'll just call it 'the two-faced argument'.

This seems to happen everywhere all the time... And it is sadly seems to have a very annoying effect on communication between two people of opposite perspectives in a debate. As I've seen this effect at work, people are afraid to offend the other person. That's all well and good, to try to not offend someone in an argument, but the thing is, in not offending the opposition, oftentimes the meaning of the argument you are making is interpreted far differently than you intended it to be, and the argument eventually ends with minimal to no progress for either side succeeding in winning the debate, because both sides were close-minded and misunderstood each other.

I know, I know - "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
But sometimes I think people around the world would understand each other better if we said what we really mean and think. Not that we should flame each other in debates though - but to be more honest about our opinion of whomever is the opposition in the debate.

Too often I find myself not understanding where another person is coming from in their argument because I don't know how their life experiences have led them to think the way they think, and I would bet it's the same way a lot of times for people hearing my arguments.

It' like how you can think you know your friend so well, but never realize just how different a person he/she is than you think he/she is.

What do you think about this?

Please feed the trolls. XD

Last edited by Arcesious; 10-21-2008 at 10:13 AM.
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