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  1. #11
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT View Post
    Would you agree that there's a cumulative effect necessary to change your viewpoint, and that technically an argument was a contributing factor? I'm like you, an argument has never really directly/immediately altered my stance on a subject, but it has facilitated introspection, which has led to change.
    Honestly, it's hard to say. I'm not sure how it is for others, but I don't think I can entirely trace the means by which I changed my mind. The impact of research I mentioned is usually the main thing that stands out, it's generally the thing I remember making the final change. I suppose in the sense that arguments will keep me thinking about the topic and may present me with research they must surely have some influence.
    Go to sleep, iguana.

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    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  2. #12
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    I change my mind frequently as the result of an argument/disagreement if the other side helps me to get a new connection that changes everything. my INTJ besty and I do this to each other on a weekly basis
    ENFP: We put the Fi in Fire
    5w4>1w9>2w1 Sx/Sp
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    "You are a gay version of Gambit" Speed Gavroche
    "I wish that I could be affected by any hate, but I can't, cuz I just get affected by the bank" Chamillionaire

  3. #13
    Senior Member Mephistopheles's Avatar
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    Sep 2010


    My opinion usually flips around like a ping-pong-ball.
    They say I only think in form of crunching numbers.....
    -Fall Out Boy

  4. #14
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Nope. I basically just try to change the minds of libertarians and conservatives. Or at least get them to see the issues from a different perspective. Hopelessly arrogant I know..

  5. #15
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    I think it's quite common for people to change their minds by reading arguments or debates, especially if it's an issue they haven't put much thought into in the first place. I've heard bloggers, etc. say this is a reason they're willing to debate in their comments section: even if the people arguing with them don't back down, they can still influence those who are reading the exchange. People tend to become more invested in defending their viewpoints once they've publicly taken a side, and will work harder to seek out information that supports it and explain away information that does not.

    I'm pretty open to changing my viewpoint if it's something I haven't thought much about and someone presents reasoning or evidence I haven't heard before. When I've already done a lot of research/reasoning of my own, I become a lot more set in my opinion. The times I've changed my mind on a firmly held belief were the result of several sources and happened over a fairly long period of time.

  6. #16
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    594 sx/sp
    LII Ne


    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Nope. I basically just try to change the minds of libertarians and conservatives. Or at least get them to see the issues from a different perspective. Hopelessly arrogant I know..
    If that bothers you, you have the option to change your approach, you know...

    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    Have you ever changed your mind on a fundamental issue as a result of an argument?
    On the internet or real life? Family or colleagues or friends?

    What scale of issues?

    On the contrary to popular belief about the efficacy of argument on the internet, I have seen people change their minds on big issues such as politics and religion, which were catalysed by arguments on the internet. But are these the exceptions, rather than the norms? (the individuals in question were NTs)
    I'm actually pretty teachable, regardless of whether the other person is family, friend, acquaintance, or stranger. It's the idea that impacts me. The funny thing is that it sometimes doesn't have to be specifically what the other person has argued -- they can convince me of a minor point in their argument, but immediately I will systematically run that shift through the entire situation all on my own (they don't need to point it out to me) and sometimes it can make drastic changes in the answer I end up at. So they'll win me on a small point, and suddenly they might be shocked that my seemingly unrelated (but actually it is very related) conclusion shifts.

    I'm sitting here and trying to think of some large shift I made in something because of an actual argument. It took me awhile, but now I've had a few.

    1. About ten years ago, when I was arguing circumcision with an atheist ESTJ friend, where at that time I had held the position that circumcision was supported because of its health benefits. I don't remember what he said (although he was always pretty blunt, and detailed, and relentless)... but during that discussion it registered to me that, although people were claiming statistical percentages of health increase to support circumcision, actually those percentages made for very very small shifts in the actual number of lives improved. For example, one could claim that circumcision reduces risk of disease by 50% (that sounds like a HUGE number), but if you look at the data, it could simply mean that instead of 12 boys out of 10,000 getting an infection, only 6 boys out of 10,000 get an infection.

    So we're talking about a medical operation that removes skin from the genital area from virtually 80% of the boys being born at the time, with potential loss of sensitivity (and medical complications) that only makes life better for 6 out of every 10,000 of them. Putting things in perspective changed my viewpoint from that day forward.

    2. The same guy (and I think it's because he was a thinker, but relentless, and coming at thinking from a concrete POV, challenging me in an area I'm not as good at) also pushed me on my spiritual faith. I was already cycling through long periods of existential doubt and my faith was never stable. I was operating under the assumption that, at some level, all of my spiritual beliefs could be rationally proven somehow, and thus build on solid evidence. But he never let up, and his sheer, concrete rationalism forced me down, down, down to the very core of my beliefs and their foundation... and I realized that there was an uncrossable gap there (similar to Kierkegaard's) that rationality could not bridge. I could never "prove" my beliefs to myself or another person, instead there was a gap I could only cross by faith... and if I never took the risk to use faith to cross it, I would never believe. Thus, he showed me the limit of my intellect in some areas of life.

    He didn't even realize he did this, or that he left me in a severe existential depression from which my old way of viewing the world never recovered. It took me some months to get through that experience, and then start to rebuild... but seeing the world very differently.

    A few other notes:

    1. Aside from rational arguments, I'm also a self-teacher. So someone can say something on one topic, but then I'll apply it across the map in my own belief structure and end up making profound changes when they weren't even saying something very profound for them, or a big deal to them.

    2. Our arguments also impacted the guy I described above, winning him over on some points, and that rarely happened with him. I think it's because he never really much considered a more conceptual T perspective + intuition (he was so concrete). We were both different that we forced each other into new territory. But those arguments were still pretty painful to me, because I don't much like relentless conflict, even if I can appreciate them now.

    3. I can't tell you how OTHER people respond. Typically, I don't see such arguments as having much impact. It depends on the perspective of the person: If they are someone who challenges themselves and their own thinking, then they'll grow from the experience. But if they are just the sort who is scared/stubborn to change and has a lack of intellectual honesty, then they'll just defend themselves and not really process the challenge.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #17
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Jun 2010


    I dabbled in pacifism once

  8. #18
    Senior Member ThinkingAboutIt's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    Yes, though I would ultimately reach that point after research on my own. At times, the person presenting the argument matters as well - if I've lost respect for them I will not listen to them - I may not even read their posts. More often than not though, even if I do not care for someone personally, I can agree with the validity of their argument if they are right.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  9. #19
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    Aug 2010
    8w7 sx/sp


    As soon as someone uses the right/wrong dichotomy and then plunks down a ton of subjective opinion as evidence to support it, I shut down and just view them as blathering idiots.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2009


    I'm pretty consistent in my beliefs, argument has only clarified what I've already known about the topics in question, the same goes for dialogue or discussion but argument is the most common thing which you find in stands in for dialogue or discussion on most topics. Oft times I find people are seeking different sorts of validation, not simply of a particular perspective or opinion but themselves when they sally out in topical discussions. Argument is a poor substitute for discussion.

    Something which might interest people to know is that oft times I dont join topical discussions with a hope of changing others minds or opinions, ultimately the only people who will do that will be people themselves, they'll do their own thinking and research if you can seed an interest in them at best. I dont expect to change opinions or minds and also sometimes respect people whose minds or opinions are not that changeable and who display tenacity.

    What I dont like are unexamined opinions a lot of the time its the beginnings of sophistry and I dont rate sincerity too highly when its sincere belief in empty hopes or well meant falsehoods.
    All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
    Chapter IV, p. 448. - Adam Smith, Book 3, The Wealth of Nations

    whether or not you credit psychoanalysis itself, the fact remains that we all must, to the greatest extent possible, understand one another's minds as our own; the very survival of humanity has always depended on it. - Open Culture

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