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We Are Better Than This

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posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:05 PM
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originally posted by: SacredLore
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Very good points!

Here are some ideas on how to gap bridges, in addition to the extremely important ability to admit that one has been wrong:

People should attempt to honestly LOOK and OBSERVE:
Look at the RESULTS that a certain solution produces. Use this to judge the rightness/wrongness of the solution, not whether it was a left- or right- or whatever-wing idea.
Try a solution. Observe the results. If things do not improve discard the solution and try the next probable one.


I agree, being rather technically minded myself. Test and observe. Learn and adjust. Of course there is also the fact that people often don't agree when it comes to whether a problem exists, how much of a problem it is, or whether it can be solved. I think this is what makes passionate discourse so important. I honestly can't count the number of times I have influenced people I've met who were initially entirely opposed to my position by being honest, earnest, heartfelt, and respectful. You would be amazed how often people change their minds when they don't feel like they are being belittled and ignored. I also can't count count the number of times my view of the world has been broadened or changed by others doing the same for me: calmly, respectfully articulating their position without telling me that I am stupid, or hateful, or in some other way unworthy of respect. It is entirely possible for us to learn from one another.




posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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originally posted by: Vroomfondel
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Very good thread. It would be nice to be able to voice opinions without immediately being branded with some derisive term, then blamed for everything anyone who ever fit that description ever did.

I know there is a lot of attention paid to the more intense discourse, especially on political issues. I think it is good to see it monitored for infractions. There is also part of me that is very happy to see people willing to take a rigid stance on issues. Unless they offer nothing but regurgitated rhetoric, it shows that they took an interest and delved deep enough to form a strong opinion worth defending. I will take a deep heart felt argument over a knee-jerk auto-response any time.


I agree. There are some posters here who articulate views I am deeply opposed to, but who I very much respect for their ability to calmly state their case and engage their opposition. And I agree that some moderation is a good thing. We've all seen the comments section on many news sites. All political stripes represented, and the majority have proverbial blood on their hands as a consequence of their shameful tactics. I think humans find it easier to be their higher selves when there's structure and accountability involved.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:16 PM
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originally posted by: JohnnyElohim

originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

I wish there was a class that taught "Learning how To lose".

No one is ever wrong anymore. Hell, I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong just as much as I'm right. But no one knows how to lose anymore. No one wants to admit that they are wrong, so these divisions get larger and larger and wider and wider because people can't lose.

I think that if people learned how to lose a debate or to admit that they were wrong on an issue, there'd be a much better atmosphere to actually get things done.


So many times this!

It's fantastic to hear someone else put it this way. I honestly believe that speech and debate ought to be emphasized, mandatory curriculum (that is, if we accept that it's alright for there to be such a thing in the first place). To analyze, to discuss with a cool head, to admit your faults; these are some of the most important skills a person can possess. When people debate (or perhaps more properly, argue) they too often dig their heels in on every point. That accomplishes little. Truth has a texture. And sometimes, conceding a point helps to illuminate more facts that strengthen your argument in the debate. Further, it's about the search for truth and understanding. If both people (or teams) learned something in the course of the debate, everybody won: the debaters and any audience attending.


People don't talk, converse anymore. They "opine". They create declarative statements instead of listening to the responses. I have friends that are polar opposites ideologically.

We laugh and disagree. But that's it. (We're also older, so that may have something to do with it)



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:27 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy

originally posted by: JohnnyElohim

originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

I wish there was a class that taught "Learning how To lose".

No one is ever wrong anymore. Hell, I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong just as much as I'm right. But no one knows how to lose anymore. No one wants to admit that they are wrong, so these divisions get larger and larger and wider and wider because people can't lose.

I think that if people learned how to lose a debate or to admit that they were wrong on an issue, there'd be a much better atmosphere to actually get things done.


So many times this!

It's fantastic to hear someone else put it this way. I honestly believe that speech and debate ought to be emphasized, mandatory curriculum (that is, if we accept that it's alright for there to be such a thing in the first place). To analyze, to discuss with a cool head, to admit your faults; these are some of the most important skills a person can possess. When people debate (or perhaps more properly, argue) they too often dig their heels in on every point. That accomplishes little. Truth has a texture. And sometimes, conceding a point helps to illuminate more facts that strengthen your argument in the debate. Further, it's about the search for truth and understanding. If both people (or teams) learned something in the course of the debate, everybody won: the debaters and any audience attending.


People don't talk, converse anymore. They "opine". They create declarative statements instead of listening to the responses. I have friends that are polar opposites ideologically.

We laugh and disagree. But that's it. (We're also older, so that may have something to do with it)


I think "The Internet" has much to do with it. I can tell you that when I articulate my quite liberal views to very conservative people, it rarely goes badly. We converse, share perspectives, share facts. We often find common ground. We usually change each other, but only by degrees. Louis CK says he doesn't want his children to have cell phones because he thinks empathy is in part a function of basic, human interaction. Facial expressions, body language. He touches on it here:



I think he has a very good point. This is also, I think, why so much aggression is expressed in driving. You don't have to see how you've affected the person you just cut off, or prevented from merging, or whatever. You don't have to see the human consequence of your actions. We naturally treat each other differently when we can see each other's eyes. It takes a deliberate effort to be respectful when we don't have that feedback.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:36 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Imagine looking someone in the eye and saying, "face-to-face" what so many say on line.


Tell you what I'll do.

From now on, I will reply as if I am looking at the respondent from across the table.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:43 PM
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And to continue that theme a bit...

The reason I think this is so catastrophic right now is because a huge amount of political discourse occurs on the Internet these days. Consider that:

* It's oft regarded as a truism that you shouldn't discuss politics or religion at work. Some people try to avoid discussing these things with their family. And for those who frequent pubs, these topics are frequently discouraged because people generally want to avoid going red in the face whilst having their beer after work.

* Google News tailors the results you're given to cater to what they think you'll like. This sounds good on the face of it, but it's troubling when you consider the fact that a liberal is going to receive news slanted to their views, as a conservative will receive news slanted to theirs. It's an echo chamber.

* Studies have recently shown (and I can source this if anyone is curious) that political opinion is a common reason for un-friending on Facebook. So people, when it's as easy as a click, will simply opt out of being exposed to differing opinions.

* Sites like ATS, where people are more inclined to be engaged with differing views, constantly battle with issues of basic decorum. When these conversations do happen, it is a constant battle to maintain a tone and tenor of decency. The more heated and intense the issue, the more posts you'll see modded out.

So places like ATS are, in a funny way, a bastion for real, substantive discussion. Where people don't feel the need to make nice and avoid areas of disagreement. Part of why I was inspired to start this thread is because it worries me to think after so much of the real discussion about issues of the day has been moved into arenas like this, so many conversations are dominated with posts full of vitriolic rhetoric that demonizes people merely for thinking differently.

It's hard to see how all that could be a recipe for anything good.
edit on 29-1-2016 by JohnnyElohim because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

Hear, hear!

My friend, I shall strive to do the same.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 09:10 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Imagine looking someone in the eye and saying, "face-to-face" what so many say on line.


Tell you what I'll do.

From now on, I will reply as if I am looking at the respondent from across the table.


The world is full of internet tough guys, not so much irl...

I just wish people would remember that forums are for making comments, not statements like they are the alpha and omega of every topic, and once they have spoken no further discussion is necessary. Like everyone should just agree and thank them for knowing everything. It would be great if they could just make their comment and let others do the same safe in the knowledge that whether they are right or wrong, some people will agree with them and some won't.




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