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Is there any point to arguing online?

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posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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I don't like to have arguments at all but I do enjoy debating. There is a difference between the two. However, I've found that the vast majority of people do not distinguish between debate and argument. People frequently call any kind of discussion on a topic an "argument", I believe arguing is negative and pointless so I don't want to be part of that.

When it comes to any discussion pertaining to what truth is (call it an argument or a debate, it doesn't matter), I've noticed an increasing trend towards people disputing facts that are easily verifiable and from reputable sources. I researched the issue and I found this recent article that may help explain that phenomenon:


Facts do not matter: The depressing science that explains vaccine trutherism

Our new research, recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, examined a slippery way by which people get away from facts that contradict their beliefs. Of course, sometimes people just dispute the validity of specific facts. But we find that people sometimes go one step further and, as in the opening example, they reframe an issue in untestable ways. This makes potential important facts and science ultimately irrelevant to the issue.

...

In a similar study using 117 religious participants, we had some read an article critical of religion. Believers who were especially high (but not low) in religiosity were more likely to turn to more untestable “blind faith” arguments as reasons for their beliefs, than arguments based in factual evidence, compared to those who read a neutral article.

...

So after examining the power of untestable beliefs, what have we learned about dealing with human psychology? We’ve learned that bias is a disease and to fight it we need a healthy treatment of facts and education. We find that when facts are injected into the conversation, the symptoms of bias become less severe. But, unfortunately, we’ve also learned that facts can only do so much. To avoid coming to undesirable conclusions, people can fly from the facts and use other tools in their deep belief protecting toolbox.
Facts do not matter: The depressing science that explains vaccine trutherism


The last paragraph in the quote above sounds fine but I've found that woo woo-types often have the ultimate trump card, they claim there is no such thing as truth/facts. What's the point of even trying then?

The following video gives a completely different perspective as to why arguing online is pointless (and even counter-productive). It turns out that most of the message we try to communicate in writing is often lost for various reasons. Also, people's tendency to get emotional during an argument sometimes clouds their reasoning so that they don't think straight, making the whole thing futile.


www.youtube.com...




posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 08:49 PM
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a reply to: Profusion


I believe arguing is negative and pointless .


oh no it isnt



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 08:58 PM
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originally posted by: ignorant_ape
a reply to: Profusion


I believe arguing is negative and pointless .


oh no it isnt


Thanks for pointing out some other problems with this:

1. Opinion stated as fact.

2. No rationale given for the opinion.

3. The post above is an example of what I call "Linguistic JuJitsu." I wrote the following years ago:


Linguistic JuJitsu...WHY?

You take the time and energy to think through a post with detailed logical arguments and coherent ideas and experiences and you ask others for feedback.

Why do people reply with linguistic jujitsu? Linguistic jujitsu involves someone essentially bypassing your arguments and ideas and putting you on the defensive. Linguistic jujitsuists use the weight and strength you displayed, and turn it against you in short "replies" where they ask/make silly, irrelevant, unprovable questions/comments or they make long posts that go nowhere with pointless questions/comments at the end of the long posts. These questions/comments are so pointless that it seems to be their goal to keep others busy and distracted. They avoid sharing insight and experience, while draining yours.

For example, you post about how you're outraged that the movie "Not another teen movie" was shown on a "family cable channel" (this is something I read about recently).

Linguistic jujitsuists could reply like this:

"If you think the movie is subversive, why did you watch it?"

This person is making assumptions while bypassing the original argument AND putting the original poster on the defensive all in one short sentence.

Linguistic jujitsu is not part of a rational honest discussion so why use it?

I've come to the conclusion that there's two basic types of people who use linguistic jujitsu: shills and energy vampires.

A shill is anyone who actively pushes an agenda. I'm shilling for the concept of linguistic jujitsu in this post. I think we all shill for things but why can't we all do it rationally?

I think linguistic jujitsu is a short cut for shills because they don't even have to read your post to "win an argument/debate". In their minds putting you on the defensive is somehow "winning an argument/debate".

For example, if a shill wanted to "win an argument/debate" in this thread they'd simply ask me to prove that linguistic jujitsu is a real phenomenon. They would ignore the discussion in the original post and force me to defend myself. It's a childish waste of time. Where do people learn this behavior, shill school?

Another tactic shills use is to take one point out of your entire post, "prove it's wrong" and conclude that the whole post is "debunked" because of the one point they "proved is wrong". Usually the "proof" is questionable but the validity of their argument doesn't seem to concern them. Their entire strategy is designed to force you to be on the defensive. Again, they don't even need to read your post to succeed with these tactics.

Maybe the purpose of these tactics is to make the original poster/post look bad. By forcing people to defend themselves the posters and their posts will APPEAR WEAK to people who read the thread. Of course, this appearance of weakness has nothing to do with the actual merits of the posts/posters. I say just ignore linguistic jujitsuists. You can't win by playing their game.

Energy vampires use linguistic jujitsu to drain people of their energy. Linguistic jujitsu enables energy vampires to spin you around in circles in an unwinnable pointless "debate" while they get your energy.

edit on 26-2-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 09:15 PM
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I think, maybe here on ATS in particular, facts by reputable resources can be viewed as conspiracy.
When it' comes to discussing ones faith or spirituality, why people get so heated is beyond me... it's a matter of what's in ones mind and heart. People have heard the saying that goes something like, '' never discuss religion or politics'' well online people can because they are not face to face and won't get real outside reality all in a tether. I have gotten into discussions with a good friend who is the same religion as me and we didn't talk for like half a year afterwards.
I think, debating a topic, one might have a chance at swaying the others mind into understanding their stance on the subject ... or debating can lead to an argument, where things can get childish.
There is no point to arguing online and the best thing to do is agree to disagree and let it go.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 09:20 PM
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Definitely not, especially on reddit.

I seriously had to stop going there. I'm a gamer and computer enthusiast, and so I thought it would be cool to go chat on reddit about games I like to play. Too bad whenever I mentioned that I have short loading times and stated my computer specs, including terms such as "overclocking" and "SSD" (solid state drive), they acted like I was a wizard who lives in a tower and plays video games on my magic sorcery box powered by devil worship. Then, shortly after that, someone claims that "computers can't overheat", so I feel the need to set them straight. However, it didn't take me long to realize how utterly ignorant this person was about computers and I literally couldn't handle it combined with the upvote-downvote system that showed that people were not agreeing with me, meaning there's more stupid out there... so I logged out of reddit and vowed to never return.
edit on 26-2-2016 by Aldakoopa because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

If I may, politely, disagree.

I think there is agenda-driven movements that disguise themselves as debates and discussions.

They aren't created to discuss ideas and opinions.

They are created to promote ideas, ideologies, and movements.

But, perhaps, I am wrong. I often am.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 09:58 PM
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I've been on ATS a while now.

I am not super active, but I do (did) participate in topics in which I feel I can positively contribute to.

I have come to the realization that, for me, arguing on ATS (or any other site) is an absolute waste of time.

Time that I could be using to study, fix things around the house, play guitar, practice Jiu-Jitsu, or whatever else.

I mean I would spend hours reading every post on ATS, and of course replying to some.

Not anymore.


edit on 26-2-2016 by TorqueyThePig because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:01 PM
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To add, how often does anyone ever truly change another person's opinion through arguing/debating?

Sure it happens, but not often.

Even if you can sway someone, so what? What does it really accomplish?

Crap, I am falling back into it right now lol.
edit on 26-2-2016 by TorqueyThePig because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: TorqueyThePig Well, for some folks when a person presents a topic that is absurd and possibly dangerous.. like if someone came along with a well written post on why people should never ever drink water, a lot of folks would want to sway that persons reasoning and stop the madness from spreading. We need to drink water in order to maintain health and live.
I know what you mean though, most of the time there doesn't seem to be a really good reason to "show the light'' to someone, but you can always just share your opinion or state your facts and then others might have a mind opening experience.. and that's the good thing about getting online and discussing things.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:20 PM
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posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:27 PM
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a reply to: peppycat

You're absolutely correct. On occasion, people can be swayed.

However, as I grow older, I realize that (for me) it is a waste of time.

If a person believed that people shouldn't drink water (or whatever crazy thing), I couldn't care less.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

Is there any point to anything except the contrived points we conjure in our own minds in order keep some sanity on this world ?



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: Profusion
He he! Off course not. Not only that but there is no point to arguing online, but there is no point to anything else people do as a well. They just for brief moments in time believe there is or it makes some sort of difference. Then the moment passes, and eventually everything is forgotten.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:49 PM
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a reply to: Discotech
As if! Off course not, if even that.

In fact the whole keeping sanity on this world by contrived points is just an illusion as well, in fact it just may be a fad, which will come and go like so many countless other fad's before it.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 11:51 PM
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originally posted by: galadofwarthethird
a reply to: Profusion
He he! Off course not. Not only that but there is no point to arguing online, but there is no point to anything else people do as a well.

Think it's far easier to have this discussion with the prior assumption that people want to debate to share information / change minds / learn ...

Think a lot of the time you have to deliver messages certain ways to appeal to certain types of people, but if you do it deliberately it feels like mind control / manipulative. Basically, as far as I've worked out, if you're going to deliver facts to someone you have to do it softly when they're in the right mood for it. Otherwise, even if they agree with you five months later, they will never talk to you about it.

I've changed my mind or worked out where people were coming from after the fact, but it's hard to explain that to someone when the conversation ended with them saying, 'you're the precise kind of dunderskull thunderpants that I despise' for example.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 12:40 AM
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a reply to: Pinke
Depends on which "facts" your talking about. My facts and your facts are not the same facts of Joe and Samantha's facts. And in fact, facts themselves are subject to the laws of interpretation and misinterpretation, mostly misinterpretation.

Not only is there no point to arguing with people online other then its sort of fun sometimes, but communication with people online may be equally as pointless as were all just wondering strangers who will never ever likely meet in real life or likely in other threads besides the one were said people are arguing in. And even then its like so much water under the bridge.

I think we put to much stock into this whole thing.

So ya! See ya around maybe in a few months or so, or years, or not ever again, on some other thread which would be equally as funny, who knows maybe even drooping a comment or two, maybe even three comments, even though realistically speaking three comments would be overdoing it.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 01:03 AM
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originally posted by: galadofwarthethird
a reply to: Pinke
Not only is there no point to arguing with people online other then its sort of fun sometimes, but communication with people online may be equally as pointless as were all just wondering strangers who will never ever likely meet in real life or likely in other threads besides the one were said people are arguing in.

And yet I remember you quite clearly and have an opinion of you that pre-existed this thread.

You can use Nihilism to over complicate a lot of things, but people online are still mostly people.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 01:55 AM
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I'm here to entertain and inform.

Coming from technical forums and social forums, ATS is a 3rd opposite universe.

Not having much to add on subject matter, I read and read, now I can do analysis and bring up connections in a helpful way.

I'm fairly well educated; astronomy, archaeology, history of science, philosophy, philosophy of science, history and much psychology...I'm ready.
edit on 27-2-2016 by FlyingFox because: freedom



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 02:08 AM
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a reply to: Profusion




. . . woo woo-types often . . . claim there is no such thing as truth/facts.


They've been brainwashed into this at the fake spook controlled festivals and hippy dippy workshops. It goes along with no right or wrong and no personal property. Try stealing their weed/car/tent and suddenly all the brainwashing evaporates. They'll scream it's wrong to steal the personal property that truly belongs to them.

As I see it they pay for entry to festivals, workshops, books etc. Then they want to justify their foolish expenditure by actually taking all that crap semi-seriously.

As you say there's no point in trying to communicate with them. And there we see the purpose of the brainwashing. To create yet more divisions in society to ease the bankers rule.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 02:13 AM
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For one, arguing is a part of debate.
You can't take part in a debate without arguing. Your argument shows how and why your position is correct. You form it in order to influence the judges.

This is what it is in debate as a sport, anyway.

For some people, I have seen, debates on internet are attempts at convincing the opponent to change their mind and position.... which is a totally different motivation and ends up with (usually) totally different results.

If you undertake debating online as if it were a sport, you'd find it much more fun, I'm betting!

When you do it this way, you are forming your arguments for the observers of the thread- not your opponent.

Your opponent is not your enemy, nor is your goal to change them and make them agree with you. That would not be a good thing, in fact! If they cease to play opponent to you, you lose the force you are using to stand up against, you have no more provocation to expose your reasoning, you have no one to point out what you need to elaborate on, or explain better, for the observers.

Also when you regard the debates this way, you can have just as much fun playing opponent for someone else, in which you take a position that is NOT your own personally- it can be a position you really do not believe in at all!

But the game is fun to try to see from a totally different point of view, to delve into why others might embrace it, and also, give the person opposite that opportunity to pull out their arguments for the observers.

I have even played adversary to people I personally agreed with, to give them the opportunity to influence the minds of observers!

Don't take it so seriously. Be glad your opponent might be coming up with crappy arguments- it makes yours look all the better, gives them more force, and who knows, perhaps they are doing it on purpose!

But it is true , I think, that as you get better at forming arguments, (debating) you tend to seek out people who aren't going to make it easy for you that way, but are going to come up with better and more challenging ones.
edit on 27-2-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-2-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



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