[Meta-thread] Your opinion

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Quixotic-Sith, Dec 18, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    This is actually a topic about the Senate, rather than a particular issue. A few questions came to mind as I was procrastinating getting work done on some book chapters:

    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    (2) If you haven't changed your position on anything, why not? Is it an evidence question? A gut-instinct question? A religious/metaphysical question? I'm curious to know.

    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?
  2. Jediflyer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    During my time in the Senate, I've changed my opinion on Iraq, the Bush administration, abortion, and gay marriage, just to name a few. To a certain degree, it was natural change brought on by change in events, age, and learning. However, I believe the Senate played a significant role in making me consider issues I otherwise wouldn't have.

  3. Souderwan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    I have considered a few other positions in a slightly different light but not necessarily changed my position on much. If anything, most of my positions tend to be affirmed during discussions than the contrary. More on this in the second question. But there are two topics that I have rethought significantly:

    (a) One issue that I have reconsidered is the issue of Aethism. Having had little experience with aethists, I believe that my opinion of them--fairly egocentric, arrogant, dismissive, angry ex-Christians--was a function of that ignorance. While it's true that there were a few aethists who demonstrated some or all of those personality traits, most did not. Most were fairly rational people who defended their positions with as much respect as one could expect them to have given that they see no difference between believing in God and believing in Santa Claus (in truth, it's fairly hard to argue that the beliefs are all that different). So while I haven't changed my position on the existence of God, I certainly rethought my own personal biases towards those who disagree.

    (b) Interestingly, I have long been opposed to Affirmative Action but a recent discussion on the topic made me rethink my position. As I began to gather evidence to support the argument that AA should go away, it became blatantly obvious to me that the minority inequities in our society haven't gone away. I was a bit frustrated with the lack of true discussion on the evidence with the Senate devolving into the predictable political talking points. In truth, I still don't approve of AA as it is practiced today, but I am not of the mind that things are equitable and that they will become so in short order. The evidence just doesn't support that conclusion and no one who was arguing on my side (against AA) presented any arguments that were convincing to me.

    (2) If you haven't changed your position on anything, why not? Is it an evidence question? A gut-instinct question? A religious/metaphysical question? I'm curious to know.

    My biggest disappointment in the Senate has been a tendency to see arguments without substance. By this I mean that while there are very logical posts for the most part, it is rare that I see someone take the time to research a topic and present evidence to support their positions. Truth be told, that?s a time-consuming evolution and I can understand when people choose not to do so, but when such evidence is presented, one would expect at least an ?I?ll concede for now until I can gather the evidence to contradict you?. Instead, what normally happens is that the evidence that refutes one?s position is either ignored or dismissed.

    I have other thoughts about the nature of the discourse here, but I?ll keep those to myself for now.

    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?

    Well...I believe that there is a gradation regarding how one feels about a given topic?attitudes, values, and beliefs. I put them in the order of what is most easily swayed. Beliefs inform values, which tend to influence attitudes.

    Changing attitudes generally means getting someone to reevaluate what they think about something or expanding their knowledge-base (such as my example with atheists). On the other hand, changing values would be more challenging as values are usually grounded in a belief system of some kind. Values can be affected however, by appealing to contradictions in values. For example, if you want to convince a Christian that homosexual marriage should be legally acceptable, you might appeal to the value of not judging or Jesus? teachings on loving your fellow man. The conflict between the value of condemnation of sin and these other values might lead one to reassess which value has higher priority.

    Finally, beliefs are extremely difficult to change. Beliefs are fundamental to who we are. These are the things that matter most to us. God, the nature of man, the n
  4. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    1) No

    2) Because most people who argue against me don't even read to my posts carefully, so we can't have an intelligent discussion. For the religious thread, however, it is a religious question.

    3) If someone showed me a real, tangeble reason of why something is good or bad (No Richard Dawkins bull**** or Republican propaganda), then I would be willing to see things the other way.

  5. dizfactor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    I've completely flipped on the issue of gun control. Basically, I was on the pro-legalization side of a drug debate with a libertarian, and I posted something to the effect that yes, drugs can be dangerous when used recklessly, but if and when that happens, you punish the reckless behavior, and you don't penalize the people who do it responsibly and don't endanger other people.

    Said libertarian popped up and said "Exactly. Now if I could only get you to apply that same logic to gun control."

    D'oh!

    Not only did I flip on the issue, but I went back and explained it to my girlfriend, and she flipped too. She's now embarrassed she ever held what she now considers to be a deeply inconsistent and hypocritical position.
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    Yes. Mr44 has outargued me on more than a few foreign policy issues. In particular, there are times when I just plain get the facts wrong. I appreciate being called out for lazy thinking.

    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?

    Unfortunately, the things I'm least passionate about are probably also the areas where I'm most open to revising my opinion. If someone cares deeply about a topic, then they've probably read a lot of at least the lay literature about it. Is Mr44 going to learn something new about the U.S. military from debating with me? Unlikely.
  7. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    That's not automatically true.

    effective posts on either side, even if they don't "change" the person they're directed at, provide that much more knowldge to the person making them as well.

    And besides that, all the discussion about peak oil has certainly been interesting. One change is that I now make all my posts from the safety of a fallout shelter.... [face_mischief]
  8. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Dude, I have been on these boards SO LONG I could not possibly remember. :p
  9. Espaldapalabras Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    1) Yes, my views on the Iraq war have changed quite a bit since I started posting here and while that change isn't entirely due to this place I think some of the points presented on here were what made me really start to question what was going on.

    2) I haven't really changed my opinion on gay marriage or abortion, it is a religious question for me, but I have been able to understand my own and the opposing argument much better.

    3) There are some issues that would take some kind of major life changing event for me to change my opinion on, but I would like to think that on most things I just need a compelling fair viewpoint on the subject. The main reason why I keep comming back to this place, I have been here off and on for 5 years, is that in my real life at the moment I would have to look hard to find someone that didn't have the same religious beliefs as me, and by coming here I can be exposed to viewpoints that I would be hardpressed to come into contact with otherwise.

    The debates here are as much work as I want to put into it, but not more. I don't have the time or energy to find sources for every point I make, but I do try to make points that are based on more than just opinion. If my primary motivation for posting was to convince people to my side of an argument I would have stopped trying long ago, at most I try to get people to understand my side even if they don't agree with it, but by having my convictions challenged I am better able to understand the strong and weak points of why I think the way I do.
  10. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 10
    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    No, though I have been corrected when I have produced incorrect information by the likes of VoijaRisa, peez, and others.

    (2) If you haven't changed your position on anything, why not? Is it an evidence question? A gut-instinct question? A religious/metaphysical question? I'm curious to know.

    Given the topics I usually post in it is certainly an evidence question.

    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?

    Evidence is the numero uno thing. I am certainly not a well educated person, but I do read and read often. I have a great conceptual knowledge on a number of topics and it is easy to see through transparency.

    I have changed my mind on issues but they didn't get changed from discussions here. In the beginning I was kind of in favor of the invasion of Iraq. I was fooled like many people, and to some extent defended it here though not in the Senate. WMD's? Really? Well we better get in there! Oh wait, not only did we not find any it turns out the information used to sell it to us was wrong.

    All in all I don't know why I post in the Senate much of the time. I have watched as people post nonsensical arguments and then gave them a taste of their own medicine with an even worse argument to illustrate the nonsense they are trying to spoon feed people with. Do they take a look at themselves? No. They act as though they were totally honest and go on to tell me how nonsensical I was and how sensable they themselves were.
  11. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9

    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    No. I've never seen convincing proof to change my mind in here on much of anything. ("But it works here!" is not convincing, just so you know. :p)

    (2) If you haven't changed your position on anything, why not? Is it an evidence question? A gut-instinct question? A religious/metaphysical question? I'm curious to know.

    Usually a combination of the first two.

    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?

    Evidence that strikes me as valid, as opposed to people repeating themselves over and over.
  12. FatBurt Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 6
    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    No, I've possibly become more sympathetic to the opposing opinion and have a better understanding as to why people think the opposite to me.


    (2) If you haven't changed your position on anything, why not? Is it an evidence question? A gut-instinct question? A religious/metaphysical question? I'm curious to know.

    If it's religion I know now that I won't change my mind unless some definate proof/evidence beyond standard platitudes of "look at the world around you" or "Read the bible it explains it all" etc... Otherwise it's down to evidence, if its purely someones opinion I'll listen and take note but unless they can give me substantiated evidence of why my stance is "bad/wrong" then I'm not likely to be swayed


    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?

    See point two.
  13. LordSilvertouch Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2003
    star 4
    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    No, but i've gotten angry and re-inforced my point illogically in my head :p Seriously though, it's made me think more about a lot.

    (2) If you haven't changed your position on anything, why not? Is it an evidence question? A gut-instinct question? A religious/metaphysical question? I'm curious to know.

    Quote: If it's religion I know now that I won't change my mind unless some definate proof/evidence beyond standard platitudes of "look at the world around you" or "Read the bible it explains it all" etc... Otherwise it's down to evidence, if its purely someones opinion I'll listen and take note but unless they can give me substantiated evidence of why my stance is "bad/wrong" then I'm not likely to be swayed. That's sums me up too.

    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?

    Real, hard, evidence, a persuasive debater, and probably some sort of current event that changes the context i'm talking in.
  14. arwen_sith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    (1) Have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on discussion here? If so, what issue and why?

    Certainly not on any big issue, although the discussions here have helped me clarify why I think the way I do about certain issues, and has made me understand opposing views a bit better. In some cases I've been accused of lazy thinking and sloppy arguments, and these have made me look for evidence supporting or refuting my position. In some cases I've found it, in others not.

    (2) If you haven't changed your position on anything, why not? Is it an evidence question? A gut-instinct question? A religious/metaphysical question? I'm curious to know.

    Mainly the first two.

    (3) What would it take for you to change your opinion on an issue?

    Depends on the issue's importance to me. If it's an attitude, it's enough to point out that I don't have all the facts and supplying me with additional information from a credible source will get me to modify my position, if not change it outright. If it's a matter of values, it would take some life-changing event (or maybe just aging), certainly more than this board or any board could supply. When it comes to beliefs, I would have to experience some sort of metaphysical conversion event to become anything other than a secular humanist.
  15. eaglejedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    1.) No, I don't believe I have ever changed my opinion based on discussion here, though my opinions have been reshaped by debates in threads in the CT Forum.

    2.) My opinions have not been changed by Senate Floor discussion in large part because people I'm debating against use fallacious arguments and debating tactics, or argue based on false premises, or are making value assumptions that I can't agree with.

    3.) In a few cases of issues that aren't very important to me, it would only take some fresh information and/or arguments to give me more perspective on the issue. In most cases, it would probably take changes in the laws of physics, the workings of the human mind, etc.
  16. Fluke_Groundrunner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2001
    star 4
    No, because I am always right ;)

    I think the two things I have taken from the senate are:

    1) I am now much more receptive and try to hear out the opinions of others to see an issue from the other point of view.

    2) There are some really smart mofos on here.
  17. FatBurt Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 6

    some stupid ones as well
  18. eaglejedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    I'll second that. The Senate has convinced me that the JC needs a new emoticon, one that has wide eyes and a big overbite, and repeatedly slaps itself in the chest with the side of its hand.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.