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 Can debating change the way you think about what you believe or know? (7)

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Can debating change the way you think about what you believe or know?

What do we hope to gain when we debate a topic?  Do we wish to change the other people's minds and have them come around to our way of thinking or is it simply to get what we know or believe out there on a platform given us?

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5 points

In my opinion there are about 4 good reasons to debate.

1. You get your reasoning/facts/opinions straightened out in your own head.

2. You get to test them against other reasoning/facts/opinions.

3. You somewhat force other people to think.

4. You spread organized information (topics of debate, arguments, points to arguments, etc)

Somewhere along the line, you have to change your beliefs or opinions, or learn something. If you have an argument and you test it against someone else's, and fail, you have to rethink you argument. If it was worded incorrectly, try correcting it. If your reasoning is wrong, there will be no way to fix it...

Cognitive Dissonance is something that everyone deals with. It means basically that you hold multiple ideas, and some of these ideas are in conflict with each other. Debating is a great way of smoothing out your ideas (or abandoning some) in order to relieve cognitive dissonance.

"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change." - Confucius

1 point

Sure, I've learned a lot, and been forced to look stuff up I wouldn't have bothered to.

Certainly on some subjects many are simply gonna believe whatever they believe (no matter how many times I show a public option would almost have to work better than what we have)

by the same token though, I'll never be convinced Obama is a Nigerian Manchurian candidate planted by socialist/fascist/muslim terrorists in an attempt to enslave all white people to their black masters.

So what are ya gonna do?

Side: Sure

I guess I'm gonna change my mind about Obama!!! But seriously, I have also learned a lot by debating here and I'm always looking for new information to either cement my own ideas or re-think them. It's a great way to get new information, especially on what you may believe to be truth as opposed to knowing what the truth is.

Side: Sure
1 point

I like the Obama comment. Very nice. You know, a 12 year old once told me she heard Obama was born in Iraq. >_>

Side: Sure
1 point

I think that's why we do it. As Bradford said, you're testing out your assertions. Sometimes you're forced to rethink your ideas, and that's a good thing.

Side: Sure
1 point

Yes, it can, if you have an open mind and you aren't just trying to prove how smart you are. Debating/discussing is good for two things: Changing minds and opening minds. What's the difference? Opening minds doesn't necessarily mean changing them, it just means making them understanding to other ideas and perspectives.

So yes, debate can change minds, but only if they are willing to be changed, and if the debate isn't so vicious that some people end up holding defensively to their views and closing their minds more.

Side: If your mind is open to change
1 point

It depends. There are some topics where I am going to keep my views regardless of what you say, and there will be others where I will completely change my stance. It definitely reinforces my views though, and makes sure I have an argument or evidence or whatever for them.

Side: If your mind is open to change