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Has anyone ever changed your mind?


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#101 JennyD

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:50 PM

There have been certain studies or books that very much changed my mind about things.  And there was one particular political debate with someone that very firmly and permanently shifted my mind in the opposite direction from what that person was arguing.  It was a long, civil discussion, but I walked away thinking that that person's position was not just incorrect, but also morally reprehensible.  


Edited by JennyD, 07 December 2017 - 11:50 PM.

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#102 Tanaqui

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 02:23 AM

I also like to hear from a variety of perspectives, and ideally without censorship.  I find that in an environment that doesn't silence any voices (except spammers or people saying/posting illegal material), ideas have free rein and can be/have to be defended on their merits.

 

I think there also needs to be a little bit of protection against abusive speech. We've all seen news comment sections that are totally unmoderated. Ideas don't have free rein. It's all "libtard" this and "rethuglican" that, and people threatening graphic violence against those they disagree with. The end result is that the bots and the trolls win.


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#103 OrganicJen

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:11 AM

I think there also needs to be a little bit of protection against abusive speech. We've all seen news comment sections that are totally unmoderated. Ideas don't have free rein. It's all "libtard" this and "rethuglican" that, and people threatening graphic violence against those they disagree with. The end result is that the bots and the trolls win.


That's true, sometimes when there are so many personal attacks any real exchange of ideas is drowned out completely.
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#104 eternalsummer

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:49 AM

You can ignore personal attacks.  Their presence is a price I'm willing to pay for free exchange of ideas.  I've not yet seen moderation that doesn't also moderate ideas, tbh.  

 

On 4chan/pol, the bots and trolls haven't won.  Sure, there are lots of ideas posted there I don't agree with, and some things I wish I could unsee/unread, but there are also ideas and perspectives that are not allowed almost anywhere else on the internet - and all perspectives are allowed there, so you can and do get a mix of opinions that doesn't exist on the various sites that serve one or another interest.  

 

News comment sections are, in my experience, not unmoderated.  Some of them may be less moderated, but I haven't seen one that is unmoderated.



#105 J-rap

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 05:19 AM

Giving this some more thought, and I wanted to add that the people who have most been able to change my mind have been my husband and adult children.  I guess because I know them so well (and respect them), that I trust the thought, process, and intentions they've put into coming up with their own opinions and convictions.

 

 


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#106 DawnM

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:26 AM

People who argue with me and basically tell me I am an idiot do more than sway me, they help me stand firm in my current beliefs.  However, I can be swayed by people who discuss rationally, articles well written that don't attack the other side, and facts that I can then research on my own.  

 

As I have aged, especially in the last few years......I have changed my mind about a few things......two of those big things are politics and religion (I haven't lost my religion but I am leaning more away from my traditional thinking.....), so I guess yes.


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#107 Quill

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 07:22 AM

I think there also needs to be a little bit of protection against abusive speech. We've all seen news comment sections that are totally unmoderated. Ideas don't have free rein. It's all "libtard" this and "rethuglican" that, and people threatening graphic violence against those they disagree with. The end result is that the bots and the trolls win.


What I sometimes wonder is if there is any way to turn the tide when people are just talking to hear themselves spout their obviously only correct view; when they clearly are barely reading the people taking the opposite view and are merely devolving into attacks and endless spouting of their rightness. Can such a person or conversation ever be steered into productive ground?

I just left a convo of this type on a different site because of one douchbag who is drowning out the entire conversation. It’s a shame because I think it is an interesting and important conversation. (It was about the Masterpiece Cakes hearing in the SCOTUS.) I fully expect that one turd to keep trying to taunt me into replying, but I’m done. But it’s a shame because I find that case very interesting and important and would enjoy talking about with non-douchebags.
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#108 Bluegoat

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 08:14 AM

I've changed my mind on things, but most often I find it's a change of emphasis or a slower change over time.  I don't often change my basic ideas about something - say, that justice is important, or most people want to be good  - but I think that's true of most people.  Those kinds of major changes are like conversions.  I've known a few people who have those conversions on a regular basis, and I don't think they were actually especially open-minded, they had unstable personalities, or no ability to discern.

 

It's interesting to me that a lot of people are moved very much by other people's experiences.  That is something that I find useful on a more limited basis - particularly with relation to practical issues - how to organize public housing, say - all the ideology you like isn't important if it doesn't actually do what you intend, after all.  And it can round out a picture of a situation in a factual way.  But I don't tend to find what people sometimes call "lived experience" all that convincing in the way that others seem to find - I guess I tend not to think that an interpretation of events, even events in one's own life - is necessarily validated because the person who had the experiences interprets it that way - sometimes the opposite is the case, and in the end, everybody has the perspective of their experiences but they can't all be correct.


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#109 unsinkable

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 08:20 AM

What I sometimes wonder is if there is any way to turn the tide when people are just talking to hear themselves spout their obviously only correct view; when they clearly are barely reading the people taking the opposite view and are merely devolving into attacks and endless spouting of their rightness. Can such a person or conversation ever be steered into productive ground?

I just left a convo of this type on a different site because of one douchbag who is drowning out the entire conversation. It’s a shame because I think it is an interesting and important conversation. (It was about the Masterpiece Cakes hearing in the SCOTUS.) I fully expect that one turd to keep trying to taunt me into replying, but I’m done. But it’s a shame because I find that case very interesting and important and would enjoy talking about with non-douchebags.


I don't know...I kind of believe there can be the Saul/Paul transforrmation. The big out of the blue out/lightning type of conversion/mind change.

In those situations, the converted person would have been exposed to the "other side"...even while they are "spouting" their own view, to use your phrase.

IOW, I'm not really convinced that a special rare quality (for example, humility/being humble) in always necessary in order for a person to change their mind.

I'm sorry the S/V agreement issues...
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#110 unsinkable

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 08:21 AM

What I sometimes wonder is if there is any way to turn the tide when people are just talking to hear themselves spout their obviously only correct view; when they clearly are barely reading the people taking the opposite view and are merely devolving into attacks and endless spouting of their rightness. Can such a person or conversation ever be steered into productive ground?

I just left a convo of this type on a different site because of one douchbag who is drowning out the entire conversation. It’s a shame because I think it is an interesting and important conversation. (It was about the Masterpiece Cakes hearing in the SCOTUS.) I fully expect that one turd to keep trying to taunt me into replying, but I’m done. But it’s a shame because I find that case very interesting and important and would enjoy talking about with non-douchebags.

I don't know...I kind of believe there can be the Saul/Paul transforrmation. The big out of the blue out/lightning type of conversion/mind change.

In those situations, the converted person would have been exposed to the "other side"...even while they are "spouting" their own view, to use your phrase.

IOW, I'm not really convinced that a special rare quality (for example, humility/being humble) in always necessary in order for a person to change their mind.

I'm sorry for the S/V agreement issues...*

*edited bc I can't even apologize coherently.

Edited by unsinkable, 08 December 2017 - 08:30 AM.


#111 Minerva

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 08:28 AM

I have had my mind changed a few times by (thought out, respectful) arguments. It doesn't happen on the spot. It's usually that I hear the argument, feel really really defensive, can't sleep at night, turn it over in my mind,  still feel defensive, examine why I feel that way...and realize it's because my side of the argument is lame. 

 

This is different than the constant evolution of ideas and beliefs I have that are more gradual. 


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#112 8circles

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 08:53 AM

I think there also needs to be a little bit of protection against abusive speech. We've all seen news comment sections that are totally unmoderated. Ideas don't have free rein. It's all "libtard" this and "rethuglican" that, and people threatening graphic violence against those they disagree with. The end result is that the bots and the trolls win.

 

For sure.

 

I think there's a difference between abusive speech and blunt, honest speech that hurts. The truth does hurt sometimes.

 

Sometimes this difference is clear, sometimes more blurry.


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#113 hornblower

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:07 AM

 

 

It's interesting to me that a lot of people are moved very much by other people's experiences.


Yes, me too. 

I deliberately try to put n=1 anecdotal stories in their proper place. It seems we're hardwired to give them way more credence than they deserve so the logical thing is to realize that they influence us perhaps unreasonably, step back, and try to consider real, large scale evidence. 


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#114 8circles

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:15 AM

Yes, me too. 

I deliberately try to put n=1 anecdotal stories in their proper place. It seems we're hardwired to give them way more credence than they deserve so the logical thing is to realize that they influence us perhaps unreasonably, step back, and try to consider real, large scale evidence. 

 

When I say that people's experience has swayed me, it isn't *just* their stories. It's their stories tied to concrete evidence of why their story went where it did. I used to support all kinds of things that caused difficulty, pain, were discriminatory & unjust. I didn't see the relationship between what I supported and other people's pain, I only saw my reasoning based on my perspective which I told myself was enough. That's what the stories showed me, that my perspective wasn't enough.


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#115 creekland

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:29 AM


Yes, me too.

I deliberately try to put n=1 anecdotal stories in their proper place. It seems we're hardwired to give them way more credence than they deserve so the logical thing is to realize that they influence us perhaps unreasonably, step back, and try to consider real, large scale evidence.


n=1 doesn't even register much on my scale. Sometimes it does like with each individual refugee story, but mainly after awhile you realize n is much greater than one. That makes a difference.

I am also a big believer in stats, recognizing that they don't apply to the individual, but very much apply to large groups. Those can change my mind on things too.
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#116 Arctic Mama

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:50 AM


Yes, me too.

I deliberately try to put n=1 anecdotal stories in their proper place. It seems we're hardwired to give them way more credence than they deserve so the logical thing is to realize that they influence us perhaps unreasonably, step back, and try to consider real, large scale evidence.


I try to actively do this as well, without wholesale discounting them, but not giving them undue weight when the body of evidence and logic is contrary. One person’s experience can suck even in something generally good and healthy. There are always outliers. They matter, but I wouldn’t change my mind over emotion alone, there has to be more than just sympathy behind a change of position for me.

#117 Lady Florida.

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:55 AM

 

It's interesting to me that a lot of people are moved very much by other people's experiences.  

Yes, me too. 

I deliberately try to put n=1 anecdotal stories in their proper place. It seems we're hardwired to give them way more credence than they deserve so the logical thing is to realize that they influence us perhaps unreasonably, step back, and try to consider real, large scale evidence. 

 

 

I try to actively do this as well, without wholesale discounting them, but not giving them undue weight when the body of evidence and logic is contrary. One person’s experience can suck even in something generally good and healthy. There are always outliers. They matter, but I wouldn’t change my mind over emotion alone, there has to be more than just sympathy behind a change of position for me.

 

 

I can't seem to find it now but a few years ago I listened to an episode of This American Life about (unscientific) tests that showed just that - that people are more moved by hearing about the experiences of others than by facts. 


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#118 Arctic Mama

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 11:01 AM

I actually think that is a really good trait of humans - empathy and compassion. It just needs to be tempered with logic and rationality, and the more responsibility/proximity a person has in a situation, the more care I think they must take in balancing those two. Someone without involvement or power can afford to just be sentimental about the feelings of those involved, far more than an individual who has influence over the circumstances.
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#119 Anne

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 11:18 AM

I greatly appreciate hearing other people’s opinions b/c hearing them forces me to think through mine.

I’ve come to realize that there is much less black & white in the world than I thought when I was young.

Anne
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#120 CES2005

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 11:35 AM

I sure did read this wrong the first time. :o

 Me too.  :D



#121 Bluegoat

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 11:49 AM

Yes, me too. 

I deliberately try to put n=1 anecdotal stories in their proper place. It seems we're hardwired to give them way more credence than they deserve so the logical thing is to realize that they influence us perhaps unreasonably, step back, and try to consider real, large scale evidence. 

 

Yes, and I think this is even true of groups, and maybe most importantly for me, it relates to interpretation of events.

 

So, it could be that a certain anecdotal experience actually has a strong factual basis - the events the person or group is describing are real.  But the question of how those events are interpreted still stands, and that may or may not be the way those people interpreted them.

 

I remember reading people describing accounts of everyday sexism for an article, for example, which was focused on the idea that men tell women how to eat, and that this is a feature of sexism.  There were all kinds of accounts of people saying things about it, and the women commenting thought they were about sexism.  What I thought was - ok, I am pretty sure most of these are things that happen just as often to men - its about the way people interact and not a female thing at all.  And a few were, IMO, about interactions with crazy people.  I may have been right or wrong and maybe directly being there would have clarified in some of those instances, but the fact is that their interpretation of events, as a group, is also limited by their perceptions about society and what motivates people.  And if that includes certain social attitudes about women, or ideas about those attitudes, that will colour the interpretation.

 

To my mind, the only remedy to that is to take it seriously but also to step back and try and see the larger context,a kind of vision from two directions, and too much empathy can actually be a problem, as bad as that sounds.  I have a few people I know who are super-high empathizers - I think it actually causes them emotional pain to not empathize with people's stories, but it causes them a lot of problems with thinking about issues, and even problems when their empathy wants them to identify with people who seem to be opposed to each other.


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#122 CES2005

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 12:14 PM

Not in a debating/arguing format, no.  But usually this happens IRL and the whole encounter is not meant to be an exchange of ideas, anyway.