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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Has an argument ever changed your mind?      Home login  
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 Dokkodo
Joined: 3/8/2011
Msg: 1
Has an argument ever changed your mind?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Being an outspoken atheist and libertarian most of my life, I've been in many arguments about big issues. One thing I notice in said big arguments, no one wants to back down from their beliefs. No matter how much evidence is presented, no matter how rational and logical an argument is, people just don't want to change what they grasp on to.

In 15+ years of having these arguments, I can recall maybe 3 times where people have conceded on a major issue such as religion vs. science. So I'd like to hear from those who have actually had their mind changed on something big from an argument.
 nipoleon
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 2
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 11:34:56 AM
Yes, it changed my mind about having sex with them.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 3
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 1:35:09 PM
I've had that happen quite a few times--it's what learning is about. Looking back, I can see all sorts of opinions I used to hold that changed as I found out new information. Intuition is a great thing, and sometimes it may be all we have to go on in deciding what's true. But it's almost always better to inform yourself as much as you can. The world is full of paradoxes, and what our intuition tells us should be true may turn out not to be.

One example: In every generation, it seems to be easy to convince a big part of the population that raising tax rates will produce more tax revenues. Somehow it seems to make sense. But it's been shown several times that just the opposite is true--decreasing the tax rate the right amount increases economic activity enough that even at the lower rate, the total tax revenue is larger. The slice taken out of the pie is narrower, but even so the pie is so much bigger that the slice contains more pie than before.
 Sweet_Danimal
Joined: 6/22/2012
Msg: 4
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 2:29:45 PM
There's people that post items in here all the damn time, just fishing for someone to tell them they are Correct.

I tell you, people would rather be dead than dead wrong. Political and religious arguments aside, it happens ALL OVER the dating-related forums too. A little bit of humble, a whole lot of patience, and an open mind will help many people learn something while they peruse these forums, but people don't want to learn - they want to be re-affirmed and reinforced as the 'good' one who did the 'right' thing, no matter how stupid, ignorant or naive they may be.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 5
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 2:47:23 PM
Ironic that Match mentions learning that raising taxes doesn't help revenue. I had to learn that the Republican/Reaganite idea of lowering taxes on the rich to spur investment (part of Supply-Side Economics), is actually 100% crap. I thought it made sense, until I investigated the facts honestly. Now I can see right through it, and know that it's totally bogus.

I also had my mind changed through argument about the Redskins name needing to be changed; that a number of Presidents I liked when they were in office, weren't actually responsible for much of the good things that I thought they accomplished (Democrat and Republican alike); and all sorts of political issues.

Now: I would point out, that if you just refer to HEATED, PUBLIC arguments, I almost never see anyone admit error or adjust their position publicly. That has more to do with egos and political maneuvering though, than with rationality , and I have noted that lots of people AFTER the end of the heated exchange, quietly altered their decisions about things.
 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 6
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 2:54:25 PM

There's people that post items in here all the damn time, just fishing for someone to tell them they are Correct.

I tell you, people would rather be dead than dead wrong. Political and religious arguments aside, it happens ALL OVER the dating-related forums too. A little bit of humble, a whole lot of patience, and an open mind will help many people learn something while they peruse these forums, but people don't want to learn - they want to be re-affirmed and reinforced as the 'good' one who did the 'right' thing, no matter how stupid, ignorant or naive they may be.


Now that is a very good point, Sweet_Danimal. Which brings up the question why it is so damn difficult to admit a mistake. Personally, I do not really have a lot of problems with admitting mistakes. I work in IT, and when I really screw something up, I immediately send out an email to everyone explaining what I did wrong, and that it was me who did it. That way, I avoid fingerpointing and false accusations. My bosses and managers love it, my colleagues hate it, I guess because they feel obliged to do the same thing.
From experience I would say that the average person usually gets it right 1 out of 10 times. And that is a GOOD average. My own average might be even lower. But it also means that we screw up 90% of the things we do. What usually gets in the way of learning is the ego. You just gotta know when to drop it...
 moonwalkerman
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 7
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 3:02:33 PM
Dokkodo, what are/were your arguments about ? Your post touches a very interesting subject...
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 3:52:50 PM
I've changed my mind many times because of an argument. And seen others change theirs too.
 mark777771
Joined: 4/22/2012
Msg: 9
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 4:00:03 PM
If someone can clearly prove where my thinking is faulty of incorrect I have no problem with changing my mind. Only a fool thinks they are right all the time.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 10
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 4:24:53 PM
The base of my belief system hasn't really changed all that much, but certain ideas that I once held definitely have. So has the way I debate. It has also prompted me to do research in areas that I may never have had the impetus to without engaging in a debate with someone. I still miss certain participants in this forum because of the effect they had on me in that regard.

I've also seen changes in others beliefs due to exposure to alternate ways of seeing things. It's actually a very inspiring process to me, and I'm grateful for all that I have learned and experienced because of it.

I have been debating on the topic of religion/spirituality for many years. There have been some people that I have really gone at it with, and due to the subject matter and passionate natures involved.. things had a tendency to get somewhat heated at times. But a certain respect seems to grow and develop from that rich soil.. and as with a true dialectic, a whole new level of truth (for both) can sometimes arise. Not to be pure corny, but honestly to me it is extremely beautiful. True pluralism in action.

It also reminds me of this:

Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.

–Rumi
 Dokkodo
Joined: 3/8/2011
Msg: 11
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 7:26:00 PM
The primary argument I find myself having is the creationist one. People ignore the mountains(sometimes literally mountains) of evidence in order to justify the superstitions they were raised with. Then to make it an even bigger slap in the face to science, they try to claim ALL THE EVIDENCE SAYS THERE'S A BIBLICAL GOD, THERE'S NO EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION OR AN EARTH THAT'S BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD.

That infuriates me when I hear people say that kind of thing, so I will usually be goaded into having that argument.

Aside from that, political ideals. I'm all for freedom in all facets. Legalizing EVERY drug for instance. Being that I'm in the Coast Guard, a lot of my peers do not agree with that ideology. Gun control, both parties are lying****uckers, etc.

Moral relativism. I maintain that all morals are subjective, and there's many who believe in objective morality. There's no such thing as objective morality, no matter how universal it seems, there's some twisted **** out there who finds it perfectly moral to do whatever you and most people find abhorrent.
 Divine-Diamond
Joined: 2/11/2013
Msg: 12
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 8:46:40 PM
I am always amused by a good, solid atheist. They rarely ever seen the hypocrisy of their claims.

To rape one's belief and yes, it is very much a form of intellectual rape to wish with everything in you that someone would litely reformulate their value systems and value judgments based on YOUR self-centered conclusions...well, let's get real.

The intellect doth protest too much but has very limited success. Odd? You would think it was a god in itself, it goes on about itself so much.

Let me guess, you are between the ages of 20 and 30. You haven't had an experience yet that can plausibly ever convince you (not that your intellect would let you...shame) that there is a God who allows you to contemplate His absence.

Well lucky for the rest of us, He is more of a gentlemen and doesn't engage of questions of how He can get into our spiritual panties without us inviting Him in first.

But I digress...
 RussArtLover
Joined: 5/13/2010
Msg: 13
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 10:17:52 PM
I don't recall particulars but my mind gets changed all the time. Then I deprogram and change it back. Win win :)


"The primary argument I find myself having is the creationist one. People ignore the mountains(sometimes literally mountains) of evidence in order to justify the superstitions they were raised with. "

I can sympathize, grew up going to church 3 times a week loving it until I turned about 12 years old. I put Atheist on my military application. Didn't know much about Thomas Jefferson at the time or would have put Jeffersonian \ Philosopher. Once you learn true kind heartedness it behooves you to incorporate it into your life, unless your job is full time military :) Mine was. And weaponizing my "self" didn't leave much room for kindness. A little, but not much.
 Dokkodo
Joined: 3/8/2011
Msg: 14
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 11:15:33 PM

I am always amused by a good, solid atheist. They rarely ever seen the hypocrisy of their claims.


What's hypocritical about weighing the evidence and coming to a conclusion?

I treat that which has no basis in reality as fiction. I see you're a Christian, so I'll elaborate on the silliness of your books.

Talking snakes? A ship large enough to fit every animal on the world before even the bronze age? Virgin birth? Ressurections? Walking on water? Water into wine? There's so many things that are absolutely fiction and have not a shred of evidence or ability to be repeated in controlled conditions in that book.

The God of the Bible is a misogynistic all-powerful being that somehow is supposed to be powerful enough to create and then judge his creations as right and wrong and arbitrarily punish them. He hands down horribly bigoted laws, uses his followers as playthings, and even sends his own son to die...who is also himself.

It's not just superstitious nonsense with no evidence to back it up, it's also something that'd be horrible and immoral if it had any shred of reality to it. Actually even as fiction it's horribly immoral because it's been a motivational tool in so many horrible atrocities.


Now a deistic deity has some plausibility. A god of the gaps if you will. Something that you can attribute the bits and pieces science has not yet found an answer for. However, even that sort of deity really is just a lazy explanation for the mysteries of the universe, it's a possible explanation, but only a possibility and not a reason to stop looking for the real answers.

An Abrahamic God on the other hand has no plausibility whatsoever, and has many contradictions to things we can objectively measure and observe. The things we can measure on Earth older than a Genesis explanation would allow such as erosion or corals. The fossils, morphology and DNA of species that show a gradual evolution, as opposed to everything just kinda popping up within 6 days. The observation of other things in the universe around us via helioseismology, or distant start light.

There's just so much evidence against a God of religion, religion is clearly an invention of man's wild imagination. Personally, I'd rather watch Star Wars, The Force is cooler and actually more plausible than an Abrahamic God.

If you have some sort of grand evidence that somehow proves Christianity to be true, by all means, share it with the world, get it peer reviewed, shut me up and collect your Nobel prize.
 RussArtLover
Joined: 5/13/2010
Msg: 15
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 11:24:53 PM
It's like asking "Why do some children play with poop?" You don't ask why, you just Yell for a Priest :)
 Dokkodo
Joined: 3/8/2011
Msg: 16
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/14/2013 11:59:28 PM

Also, I would question the OPs commitment to resisting propaganda vis a vis his libertarianism. Who's doing better... Somalia or Sweden. The evidence speaks for itself.


I would go on a limb and say Sweden. However, I don't see what that has to do with Libertarianism given that neither is a Libertarian state, to my knowledge there isn't a country around that is. It's more of a hopeful ideal than an actual reality.
 RussArtLover
Joined: 5/13/2010
Msg: 17
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 12:22:22 AM
I've been resuscitated a couple of times but I don't think I got smarter. I was dead. Then I wasn't. Same same.
 Dokkodo
Joined: 3/8/2011
Msg: 18
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 12:42:45 AM
Parthenogenesis doesn't naturally occur in mammals, and when forced along by science it has developed retarded offspring in the higher lifeforms.

Matthew (27:52-53) "The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
This isn't merely a case of misdiagnosis by primitive doctors, this is night of the living dead.

Ninjas running on water was on mythbusters, busted. A few other ninja myths have been busted too. A ninja's greatest weapon was deception, and rumors about their abilities is just another form of deception.

I worship the Sun and I pray to Joe Pesci, because he seems like a guy who can get shit done.
 nipoleon
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 19
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 1:52:44 AM
Logical, reasonable people don't need to argue. Logical, reasonable people discuss, they don't argue.
The whole fact that an argument is happening means somebody's not using logic and reason.
Therefore, it's useless to argue with anybody at all.

Like the old joke.... Arguing with a fool is like wrestling with a pig. You get dirty and the pig rather likes it.
 Dokkodo
Joined: 3/8/2011
Msg: 20
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 2:03:59 AM
It's been said when you argue with a fool, there's two of them.

I don't subscribe to that philosophy. I think arguing is an important thing, changing wrong ideas is something that should be done. I don't believe in going beyond words to change people's ideals, but hell if I won't use words strongly.
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 3:10:14 PM
^ ^ speaking in these terms, I always felt that a very accurate description of religion, and why it's so dangerous, is that it's the HIV/AIDS of memes or mind-viruses.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 22
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 4:18:36 PM

To rape one's belief and yes, it is very much a form of intellectual rape to wish with everything in you that someone would litely reformulate their value systems and value judgments based on YOUR self-centered conclusions...well, let's get real.
I'm curious.. do you believe that the only way to God and hence salvation, is through Jesus?
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 23
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 4:54:25 PM

Has an argument ever changed your mind?

No, but it has been rearranged a few times.
 DameWrite
Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 24
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Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 6:55:21 PM
Accepted reasoning based on factual evidence can change my opinion, but only the environment changes my mind (brain).

I hope I'll be able to discern what is factual before my mind/brain turns to mush. (taking into consideration what is happening with the environment and it's affects on me and my mind/brain).

Arguments are not an effective way to change opinions as much as people think. Arguing makes people go into flight,fight,freeze,or blush defensive mode which protects them from being vulnerable and therefor less able to comprehend. Also you catch more flies with honey than vinegar as they say.

If you want to change someone's opinion, example is the way to go.

If you want to change someones mind/brain...pollution or impact is the way to go. Just listen,smell,feel,taste and look around you. (sense, if you still can).
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 25
Has an argument ever changed your mind?
Posted: 2/15/2013 8:40:46 PM
I have certainly changed my mind as the result of argument and debate-- on rather large matters concerning religion, science, and politics. Actually, it wasn't so much changing my mind as it was deprogramming myself...
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