To Learn

I enjoy civilized debates, but I rarely get the chance to engage in them. That’s because in my experience nearly everyone assumes they’re correct, so they only debate to beat their viewpoint into the other person’s head
In other words, most people argue to win… and I can’t
at all costs.
stand
Not exactly. I see a third alternative, one that seems more productive. I argue to it. Whenever I mention this, the response is almost always “Oh, so you argue to lose, huh?”
In fact, I think the best possible outcome of a debate is when my opponent convinces me that he’s right and I’m wrong. That way, I’ve learned something new or improved my worldview by fixing a mistake. It’s just
learn.
boring
That’s the point of this website. I’ve decided that I can no longer develop my ideas in isolation. I’m blind to the flaws in my own ideas because I’m simply too biased towards believing they’re true. to convince someone else that I’m right. What do I gain from a debate that I “win” in that manner? Very little, I think.
It might seem like I shouldn’t be annoyed with people who argue to win, because they’re doing me a favor by enthusiastically attacking my ideas. While it’s true that I desperately want people to attack my ideas in order to identify flaws in my reasoning, the problem is that people who argue to win generally aren’t very persuasive. They’re certainly motivated
That’s because you have to understand another person’s position at least a to attack my ideas (which I appreciate), but the resulting arguments have always been much less enlightening than conversations with people who disagree with me in a calm, non-confrontational manner.
little bit
For me debating is all about seriously entertaining my opponent’s viewpoint, to examine the world through the lens of his assumptions. If I happen to like his viewpoint better than mine (which happens occasionally) I cheerfully say “thank you for correcting me” and drop my old position. I’m not on anyone’s side but my own, and sometimes I’m not even on my own side… before you criticize it. Otherwise your attacks might not be aimed at their central point, or you may misinterpret their position altogether. Your arguments must also serve as a “bridge” between the other person’s position and your own, to show the other person how to cross the intellectual distance that separates your positions. Finally, you can’t simply grab the first argument that appears to support your position or attack your opponent’s. This happens most often in verbal debates where there isn’t much time for research or introspection between intellectual salvos. But it also occurs in written debates with depressing frequency, and the resulting arguments simply aren’t challenging enough.

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Hello world!

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