Has an argument ever changed your opinion?

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Kroni
 
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 05:18 pm
Has an argument presented by someone on these forums ever changed your stand on a philisophical issue? If so, what issue was it and what was the argument that convinced you?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:41 pm
@Kroni,
Kroni;101892 wrote:
Has an argument presented by someone on these forums ever changed your stand on a philisophical issue? If so, what issue was it and what was the argument that convinced you?


I don't think so, not on this forum. But arguments have shown that I was wrong about several things. Of course, an argument may show that you are wrong, and you still may not change.
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:43 pm
@Kroni,
Descartes proof of God.

Kant's division of the mind into the analytical and the synthetic and knowledge into apriori and aposteriori

Plato's forms as being distinct from the physical world.

Social contract theory trumping utilitarianism.

Freud's separation between consciousness and sub(un)consciousness.

Jung's Archetypes and his dream analysis

On this forum...hmmm, not in any major way that I can recollect just yet, but certainly in small nudges too wistful to be recalled.
 
prothero
 
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 09:19 pm
@Kroni,
I prefer the notion that the forum is to exchange views not to argue.
It is doubtful anyone changes a long held fundamental view about reality on the basis of a single reading or discussion. The forum does serve to better formulate, express and understand ones own views as well as the views of others and as a stimulus to reflection and investigation.

If you are a materialist or a determinist having an exchange with a process advocate or a free will advocate is not likely to change your views but it should give you a better understanding of other view points and a greater ability to defend and express your own.

It is not about winning an argument or changing someone else's view but greater insight and understanding.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 07:48 am
@prothero,
prothero;101933 wrote:
I prefer the notion that the forum is to exchange views not to argue.
It is doubtful anyone changes a long held fundamental view about reality on the basis of a single reading or discussion. The forum does serve to better formulate, express and understand ones own views as well as the views of others and as a stimulus to reflection and investigation.

If you are a materialist or a determinist having an exchange with a process advocate or a free will advocate is not likely to change your views but it should give you a better understanding of other view points and a greater ability to defend and express your own.

It is not about winning an argument or changing someone else's view but greater insight and understanding.


I don't see how people can rationally change another's view without argument except through force. Don't they have to give reasons why someone else should change his view? I think you just mean by "argument", "dispute" or, "altercation". But there is another meaning of "argument", which is just presenting reasons for a conclusion. It does not mean a fight. That is the kind of thing which is supposed to be done in philosophy. And should be done here.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 12:22 pm
@kennethamy,
A well crafted argument has often changed or altered an opinion of mine insofar that the opinion was not one of the bedrock opinions that comprise my identity. Those have changed gradually due to constant pressure of this or that like a river channel being redirected by the flow of the river.
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 01:58 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;101982 wrote:
I don't see how people can rationally change another's view without argument except through force. Don't they have to give reasons why someone else should change his view? I think you just mean by "argument", "dispute" or, "altercation". But there is another meaning of "argument", which is just presenting reasons for a conclusion. It does not mean a fight. That is the kind of thing which is supposed to be done in philosophy. And should be done here.


If by "argument" one means reasoned discussion or logical presentation of views, I have no problem. I guess the term "argument" has a negative conotation for me without descriptive adjective. "reasoned argument" or "logical argument". Sorry.:perplexed:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 02:11 am
@prothero,
prothero;102103 wrote:
If by "argument" one means reasoned discussion or logical presentation of views, I have no problem. I guess the term "argument" has a negative conotation for me without descriptive adjective. "reasoned argument" or "logical argument". Sorry.:perplexed:


Yes. In many colleges logic is described as, "the study of argument". But that doesn't mean they study people disputing. It means logic is the study of the difference between good arguments which establish their conclusions, and bad arguments which fail to establish their conclusions.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 08:23 am
@Kroni,
The only person who changes my opinions (I would prefer the description "positions" here) is myself. From the discussions here, I have become more aware of different perspectives, and this awareness in itself (I do not mean to sound Hegelian) no doubt has modified some of my perspectives or positions, even when rejecting them.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 08:31 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;102130 wrote:
The only person who changes my opinions (I would prefer the description "positions" here) is myself. From the discussions here, I have become more aware of different perspectives, and this awareness in itself (I do not mean to sound Hegelian) no doubt has modified some of my perspectives or positions, even when rejecting them.


Then it was not exclusively yourself, was it?
 
hue-man
 
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 09:06 am
@Poseidon,
Poseidon;101917 wrote:
Descartes proof of God.


:perplexed: :lol:That was good one. Thanks for that.

---------- Post added 11-06-2009 at 10:07 AM ----------

Kroni;101892 wrote:
Has an argument presented by someone on these forums ever changed your stand on a philisophical issue? If so, what issue was it and what was the argument that convinced you?


Not on this forum, but some arguments have helped me clarify my own positions.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2009 09:21 am
@hue-man,
Kroni;101892 wrote:
Has an argument presented by someone on these forums ever changed your stand on a philisophical issue? If so, what issue was it and what was the argument that convinced you?


Honestly, I have experienced quite a few comments and members that have changed my views on philosophical issues. But I would not say that it was an exact argument that changed my perspective on things, but rather the way that they produced their topics, what evidence they presented, and how well they conveyed it. Obviously, all of us have our own opinions which are not likely to change. We will keep and continue to keep them. People will, no matter the facts, believe what they want. I have no real problem with that actually, because the change in perspective usually comes in small doses rather than in a gigantic swig. But the more people are exposed to quality discussions, the more they will in turn adopt some of the mannerisms which the other exposes.

But I have to say that a great part of this forum can come in (given the right participants) when an argument does not take on an argument but a cooperative analysis. These are wonderful discussions to get involved in, and I look very hard through the forum daily for these potential gems. And usually, 1 out of 5 of these potential gems actually produces a very lively and informed discussion. There have been a precious handful of these discussions.

Of some of the most influential discussions I have had that have shaped my perspective on things, I would have to say that the Logic Symposia provided a good deal focused discussion which is essentially based on helping others. Take Propositional Logic Symposia 4: Translating English into Logic for example;

http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/branches-philosophy/logic/1460-propositional-logic-symposia-4-translating-english-into-logic-4.htmlAre Women Feminists?";

http://www.philosophyforum.com/lounge/general-discussion/4354-women-feminists.html

Most everyone who contributed to this thread had good positions to take and perspectives that enlightened the discussion. Granted there are small parts here and there that are not especially all that great, but they are perspectives none the less and the topic remained remarkably on point for a good deal of the time. Epideictics were short and to the point. But what's remarkable about the thread is that members stuck to their informed guns and kept on feeding genuine ammunition. Unique perspectives were right on, regardless of whether or not I agreed with them. If the forum were to close tomorrow, I would remember that thread as one of my fondest discussions with my fellow and capable members.

I would also add that there are many members who did not take part in these two particular discussions that I hold in high regard for thier expertise, talent, and helpfulness. Props to them for carrying on.
 
odenskrigare
 
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2009 07:58 pm
@Kroni,
just a few days ago someone convinced me that language has a greater influence on cognition than I previously credited it for
 
sarek
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 09:55 am
@Kroni,
Yes, arguments can and do change my opinions, almost on a daily basis.
It is simply in my nature. I constantly seek new viewpoints to challenge the old ones. Not just outside but also inside myself.

Once example:
I have a metaphysical model of reality that has to be consistent with science. Otherwise I am simply deluding myself. As soon as someone proves that either quantum mechanics or relativity is inherently flawed I have a problem.
 
odenskrigare
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 10:34 am
@sarek,
I went from religious to strong atheist when I was 13-ish (internal argument, writings of Carl Sagan) then nominally religious up until the age of 19 when, among other things, I lost an argument to someone and realized that the only reason I had to be religious was wishful thinking about death and pressure from crappy people around me

I am now a weak atheist, or agnostic atheist or whatever
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 10:37 am
@Kroni,
My point of view often changes when I realize that I don't know enough on a topic to be arguing it. And this has happened with nearly all topics I discuss -- there are only a couple topics for which I'm an expert, and none of them are in philosophy.
 
odenskrigare
 
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2009 10:43 am
@Kroni,
I would add that I used to consider myself a political leftist and still do to some extent but I have to say that other leftists as well as ordinary people and their charming behaviors are making some very compelling arguments in favor of libertarianism

---------- Post added 11-09-2009 at 11:47 AM ----------

here's another one: I am convinced that "Islamization" is a real issue in Europe although the people making the biggest noise about it tend to be repulsive themselves. of course that doesn't matter per se
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 04:20 pm
@Kroni,
Aah, I remember it now - the discussion about the guy that allegedly 'aborted' the abortion doctor.

Before hand I was against abortion, but not in favour of using force to stop it. This was timidity on my behalf, and I was soundly convinced by the arguments presented that it is in fact moral, to use force to get rid of the 'doctor'.
 
IntoTheLight
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 11:48 pm
@Kroni,
Kroni;101892 wrote:
Has an argument presented by someone on these forums ever changed your stand on a philisophical issue?


Yes; several times.

Quote:

If so, what issue was it and what was the argument that convinced you?


There have been many, but the one that comes to mind was this:

When I was a Atheist, I spent seven years on a Theology forum that was dominated by all manner of Christians.

A great deal of them were mindless fundamentalists who preached a steady message of hatred and self-righteousness. This reinforced my belief that all Christians were ignorant and/or hypocrites.

Yet, there were a few Christians on the forum who never posted attacks on me and were always kind and courteous, even when I deconstructed their arguments in a sarcastic way.

It wasn't so much an argument as it was a adherence to their own faith that eventually let me see that not all Christians were the ignorant fundys that I'd made them out to be.

Though I am no Christian, I now have respect for those who do follow their faith. More than that, however, I learned a valuable lesson: extremists are extremists no matter what philosophy they espouse; it's illogical and inaccurate to blame an institution for the actions of its followers.

-ITL-
 
 

 
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