Monday, April 18, 2005

Debating...

I don't like debating. It's not because I'm bad at it, as growing up with a know-it-all big sister has taught me a thing or two, and with the proper preparation I could probably fare pretty well, but I find the experience tiring.

I noticed it recently when I was about to write a reply in a forum to a statement that downloads of music in any format has a negative impact on sales (which most know isn't true). But after I had written out my incredible worded reply that was sure to knock the opposition of it's feet, I just deleted the thing. Yeah, maybe I was being a coward for not wanting to take up the fight, but I could see from the rhetoric that the poster seemed to just be after a debate for the sake of debating. Nothing wrong with that, of course. A debate can be a good exercise for the mind, and if I was five years younger I would probably have gone for it. Heck, if I was five years younger, I might have said it myself just to play the devil's advocate.

A debate is after all just a play; you can argue just about anything no matter how stupid, and there is minimal chance that any of the participants will change their minds about anything. You can have the best idea in the world that you want to tell everyone about, but you're shot down by someone who doesn't care either way but is just hired in to promote the opposition's argument.

Maybe I've grown old and soft. Or old and hardened in my opinions. I've had A Youth's View From The Right in my blogmarks folder for a while now, and while part of me thinks it would be good to read through it and come up with counter-arguments, another part of me just doesn't want to sift through any more of these kinds of arguments.

I should know better than to end this with a huge blockquote, but this from The Oatmeal pirate is too good not to be written again and again:
The news is full of small biases that most of us never even notice. These biases confirm our beliefs and make it easier to watch or listen to news. It is quite uncomfortable to hear strong arguments from our opponents. Our own president will confirm this, as he refuses to read liberal columnists. However, these actions are complete nonsense. How dare we believe ourselves to be correct if we don’t even know why our opponents believe what they do?
People need to start listening. Maybe then we’ll realize that every side of an issue can be justified with clear, black and white facts.
Liberals, your conservative friends are not stupid.
Conservatives, your liberal friends are not stupid.
When we find the truth about life and our world, I assure you it will be neither black nor white, neither liberal nor conservative.

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