19 votes

Has anyone in an online discussion/argument ever actually changed your opinion about something?

I don't mean an issue where you're maybe ambivalent or undecided beforehand, or if you've willingly made an /r/changemyview type of post. I mean an instance where you already have your own stance and come face-to-face with an opposite, more convincing and/or more factual viewpoint that compels you to change your perspective.

I'd like to think I'm more open-minded than the norm, and I can't recall it ever happening to me... which is not to say it's definitely never happened, but you'd think it'd have made an impact worth remembering. And frankly, if it actually has never happened, well, what's the freaking point of discussing anything?

43 comments

  1. [26]
    viridian
    Link
    Definitely, but not in the form that you'd ever see on a place like reddit/tildes/HN. Slack/Discord/IM is a much better place for that kind of thing, with quick turn around on an exchange of...

    Definitely, but not in the form that you'd ever see on a place like reddit/tildes/HN. Slack/Discord/IM is a much better place for that kind of thing, with quick turn around on an exchange of ideas, and one where people seem way more comfortable reengaging over, and over.

    I'm actually of the opinion that most disagreement by most people actually comes down to a difference in definitions, but also extracting a precise set of terms from a person is extremely difficult. Long form usually hinders rather than helps that process, because people generally don't want to be pinged on reddit or whereever else in response to a long post with "what do you mean when you use x, y, and z? I think we have different working definitions". In my experience, attempting to do so in long form forums usually just leads to accusations of pedantry which degrade the conversation, versus a short form communication place, where someone just shoots back a reply and we can crawl towards progress.

    25 votes
    1. [8]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      Also, in chat rooms (smaller ones, at least), I think a major factor is that it's more likely that the person is genuinely trying to talk with you, and not actually just using you as a way to...

      Also, in chat rooms (smaller ones, at least), I think a major factor is that it's more likely that the person is genuinely trying to talk with you, and not actually just using you as a way to perform for the crowd they know is watching.

      In my opinion, people re-purposing conversations into performances is the root cause for why a lot of discussion on the internet is so bad, especially since it's usually combined with being condescending or righteous to make it seem like their "side" is clearly superior (the crowd that agrees loves that).

      I posted this "How to be helpful online" article yesterday in ~tech—it's written towards technical help, but the advice in it isn't really tech-specific. I thought it was a great coverage of some of the ways people behave (or should behave) when they're truly trying to help the person they're talking with.

      19 votes
      1. [7]
        Eylrid
        Link Parent
        This is a bigger factor than how long or short responses are. Look at twitter: responses are short but people are performing for the crowd, and it's a toxic, terrible place for discourse and debate.

        Also, in chat rooms (smaller ones, at least), I think a major factor is that it's more likely that the person is genuinely trying to talk with you, and not actually just using you as a way to perform for the crowd they know is watching.

        This is a bigger factor than how long or short responses are. Look at twitter: responses are short but people are performing for the crowd, and it's a toxic, terrible place for discourse and debate.

        6 votes
        1. [6]
          viridian
          Link Parent
          Twitter, in my limited usage, has a completely different problem. It actively encourages you, by rule of the 280 character limit, to strip away all nuance and conversational tone. You can avoid...

          Twitter, in my limited usage, has a completely different problem. It actively encourages you, by rule of the 280 character limit, to strip away all nuance and conversational tone. You can avoid this of course, but the UI ensures that you then suffer the consequences of having to

          4 votes
          1. [5]
            viridian
            Link Parent
            split up your posts into multiple tweets, which is bad by design in every single way for the user. Replies become distributed to different tweets, and thus inaccessible without a series of 2*(# of...

            split up your posts into multiple tweets, which is bad by design in every single way for the user. Replies become distributed to different tweets, and thus inaccessible without a series of 2*(# of tweets) clicks. Everything about the design is just begging you to

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              viridian
              Link Parent
              box in the entirety of your thoughts to 280 character blocks, which I think is the single largest issue the platform has when it comes to encouraging thoughtful engagement. Twitter actives fights...

              box in the entirety of your thoughts to 280 character blocks, which I think is the single largest issue the platform has when it comes to encouraging thoughtful engagement. Twitter actives fights nuance and explanation, and so the platforms users follow the bad behavior

              3 votes
              1. [3]
                viridian
                Link Parent
                patterns Twitter encourages.

                patterns Twitter encourages.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  culturedleftfoot
                  Link Parent
                  Completely agree, it is a bit of a feedback loop. You do have to say though that even the fact it's no longer at the original 140 characters is a concession to the fact that the kind of discourse...

                  Completely agree, it is a bit of a feedback loop. You do have to say though that even the fact it's no longer at the original 140 characters is a concession to the fact that the kind of discourse that now happens on there rather than what it was intended for. I imagine designing something to handle both types of usage well while maintaining the platform's identity can't be easy.

                  2 votes
                  1. viridian
                    Link Parent
                    It's certainly not an easy problem to solve, it may even be impossible. That said though, maybe a 280 character mass social media platform is just destined to be a net negative for society.

                    It's certainly not an easy problem to solve, it may even be impossible. That said though, maybe a 280 character mass social media platform is just destined to be a net negative for society.

                    3 votes
    2. [8]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I agree that many disagreements are problems of definition. But pointing things out like that really doesn’t work, and not necessarily because people think you’re being pedantic. I believe that...

      I agree that many disagreements are problems of definition. But pointing things out like that really doesn’t work, and not necessarily because people think you’re being pedantic. I believe that engaging in meta discussion simply breaks the “flow”, the implicit arrangement of every conversation. You must prove your point using only the tools that both share. Talking semantics with someone that has no knowledge on the subject is useless.

      It is similarly useless to name fallacies in conversation: logic is the engine, and you can use it to create more powerful arguments. But throwing it at people is not persuasive at all, and this is frequently true even among those that understand those references. In other words, stating principles of the game won’t advance the match: you gotta make a play.

      At least that’s what I gathered in my interactions.

      11 votes
      1. [7]
        viridian
        Link Parent
        I actually strongly agree with you on the latter, but disagree w.r.t. the former. People's lives are bathed in fallacy, often by necessity, and an argumentative environment is just about the least...

        I actually strongly agree with you on the latter, but disagree w.r.t. the former. People's lives are bathed in fallacy, often by necessity, and an argumentative environment is just about the least effective place to unwind those with any success.

        Definitional issues however, are so often the issue itself, rather than just an impediment, to two people understanding each other. I just don't think there's much value in two people spending so much time talking past each other because they don't agree in their unstated definitions.

        4 votes
        1. [6]
          mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          You can definitely address problems of definition in a conversational manner. For example, saying: “sorry, I think I misunderstood, I thought you meant X when you actually meant Y. Is that...

          You can definitely address problems of definition in a conversational manner. For example, saying: “sorry, I think I misunderstood, I thought you meant X when you actually meant Y. Is that correct?” can be very helpful. You can also poke holes in an argument informally. Both semantic and logic can work as your “engine”, but you must be smart with your rhetoric. My comment was trying to address their use, presentation, etc.

          1 vote
          1. [4]
            viridian
            Link Parent
            You can ask for clarification of course, but one of the issues is that every comment has a significant attrition rate on platforms such as these. Even tildes, which I find to be far more...

            You can ask for clarification of course, but one of the issues is that every comment has a significant attrition rate on platforms such as these. Even tildes, which I find to be far more conversational than reddit, almost never sees comment chains that go ten deep.

            Instant messaging platforms/IRC/slack/discord, if re-contextualized as a tildes type website, would see comment chains that go 100+ posts deep with some frequency, because post attrition is almost zero, and people are far more willing to hop on and off of a 'deep thread'.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              mrbig
              Link Parent
              I see. What exactly do you mean by “attrition” and “post attrition”?

              I see. What exactly do you mean by “attrition” and “post attrition”?

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                viridian
                Link Parent
                Folks just letting the thread hang and not replying to the latest message. This seems to be how the vast majority of conversations die in reddit-like websites, eventually one person just stops...

                Folks just letting the thread hang and not replying to the latest message. This seems to be how the vast majority of conversations die in reddit-like websites, eventually one person just stops replying, even though it usually doesn't feel like the natural end to a conversation, and each post is another roll of the dice to see if the thread dies. With instant messaging style platforms, that rarely happens, since they are more naturally conversational.

                3 votes
                1. mrbig
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  I see. I don’t see this happening much on Tildes. People here usually care. I try to take things to their conclusions, but I learned to watch myself because too many quick objective responses seem...

                  I see. I don’t see this happening much on Tildes. People here usually care.

                  I try to take things to their conclusions, but I learned to watch myself because too many quick objective responses seem to give the impression that I’m getting emotional and have a personal problem with the interlocutor.

                  Taking an argument apart in multiple back and forths seems to have the same effect, especially on sensitive subjects.

                  Recently I was targeted by a new mechanic that blocks people from commenting if they answer too quickly (the idea is to prevent bickering).

                  2 votes
          2. NoblePath
            Link Parent
            I have had occasional good results with the socratic method bringing an essential inconsistency in my debate partner’s logic. It works well with arguments about rights, especially property rights.

            I have had occasional good results with the socratic method bringing an essential inconsistency in my debate partner’s logic.

            It works well with arguments about rights, especially property rights.

    3. [7]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      There've been plenty of times on Tildes where I've chosen not to reply to a long comment, because I know that the resulting discussion, while interesting and bearing the potential to learn...

      Long form usually hinders rather than helps that process, because people generally don't want to be pinged on reddit or whereever else in response to a long post with "what do you mean when you use x, y, and z?

      There've been plenty of times on Tildes where I've chosen not to reply to a long comment, because I know that the resulting discussion, while interesting and bearing the potential to learn something, would be draining. The constant communication resulting from instant messaging is much better because it feels like it has lower stakes, even though it ultimately has the same, if not higher, potential for people to learn something and adapt their opinions.

      On Tildes, I quite often hesistate when writing a reply because I know that the resulting discussion will require more work than in other places. That's not bad, it's just a consequence of preferring in-depth, text-based discussions on a platform.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        imperialismus
        Link Parent
        I don't like to debate serious things using instant messaging. If it's not an in person conversation, I prefer an asynchronous format because it allows me time to formulate my thoughts. But I...

        I don't like to debate serious things using instant messaging. If it's not an in person conversation, I prefer an asynchronous format because it allows me time to formulate my thoughts. But I agree that Tildes in particular is a high-effort kind of platform that can be quite stressful.

        I'm trying to learn to just bow out early. Because arguing on the internet just isn't worth it a lot of the time. Being able to walk away from it feels so much better. You didn't necessarily lose an adversarial game, you simply disengaged from a conversation.

        7 votes
        1. Grzmot
          Link Parent
          I agree, and I've gotten to that point on Reddit, but on Tildes it feels different, because the community is smaller, and the discussion is the point of the site, rather than a side-effect.

          You didn't necessarily lose an adversarial game, you simply disengaged from a conversation.

          I agree, and I've gotten to that point on Reddit, but on Tildes it feels different, because the community is smaller, and the discussion is the point of the site, rather than a side-effect.

          3 votes
      2. [4]
        viridian
        Link Parent
        I do the same! Tildes is especially bad because huge walls of text are fairly common here, and only engaging with part of the comment feels like I'm doing a disservice, so I pretty much never...

        I do the same! Tildes is especially bad because huge walls of text are fairly common here, and only engaging with part of the comment feels like I'm doing a disservice, so I pretty much never reply to anything longer than a couple of paragraphs since the complexity of the work seems to scale quadratically with post size.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Grzmot
          Link Parent
          Once you get into googling references and doing research, it gets especially cumbersome.

          Once you get into googling references and doing research, it gets especially cumbersome.

          4 votes
          1. viridian
            Link Parent
            Yep, once I start collecting reference links and citations my mind goes to "hmm, I could just make a medium article out of this and get paid", which rapidly causes me to get bin the comment entirely.

            Yep, once I start collecting reference links and citations my mind goes to "hmm, I could just make a medium article out of this and get paid", which rapidly causes me to get bin the comment entirely.

            2 votes
        2. mrbig
          Link Parent
          It really helps when the comment is split in nice short paragraphs!

          It really helps when the comment is split in nice short paragraphs!

          2 votes
    4. mono
      Link Parent
      As someone who has argued more on the internet than I am proud to admit, I agree completely. Even (if not especially) debates purely in good faith seem to almost always eventually boil down into...

      I'm actually of the opinion that most disagreement by most people actually comes down to a difference in definitions.

      As someone who has argued more on the internet than I am proud to admit, I agree completely. Even (if not especially) debates purely in good faith seem to almost always eventually boil down into some semantic discrepancy between the two parties. There is often very little disagreement on the actual factual matter other than its relevance, and all the conflict centers around whether something qualifies for some particular adjective or description -- to the point that the parties are essentially arguing in a absurdly obtuse way about what certain words mean.

      It's maddening to me because I think arguing semantics is a gigantic waste of time, like earnest debating whether or not hot dogs are sandwiches. Words and the meaning we ascribe them aren't concrete or absolute, and more often than not, they're too ambiguous and inadequate to convey complex ideas. It's twice as maddening when people are arguing semantics and they don't realize it because they're too caught up defending their opinions.

      6 votes
    5. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      You're right about long-form vs short-form, and I was only thinking about the former when I first posted.

      You're right about long-form vs short-form, and I was only thinking about the former when I first posted.

      3 votes
  2. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    A single interaction? Not that I recall. A set of interactions? Definitely, and not just opinions, but also behavior. Being on Tildes, for example, made me more measured and calm both here and...

    A single interaction? Not that I recall.
    A set of interactions? Definitely, and not just opinions, but also behavior.

    Being on Tildes, for example, made me more measured and calm both here and elsewhere.

    I can’t say I had strong opinions about other kinds of sexuality beyond my own, but online interactions provided me great education on the matter.

    The thing about me is that, as soon as I realize someone knows more about something than me, I make an effort to enter in “learning mode”, so it’s very easy to change my opinions. Sometimes I don’t notice that, but, when I do, that’s not a remarkable occurrence.

    Maybe the last time I changed my mind was when I learned about the research on the use of psychedelics to improve mental health.

    Edit: But maybe I’m not the right person to answer this question, because, despite being religious, I’m also annoyingly skeptical, even about my own opinions. I have beliefs, but I try not to hold them very tight.

    14 votes
  3. [2]
    Gaywallet
    (edited )
    Link
    Oh absolutely, I used to be a little shit when I was a teenager and had some horrendously awful takes because I grew up around privilege and I was fed the bullshit you get fed when you're...

    Oh absolutely, I used to be a little shit when I was a teenager and had some horrendously awful takes because I grew up around privilege and I was fed the bullshit you get fed when you're insulated like that.

    Notable recent opinion changes include a kinda shitty medical gate-keep-y stance on transgender healthcare that were changed as a direct result of this website (extra embarrassing given that I now identify as trans... woopsie, lol), and a more gradual shift in opinion from being tolerant of violent resistance to actively promoting it (to be clear here, violence for violence sake is not approved of but self defense and violence aimed at reducing violence by accelerating change are different stories).

    There's likely plenty more I'm not thinking of, and plenty of a gradual shift or slide in a particular direction as I better understand arguments on either side of an issue. I've grown increasingly more radical 👉😎👉 as I age and spend more time around and really listening to the people around me. I've also grown more radical as I become more presently aware of the plethora of ways privilege poisons and society takes advantage of and uses humans as a means to elevate a few at the expense of others.


    I also want to point out that I find your choice of words interesting

    come face-to-face with an opposite, more convincing and/or more factual viewpoint

    Implies that the argument itself is what changes someone's opinion. However, I don't think this is true. The older I get the more I truly realize that it is emotion that can reach someone and change their mind and very rarely anything else.

    13 votes
    1. twisterghost
      Link Parent
      Similar experience here. When I was a teenager / early college, I had the shittiest of takes. Entirely self-centric "if it doesn't directly affect me, I don't care" crap, or even malicious in some...

      Similar experience here. When I was a teenager / early college, I had the shittiest of takes. Entirely self-centric "if it doesn't directly affect me, I don't care" crap, or even malicious in some cases. Just regurgitating conservative talking points my dad fed me because I wanted to seem smart and educated and he was the smartest person I knew.

      I had plenty of arguments with friends who frankly dealt with my shit way longer than I deserved. But it wasn't any argument that changed my mind, it was seeing someone else, somehow even more pompous than I, go through the same shit, and being on the other side of it and seeing people actively walk away from that person. Helped frame the kind of person I was being.

      Since then its been a radical transformation, and I now feel far more confident with my views, as I feel they come from a place of honesty and heart rather than just repeating easy and selfish talking points.

      7 votes
  4. [3]
    vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    This happens to me all the time. I'm certainly swayed by good data (that I'm able to verify), skillful language and politeness. I'm not sure if there's any position that I could reliably stick to...

    This happens to me all the time. I'm certainly swayed by good data (that I'm able to verify), skillful language and politeness. I'm not sure if there's any position that I could reliably stick to if somebody would attack me using these weapons.

    In my twenties, somebody recommended that I read Ayn Rand. So I read just about all her works, beginning with Atlas Shrugged. I got quite convinced about objectivism. In retrospect, it probably didn't contain any of the three values I mentioned above, but I was a different person. I grew out of it -- even though I still respect some parts of it -- and this becoming better definitely was partly because I got to discuss it with people (heavily left-leaning, I think) who talked to me instead of bashing.

    Incidentally, this is why I find it hard to take many forms of modern activism seriously. It often lacks all those three points. The people who hang out in Tildes seem to be better at this.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      Awoo
      Link Parent
      You should try socialist spaces. The issue you've had seems more to do with liberals refusing to discuss anything with anyone opposed to them, holding a stuffy snobby "educate yourself" attitude....

      You should try socialist spaces. The issue you've had seems more to do with liberals refusing to discuss anything with anyone opposed to them, holding a stuffy snobby "educate yourself" attitude. Socialists on the other hand very much embrace directly engaging with people if they're genuinely engaging in good-faith. It makes fundamentally no sense not to seek out and attempt to engage and educate others, it is necessary in fact, because it is the only way you get that information to many of them otherwise.

      3 votes
      1. JoylessAubergine
        Link Parent
        At least for Reddit i couldn't disagree more. The socialists spaces there, with the exception of stupidpol, are a minefield of unwritten ban-able offences, mods automatically assuming the worst...

        At least for Reddit i couldn't disagree more. The socialists spaces there, with the exception of stupidpol, are a minefield of unwritten ban-able offences, mods automatically assuming the worst and people rooting through your post history to find a reason to attack you.

        Are there non-reddit spaces that are more welcoming?

        4 votes
  5. [5]
    dotsforeyes
    Link
    Yes. I have been on both sides of that sort of discussion online and offline. I will say though that it is never as clear cut as "more convincing" or "more factual". It does not often happen right...

    Yes. I have been on both sides of that sort of discussion online and offline.

    I mean an instance where you already have your own stance and come face-to-face with an opposite, more convincing and/or more factual viewpoint that compels you to change your perspective.

    I will say though that it is never as clear cut as "more convincing" or "more factual".

    It does not often happen right away. In my experience on the internet, there is too much..... impetus (? perhaps not the right word)... to make the call right there as you read or comment.

    But sometimes something random strangers say stick with you. Days, weeks, or maybe years later you think about it. It festers and somewhere along the way, things have changed and one of those things is your mind.

    ... but you'd think it'd have made an impact worth remembering. And frankly, if it actually has never happened, well, what's the freaking point of discussing anything?

    I have faced the reality that I am rather closed-minded. My upbringing and worldview is so specific and different from the english-speaking internet majority. It is often a surprise to see what else is out there and every new thing I learn, I put away for the future. I also do not often reply and speak this out loud.

    You may not realize it but it has definitely happened to people you have talked to, if not to you yourself. As for whether there is a point of discussing anything, I would say there definitely is. There is a whole world out there learning from the discussions that take place online for better or worse. It just doesn't seem like it from the feedback.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      This got me curious. Could you elaborate?

      My upbringing and worldview is so specific and different from the english-speaking internet majority

      This got me curious. Could you elaborate?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        dotsforeyes
        Link Parent
        Oh hrmmmmm yes, it's nothing too major and a bit off topic haha. The same could be said out of anyone with a sheltered childhood perhaps? I'm from the Philippines and have hardly ever been out of...

        Oh hrmmmmm yes, it's nothing too major and a bit off topic haha. The same could be said out of anyone with a sheltered childhood perhaps?

        I'm from the Philippines and have hardly ever been out of it. It is a country that (like some other island countries) is in a bit of an impasse of Eastern and Western cultures. We do not identify as Asian in the sense that a Chinese or Japanese or Korean might. At the same time, we are not Western or European by any standard - although a bigger chunk of our written history was spent colonized by Western powers than it was independent.

        I was brought up in an extremely conservative Catholic/Muslim country which would be semi-Quaker or Mormon as a comparison in the States perhaps? We were also colonized so things like political philosophies and right vs left are things I wasn't familiar with until the news and the internet came in. Americans for example are much more vocal about their opinions whereas I grew up being taught that whatever my family said was basically the rule, passive-aggressiveness was the order of the day, and we were somewhat critical of anything coming from "the West".

        This is not a fairly accurate representation of the average in my country but it is what I was exposed to. So I thought myself to be rather open-minded and very worldly (Seeing as we had both western and asian influences) until I got a bit older and and realized how big of a world was out there and how little I knew about it. That definitely kicked me down a few notches and made me realize I wasn't as open-minded as I thought I was.

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Incidentally, I recently spent some time getting to know some conservative Catholic Filipinos. I found their worldview fascinating, though quite often not in a positive sense. It was really...

          Incidentally, I recently spent some time getting to know some conservative Catholic Filipinos. I found their worldview fascinating, though quite often not in a positive sense. It was really interesting to see how differently they interpret similar issues within the American context (where they currently live) and the Philippine context.

          5 votes
          1. dotsforeyes
            Link Parent
            Yes, haha, it's hard to put into words how the contradictory cultural context in our country (unintended alliteration) works out.

            Yes, haha, it's hard to put into words how the contradictory cultural context in our country (unintended alliteration) works out.

            1 vote
  6. rogue_cricket
    Link
    Yes, but it has been a while. I was raised in a very Christian household and I remember one specific internet debate as a teenager that I credit as steering me away from evolution denialism.

    Yes, but it has been a while. I was raised in a very Christian household and I remember one specific internet debate as a teenager that I credit as steering me away from evolution denialism.

    5 votes
  7. Contentus
    Link
    I have some pet peeve ideas that I find it hard not to debate about, and sometimes that happens in online forums like this one or messaging. But lately I've become discouraged of interacting with...

    I have some pet peeve ideas that I find it hard not to debate about, and sometimes that happens in online forums like this one or messaging.

    But lately I've become discouraged of interacting with people in these places as I seem to annoy a lot of people by asking questions. I will admit I do need to work on my non-personal diplomacy skills though.

    To answer the question directly: yes. In fact, a few weeks ago someone changed my mind here on Tildes. I now think that it's ok to pirate something if it can't be purchased from the original source anymore. Buying second hand in this scenario is pointless as you are not compensating to the producer of the good. Not contributing to the producer is a major reason why I think piracy is morally wrong.

    4 votes
  8. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Someone on reddit actually changed my opinion on abortion from "I don't know. Maybe pro life?" to definitively pro choice.

    Someone on reddit actually changed my opinion on abortion from "I don't know. Maybe pro life?" to definitively pro choice.

    3 votes
  9. vord
    Link
    Definitely so. It might be immediate, if there is a succinct point that fills a gap in my own understanding. It might be delayed or not happen at all if a counter-arguement leaves me perpetually...

    Definitely so. It might be immediate, if there is a succinct point that fills a gap in my own understanding. It might be delayed or not happen at all if a counter-arguement leaves me perpetually asking 'but why?' in response with no adequate reply.

    It's sometimes even moreso when it's others having the arguement that I am the observer for.

    2 votes
  10. Icarus
    Link
    All the time! Most of my opinions are based upon the microcosm in which I live. I interact with so little of the world and its possibilities, that I often consciously find myself observing my...

    All the time!

    Most of my opinions are based upon the microcosm in which I live. I interact with so little of the world and its possibilities, that I often consciously find myself observing my reactions to discussions and try to understand my thought process of why "I am in favor of X" or why "This type of action is unwholesome."

    I can end up down some deep rabbit holes of reading Wikipedia/twitter/academic articles/etc to get as good of an understanding of things as I can if I am interested enough. But most often, those things don't matter because the beliefs that we all hold are based on our own experiences and lives, and it has nothing to do with an obscure philosophical concept from the 19th century.

    I guess the gist of it is that life is hard and you should challenge your beliefs and understand your feelings/judgments. There is a lot of insight to be found with an open mind.

    2 votes
  11. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    When it comes to having a strong opinion dissuaded by one or a few arguments with someone I think these replies to me are the best example for me. I believed that having a larger share of older...

    When it comes to having a strong opinion dissuaded by one or a few arguments with someone I think these replies to me are the best example for me.

    I believed that having a larger share of older people in a society was kind of like adding risk to it and this is one of the primary reasons that we should care about our birth rates instead of just letting our population decline (back).

    For example it's widely believed that people form their political opinions in their 20s and stick with them for the rest of their lives. The implication of something like this is that the older your nation is, the older it's political and cultural beliefs and habits will be and having a larger share of old people in a society implies having a society's political habits and mannerisms age accordingly.

    Ultimately the arguments are that:

    Old people aren't predestined to become frail/bad at learning/easily manipulable and if they do age is usually secondary or irrelevant to it

    Adapting to an aging society isn't that hard and doesn't really require anything wacky/futuristic like artificial wombs.

    It's super simple/obvious in hindsight but when modern rightism is trying it's damnedest to act as proof of this it's depressingly easy to believe old people are a danger to/powderkeg in society :/

    There was also this comment where I realized gender studies was important with only 2 paragraphs' worth of text, although I, like mrbig above never really opposed gender studies so much as not see the point/importance.

    1 vote