Frequently, I wonder to myself why I bother engaging in political discussions on the internet. What it comes down to is
1) I've always enjoyed a good debate, and it's hard to engage in these discussions in real life with friends or family, as it can result in hard feelings. It's easier to discuss politics with strangers online.
2) Believe it or not, I learn things by discussing politics and social issues online. I've even changed some pretty massive views over the years. I used to support the death penalty; I no longer do. I'm WAY more socially libertarian than I once was, due to discussions right here on Hubpages. For example, I think we should decriminalize drug use, all drug use. Five years ago, I would not have supported that.
3) I like to spout my opinion, just like many people do. I have to force myself to really consider the alternative viewpoint quite frequently. I'm human, and have found myself looking back at some of my own nonsense, wishing I had been more open to the other viewpoint. But, hey, that's part of why I'm here.
What about you? Do you believe you really try to learn from alternate viewpoints? Why do you post here? Is it to debate? If not, why?
Edited to add: Contrary to what is being reported in another thread, I am not "exiting political debates." I am merely choosing not to engage with posters who have proven to be unwilling to actually discuss pretty much anything. In the past, I exited. I'm trying something new now. These forums were once a fertile ground for good discussions. Maybe it's a reflection of the increasingly divisive nature of U.S. politics, but the quality of discussions in the forums have degraded dramatically in the last two years. I have been posting here since 2010, so I have a bit of perspective, I think. Maybe others don't think so.
I agree with you completely, PP. And I'm not leaving the political discussions either as has been untruthfully--surprise, surprise--reported elsewhere.
I too learn much from discussing political and other issues, but not wasting my time with those with an agenda to mislead and deny.
I follow and participate in these forums for many of the same reasons you mentioned, and I have also experienced some of the same changes in perspective that you noted.
I do enjoy a lively adversarial discussion, I don't see any profit in extended "me too" discussions, but I will pop in once in a while to offer witness. I also enjoy deep-dive discussions about particular topics, like; "What did the framers mean when they said...", or "Should our national Representatives be guided by their constituent's desires when making national decisions." etc.
And of course I really enjoy discussions with mistaken perspectives. After all, what kind of friend would I be if I let a buddy continue to think they are right when I know they are wrong. ;-)
Relative to these forums specifically, I too have noticed the loss of more than a few intelligent participants - a loss that magnifies the voices of the more partisan participants. Just like "... more is not always better..." - neither is louder always more correct. Relative to this point, I think CNN's "Apple" commercial nails it.
CNN ad "This is an apple." Facts First
Thank you, GA. I love the apple commercial. It's spot on. I have noticed your interest in deep-dive discussions. You are pretty good at it. There aren't many topics that come up here that I consider myself to be so knowledgeable as to justify diving deep. Now, if we were discussing nutrition, or psychology, or fundraising, or how to draft a grant application, I could dive in pretty deep. You might have noticed I have a keen interest in the unconscious motivations of people, which often leads me to get too personal. That's where I have knowledge, though, so that's often where I naturally gravitate in the discussion.
"What about you?"
I like to share information.
"Do you believe you really try to learn from alternate viewpoints?"
Yes, I try to learn something new everyday. I love information.
"Why do you post here?"
I like to share information.
"Is it to debate?"
"If not, why?"
I try to form relationships in order to have fellowship in conversations, that seems to be a losing battle, but I keep the faith.
Okay, I'm going to give this the old college try. :-)
If I understand you correctly, you like to share information, but you don't want to debate. So, do you wish that people would not directly address the points you make? Because, it seems to me, that if you share information on a forum, you will inevitably receive feedback on that information, some of it positive, some negative. What is your response to that?
How does one develop fellowship in conversations if one is not interested in "discussing" what is shared?
I like to have or read informative conversations where people discus political and social issues. I learn more about a person by their point of view. Fellowship is like sitting down and breaking bread together. I appreciate your interest. Covfefe?
Okay, thank you for further clarifying. So, you like sharing and receiving information, but don't want to discuss whether or not that information is accurate, the ramifications of the information, or other aspects of it? I'm trying to understand, because when you say you don't want to debate, then to me, that means you are not interested in discussion, but maybe I'm just not getting it.
"I like to have or read informative conversations" ~ me.
Discussions and "conversations" aren't the same thing now?
Wow, is this the Twilight Zone?
Hmm, I was trying to have a conversation with you but your Twilight Zone comment seems a little out there and a bit hostile. Here is the definition of discussion.
the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.
"the proposals are not a blueprint but ideas for discussion"
a conversation or debate about a certain topic.
plural noun: discussions
"discussions about environmental improvement programs"
synonyms: conversation, talk, dialogue, discourse, conference, debate, exchange of views, consultation, deliberation;
Note that "conversation" is a synonym for discussion.
But, okay,based on this last reply, I think our discussion/conversation should probably come to an end.
You got the snark on first. I thought it was funny for you to split hairs over a word, but that's how you are. I thought I'd give it a try and hope for the best to have a civil conversation with you. Its always pretty much unfruitful and waste of time. But, I tried.
Trump is not the first President to promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. So why is the media portraying him as a madman, when he's really just keeping a decades-old promises. Clinton, Bush and Obama didn't keep their promises. A pattern of lying...politicians!
Trump is keeping his promises.
Some discussion! (conversation)
Where, exactly, did I get the snark on, because I certainty didn't intend to. I'm trying the understand your participation in these forums, based on your own words.
"Okay, thank you for further clarifying. So, you like sharing and receiving information, but don't want to discuss whether or not that information is accurate, the ramifications of the information, or other aspects of it? I'm trying to understand, because when you say you don't want to debate, then to me, that means you are not interested in discussion, but maybe I'm just not getting it." - you.
I used the word conversation. You want to use discuss, discussion. You assumed I don't want to have a discussion when to me that is clearly what I said. You just put a spin on it. That is snarky!
Added: It is playing cat and mouse. Snark too.
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