How do you engage someone in debate who is extremely stubborn in their opinions?

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  1. LoganG profile image85
    LoganGposted 12 years ago

    How do you engage someone in debate who is extremely stubborn in their opinions?

    And not a formal debate, just a fair discussion on a topic such as religion or politics.

  2. saish profile image39
    saishposted 12 years ago

    start something with something about him which will intrest him and then start with the actual topic

  3. profile image0
    Old Empresarioposted 12 years ago

    You have to lead people to the truth. Start by telling them things that they want to hear and that you also agree with. Be conciliatory, but don't lie to yourself. If they are guarded by a bias, they will hear nothing you say. Keep your point based on facts, not opinion. Facts are irresistible to people. Debate based on opinions or faith will go nowhere. Think of it like this: Americans all have the same basic opinions on politics. We all want maximum freedom, we want democracy, and we want to be isolated from world conflicts. This is why it is so easy to win someone over in a political arguement. Sure, some of us argue about this or that, be we all want the same things that Washington has not provide for many years.

    Religion is another topic altogether. I would take the same approach with the understanding that no one can prove whether or not there is an afterlife. I wouldn't bother going down that road. The age and composition of the earth and universe can be proven however.

  4. uncorrectedvision profile image60
    uncorrectedvisionposted 12 years ago

    Divest yourself of your own interest in "winning" the argument.  If someone is truly unwilling to re-examine then you cannot change their mind.  We only change when we want to change.  So let go of your need to change them or win and calmly talk about topics that must lead to your position and let him contradict the obviously real and true.

  5. pennyofheaven profile image61
    pennyofheavenposted 12 years ago

    Listen, Listen, Listen. If you don't fully understand why they have these opinions. Ask, Ask, Ask then Listen Listen Listen. Once you fully understand where they are coming from, you will know where to take the conversation from there and usually it isn't based on your own opinions. Sometimes you may have nothing to say. Thats all good too!

  6. FloBe profile image69
    FloBeposted 12 years ago

    A fair discussion means that both parties express their opinions but also listen to the other person's opinion. Usually someone who is extremely stubborn refuses to listen at all but is completely closed off to a new way of thinking. I think sharing your opinion with someone like that is pretty much useless and you'd be better off not saying much.

  7. prsarkar profile image61
    prsarkarposted 12 years ago

    First listen him -- everything he wants to deliver. then slowly request him if he likes to hear others' opinion. you can start with that phrases like -- there is many thing around us that
    -- i) you don't what you don't know
    I have listen everything you told now now let's see other options.
    hope this will help..

  8. wingedcentaur profile image68
    wingedcentaurposted 12 years ago

    Is it even possible to engage such a person in a "fair discussion," especially when it comes to politics and religion? Does an "extremely stubborn" person really seeking debate, or does he or she seek to hammer someone else into submission? And in seeking to engage such an "extremely stubborn" person in debate does the other person, himself or herself, actually seeking debate, or is he or she seeking the ego satisfaction of possibly out-arguing the "enemy."

    I'm sorry if this sounds like America-bashing but political and religious discussion is not something we do well at all in our hyper-competitive, talkative, ego-driven, consumerist, consumption society. LISTENING is not something we do very well as a culture, I'm afraid. We pause only to catch our breath and wait for our turn to speak.

    I wish we could move closer to the Platonic and Socratic ideal. You know what? There's a religious scholar called Karen Armstrong, who has fascinating ideas generally, but also speaks to this particular issue. So, I think Dr. Armstrong can explain the Platonic and Socratic ideal of conversation better than I can. So, why don't we let her. If you get a minute, you might check this out. … eature=fvw

  9. profile image52
    Cbelcherposted 12 years ago

    We have all suffered from moments like these, but if one knows the character of the individual, and knows that their opinions, as well as concerns will be meet with hostility, I would suggest that you avoid it all together, and sadly if it is an individual that you are in a relationship with I would suggest that you move forward.  Otherwise it will make for a life of misery.

  10. MoneyCreator24 profile image57
    MoneyCreator24posted 12 years ago

    Have you ever tried it with the Socratic method? Do you have a debate guided by questions? A question initiates the thinking process. Even if someone is incredibly stubborn with his opinion, he has an opinion. By good and pointed question, he may find a new opinion. Debate has nothing to do with winning and losing. And if one can say that another is stubborn in his opinion, it can mean the opposite conclusion, they will stubbornly insist on his own opinion. Have you ever thought about?

  11. Wayne Brown profile image82
    Wayne Brownposted 12 years ago

    In some cases, you may make some headway by not attacking the issue head on but by examining the individual bricks which become the basis of their argument.  For example, one person might say that Bush spent too much money prior to leaving office only to ignore the fact that the Congress had been dominated by the Democrats since the 2006 mid-term elections and in fact the 2006 deficit numbers were among the longest over time. Some might say that Bush started the situation which led to the bailout of financial institutions and banks under the TARP funding while ignoring the fact that the Clinton administration initiated the requirements of the fair hoursing act and Congress chose to ignore the Bush administration warnings that conditions were deteriorating under the legal requirements of that act.  The warnings went unheeded by a Democrat Congress.  Once the person becomes aware of these points, though they may not admit it directly to you, they may consider alterning their stance on the central issue of debate.  Conflicts are normally resolved one brick at a time rather attempting to knock down the structure with one blow. WB

  12. profile image53
    Sharad Mayekarposted 12 years ago

    If he or she is stubborn in their opinion just favour.

  13. Quilligrapher profile image77
    Quilligrapherposted 12 years ago

    Well-structured arguments occasionally need clarification but they rarely need repeating.  After presenting your views and carefully listening to the replies and counterpoints, shake hands and move on.  There is positively nothing more to accomplish and choosing to continue will usually be  unpleasant.


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