Can you argue from the opposite political point of view than the one you hold?
A friend challenged me tonight, listen closely when someone is defending a political view that you don't agree with, then ask them if you can reverse rolls. I spent a week with a dear friend and we debated Politics and Religion heatedly. I hope I listened to dear friend well enough to debate from her point of view. My challenging friend says you have more credibility if you can prove you have heard what the other side has said. .
that is a fantastic idea and your question is original and refreshing. Personally, I like to look at all sides of a subject. So for example, when the question arises who's responsible for the crisis in Greece, I look at it from all its angles. In doing so I am automatically coerced into looking at the opposite political point of view.
As to whether I can argue from the opposite political view, I believe I can because of the way I always look at things. Bravo! on your question.
Difficult question but legitimate in reference to your last comment..."you have more credibility if you can prove you have heard what the other side has said..."
However, from the view point of the radical's views on either side, there can be no compromise in their beliefs, stands, or opinions, whether founded in truth or fallacy.
First of all one must have an open mind, a logical sense based in some modicum of reality, and a willingness to actually learn, adapt and accept the possibility that they just might be wrong in their beliefs.
This is especially true in political and religious beliefs. No-one wants to admit they were wrong, question their base teachings, or look like the dolts they really are by clinging to their closed mindedness.
Even for free thinkers, like myself, it is difficult to even imagine the extremes of points of view from either side of those arguments.
When even "middle of the road" views are not taken as possibilities it is time to end the discussion and leave their debaters to their own devices.
Yes. I learned to do this in a law class I took in college. The professor split the class in half and presented a murder case where the defendant was identifiably guilty - he confessed! One half of the class had to find evidence to show the defendant was guilty; the other half of the class had to find evidence to show the defendant as innocent. We worked hard and turned in our assignments for grading. Then, the professor asked us to reverse sides and find evidence for the opposite of our original view. It was difficult, but we had to do it to get the grade.
The purpose of the assignment was to show that it doesn't matter much what side of the case you are on, you just need to defend your point of view. Since that class, I look at everything from both sides. Of course, I make up my own mind, but if I had to, I could defend either side of a political point of view.
I had to do a similar assignment in high school for a speech class. Unfortunately, the topic was abortion and my partner didn't show up, so the teacher took his place. The teacher then proceeded to pull out a story that expertly summed up his side, but I had not been expecting. I then stumbled my way through the assignment. Ever since then I've tried to be informed, including learning things about my own political party that are untrue or bad. I'd like to believe I could debate as the opposing side, but I can't say for sure because I've never tried. I also struggle, as d.william pointed out, with the extreme sides of each party. The ones that do not compromise and seem to base their arguments on gut feelings instead of facts. I don't think I could debate as one of them.
That's hard, but doable. It is also a great way to get the viewpoint on all sides. Debate teams often have to stand up for a point of view that most members of the team do not agree with. But a good debater ought to be able to gather enough information to uphold the team's viewpoint.
I often wonder if newscasters actually agree with what they are saying or if they are approaching a subject by the popular viewpoint. Some of them may be pretty good actors.
the best way to prevail in an argument is to be able to see and understand the oppositions position,.... "you cannot defeat an enemy you neither know nor understand"... the risk is in that once you understand the opposition you might well have to come to the conclusion that they were not nearly so wrong as you thought,... and you might not have been nearly so right as you thought.... it takes maturity and courage to play devils advocate,…. And it creates understanding.
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