Has anyone ever changed your mind about a political issue by something they have said?
I have begun to keep quiet during most political discussions. I truly don't think we ever change each other's minds and often friendships are destroyed for no reason. If someone becomes too nasty with homophobic remarks or racial slurs, I say what I think, but otherwise, I believe it's a total waste of time to argue -- for either side. No one has ever changed my mind either.
I honestly think that it's the way that you approach a conversation that make the difference. If you are truly interested in the other person's opinion and if you respect that person's opinion then there is a chance that they will sway your opinion. If you are having the discussion simply to change the other person's mind and not to consider what they have to say, then their opinion will not change your mind. I like to talk politics with others, especially my friends and family, and like to hear what they have to say. I have changed my mind over certain matters because of some of these conversations. I agree with you that it is a waste of time to argue, but not a waste of time to listen and consider a differing point of view if you are talking to someone whose opinion you respect.
Thank you. I live in the South and my political leanings are definitely to the left. It seems people with opposite views get very angry even to hear my thoughts. Sounds like you have more reasonable friends! Thanks again.
Yes. For example, when I was younger social programs made a lot of sense, but someone pointed out to me that teaching someone how to fish instead of providing them free fish makes a lot of sense too. I like to be open to all ideas.
Arguing about politics is counterproductive. But, reasoned explanations can be helpful. I have certainly expanded my political views based on what others have said about their political views and their explanations regarding why their political philosophy makes sense.
I NEVER get into a debate with someone unless I think they bring something to the table that might change my mind. I have a tendency to question everything, even my own convictions, and I have changed my mind because of it. I find that attitude sadly lacking in the world in general. Too many people go to the sources of information that mirror their own ideas and actively try NOT to challenge their beliefs, as if those beliefs are fragile. When you get close to dispelling those beliefs, they close up and stop talking. In my view if your ideas aren't constantly being supported by critical thought and challenged by opposing views, then they are "comfortable" ideas that you like to have, but hold no real value because you don't really know if they're true.
The one constant I have discovered is that no matter how much you believe something to be true, that doesn't change the way the universe is and you can still be VERY wrong. If people discussing politics understood this, then maybe we wouldn't have so many morons in office.
There are two things you MUST understand if you hope to change someone's mind on an issue. You must understand how they came to believe what they believe, and you must understand that you could be wrong. If you can't do AT least that much, the most you can hope for is a draw.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say our skill at argumentation is a 1. We are terrible at it. Many people don't learn how to do it, few practice it, and a lot simply don't care to even try. The result is that, I'd say, at least 90% of 'discussions' amount to baloney, name-calling, propaganda, straight-up lies, and emotionality. None of those things should change one's mind because none of them have any value (in an argumentation sense).
That doesn't mean it is impossible. Many of my views have changed over time. It is rare for it to happen in one fell swoop, but I can think of at least one example where it did.
I used to be a somewhat firm believer in the 2nd Amendment and gun-rights in general, then one day I read a single article that completely swung me over to the other side, to the point of being perfectly willing to scratch the 2nd Amendment out of the Constitution and ban almost all weaponry.
So it is definitely possible, just somewhat rare given our level of discourse. I mean the fact that an organization like FOX News can even exist, and have such an enormous viewership, says all that needs to be said about our degree of ideological impenetrability.
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