Do you have to win every argument?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by akoreamerican, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    If you had to win every debate, do you also fear losing that debate?
    Does that fear keep you from giving your opponents the benefit of a doubt? Do you dismiss their claims as dishonesty? Most importantly, do these dismissals undermine your rationality?
     
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  3. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    I have no fear of losing a debate because I always win them.
     
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    We each set our own winning conditions. A win might mean you learned something, whether something factual or a new way of looking at something or a new way of expressing something. A win might mean somebody "liked" what you said. It doesn't necessarily mean anybody agreed with you.
    You're only entitled to the benefit of a doubt until you say what you have to say. After that, your words speak for themselves.
    It takes a certain amount of history to decide whether somebody is a smart crook or an honest fool. My own policy is that if somebody claims to be an honest fool, I take his word for it.
    Dismissing somebody's posts out of hand is irrational. We can try to take each post on its own merits but some posters have a history of foolishness, so it's a bit irrational to think they might change their spots.
     
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  7. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    Its irrational to think that they might change, if they show no sign of change.
    If they show signs of change, however little, it's up to us to examine it closely.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    True. In the short term we shouldn't jump to conclusions. In the middle term we might conclude based on the evidence that somebody is a fool. In the long term we shouldn't assume that once a fool always a fool. Unfortunately for fools, we don't all have infinite time to wait for them to learn something.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It depends on who you are debating. If it's a rational debate then there is usually no winning or losing. It's just an educated discussion.

    On TV or the internet, those initial conditions are rarely there.
     
  10. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Yes.
    No.
     
  11. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    I'm sure you're a very pretty lady

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  12. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    No. Since I am not omnipotent, I assume there are many arguments or debates that I would lose. If you learn something new did you really lose?
     
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  13. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    Do you have to win every argument?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  14. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    OK.
    But content of the debate also matters.
     
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  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    I don't go in wanting to lose. But if I'm wrong I'll admit it.
     
  16. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Winning the battle could mean losing the war.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    :aside:
    Heh. At first I thought you'd misspelled posts.
     
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  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    My goal is not to win or lose. My goal is to accept valid arguments and call out fallacious ones. I like the debate more than the outcome.

    I have been known to call out poorly formed arguments on the same side I am arguing.
    I've been known to call myself out, when I realize I've made a logical fallacy.
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Wait a minute! Argument or debate?
    And argument is personal; there is something you want and the other person wants something different, or there is blame to apportion, or there is a matter of some importance to decide. You want to win it, because the outcome matters.
    In many situations, the argument is with a significant person in your life, who also matters, as does your relationship with that person. So it behooves you to listen and give due consideration to their side, give them the benefit of doubt, not dismiss them or their case, and never call them dishonest (even if you suspect that they are). They may persuade you that their plan is better, that you would be happier with the outcome if you did it their way; that you are partly responsible for what went wrong - and, in any case, you need to know how much damage winning would do to the relationship, and you might be able to reach a fair compromise.
    On the other hand, an argument with someone who is a rival, ill-wisher or enemy can be quite serious and you may have something of value to lose. In that case, you are more motivated to win than to concede or compromise.

    A debate is a staged event, like a sport, and the objective is to win. Fairly, by the rules.
     
  20. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    It often boils down to simply being a disagreement, more so when the debate involves ethics and morality. Those are often determined on a personal level and are up for grabs by anyone.
    On technical terms regarding science, I give the stage to those with more background knowledge. On a science forum I tend to pose a question to see who offers the best answer, not that I have one of my own.
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Most of my posts are probative, meaning that on occasion I see a common denominator or a simple elegance that might be mathematically suitable for a hypothetical model.
    I will pose the question as an assumptive statement and when questioned I will try to defend that perspective to the best of my ability.
    I find that from each discussion I learn and collect more links to pertinent articles. I can't lose, even if I don't win the discussion. And often my perspective has already been addressed at a prior time and proven wrong or not relevant. Either way I learn and grow intellectually.
    It's all good...

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  22. river

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    if I won every debate , I would learn nothing .
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Or, more to the point: if one won every debate, then one is in the wrong group - they are not challenging themselves.
     
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