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Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

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frailRearranger
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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by frailRearranger » July 10th, 2019, 10:29 pm

James Radcliffe wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 1:42 am
So, I guess my revised question is:

"Have you ever changed someone's mind THROUGH REASON (as opposed to interest), or had somebody change your mind through reason?"
I do not believe that we change one another's minds. Rather, we exchange information as material by which we each may change our own minds. Reason is for changing (or resisting change to) our own minds, not the minds of others. Furthermore, I don't believe that we should change our minds in the middle of a debate (short of dropping non-essential lines of argument), but should use the debate as a time to present our side as best we can and allow our opponent to do the same, examining them in comparison to one another. The debate is a collaborative examination of ideas, using contest to better display each side. It's after the debate is over that we sit down alone with what the debate has given us and contemplate how we shall or shall not change our own minds.

That said, I can provide you with an example of a friend coming to me and telling me that something I'd said to him years before had had an impact on him and he had changed his mind on the issue. Before, he hadn't believed in free will. It wasn't really a debate, I was just chatting with him about my disagreement with the argument, "If it turns out that all of your choices were actually made by a Martian, then in fact you never really had free will." I corrected the argument: "If it turns out that all of your choices were actually made by a Martian, then in fact you were always a Martian." He is now a compatibilist like myself.

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detail
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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by detail » July 26th, 2019, 10:22 am

James Radcliffe wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 8:27 pm
I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has ever changed someone else's mind, or has had their mind changed by someone else, about a controversial issue--i.e. an issue that would be widely regarded as a matter of opinion, not of fact. Ideally, this would be an issue that the person who's mind was changed had already formed a strong opinion about before their mind was changed.

I would greatly appreciate any information that can be shared about this kind of experience.

Thank you in advance.❤️
Most of the people would rather prefer reading the bible and would claim that exodus 7:1 would do the job, but i don't really do approve this theory.
Others do think that an nlp treatment , with a brain computer interface supported technology would do the job, but i hate this vogon perspective.
But just ask teachers how to convince pupils to listen to their shool lessions , could this provide you with an approximation , how to convince somebody that something absolutely uninportant in their live, like: " lord wordsworth conquered this walnut and called it home of the humpty grunty people."
could be even some kind of job of teachers. These people like to convince you constantly of questions like that.

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dawwg
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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by dawwg » August 22nd, 2019, 8:28 am

Here goes...I'm going to change someone's mind.

Can you see a pair of lovers in this painting?

Image

There's a couple making out in the middle of the floor.

She is wearing a white cap, has red hair, and you can see one of her green eyes.

He has blond hair that curls up to form the handle on the vase, and you can see one of his blue eyes. See it?

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Greta
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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by Greta » August 23rd, 2019, 8:21 pm

Dawg, after looking and looking, I'm thinking about your post in terms of the Rorschach test.

Does he have a blue, toothy grin?

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dawwg
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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by dawwg » August 24th, 2019, 5:51 am

Granted I couldn't change everyone's mind, but that does disqualify you from the "in" crowd.

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Greenham
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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by Greenham » August 30th, 2019, 4:09 pm

Thomyum2 wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 11:50 am
I do agree that if you set out to change a person's mind about something on which they 'had already formed a strong opinion', then it's unlikely that you'll see much in the way of results, at least in the short run. But I have had experiences where I will share my thoughts or convictions about something and find that after a good deal of time, sometimes years later, I'll discover that those words have stayed with that person and that they have come to understand what I had said in a new way and led them to change their understanding over time. I guess that the converse has also been true, that I have listened to someone's point of view and their words have resonated with me and come back to me time and time again, and that I've found that though I may not have understood them at the time, their words have come to make sense in light of later experiences I've had in life.

I think it's a little like the old saying that 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink'. People have to make their own choices about what they think and believe. You can open a door for them and give them an opportunity they may not have known they have, but they'll only make the change when the time is right for them.
I've had such experiences too, and been on the other end of a few. I think your conclusion is accurate as well.

The blogger Scott Alexander has written an essay on this very thing, called Guided by the Beauty of Our Weapons, which is well worth a read. I think a lot of our problems these days with feeling that people are impenetrable to our logic and facts stem from the increasing atomization of our society and how so many of our interactions with people outside our bubbles are one-off. Alexander says that "the bare minimum conditions for a debate that could possibly be productive" consists of the following:
1. Debate where two people with opposing views are talking to each other (or writing, or IMing, or some form of bilateral communication). ...

2. Debate where both people want to be there, and have chosen to enter into the debate in the hopes of getting something productive out of it. ...

3. Debate conducted in the spirit of mutual respect and collaborative truth-seeking. ...

4. Debate conducted outside of a high-pressure point-scoring environment. ...

5. Debate where both people agree on what’s being debated and try to stick to the subject at hand. ...
He goes into more detail on what each of these points means in the essay, but I think that suffices to give a taste of what he's talking about.

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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by Haicoway » October 4th, 2019, 9:31 am

I read in a neuroscience book that there is some mechanism whereby the stronger one’s argument is the more firmly entrenched the opponent becomes in his or her belief about the bone of contention.

I have never changed anyone’s mind, except my wife’s. But I’ve had my opinion reversed many times. I think the reason I can change my mind is I realize the above mentioned phenomenon, and I learned, along with my wife, how not to have to be right.

I enjoy being wrong and having my opinion reversed. It makes me feel superior to other people in having that ability. I know it’s not fashionable to want to feel superior, but I also learned that humans definitely have egos, whether they wish they didn’t have them or not. And wanting to feel superior is a very common ego aspiration.

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Re: Have you ever changed someone's mind about a controversial issue?

Post by LuckyR » October 4th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Haicoway wrote:
October 4th, 2019, 9:31 am
I read in a neuroscience book that there is some mechanism whereby the stronger one’s argument is the more firmly entrenched the opponent becomes in his or her belief about the bone of contention.

I have never changed anyone’s mind, except my wife’s. But I’ve had my opinion reversed many times. I think the reason I can change my mind is I realize the above mentioned phenomenon, and I learned, along with my wife, how not to have to be right.

I enjoy being wrong and having my opinion reversed. It makes me feel superior to other people in having that ability. I know it’s not fashionable to want to feel superior, but I also learned that humans definitely have egos, whether they wish they didn’t have them or not. And wanting to feel superior is a very common ego aspiration.
I don't disagree. Being "right" is a first order positive. That is, anyone can derive a good feeling from accomplishing it. Whereas being "open minded" is a second order positive, in that one has to have the ability to appreciate the benefit of furthering oneself, despite the simpleminded negative of admitting that one doesn't know everything at the outset.
"As usual... it depends."

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