Reading Other Topics

Aug 07, 2002 16:35 # 4630

ReallyCoolDude *** wants to know...

Arguments vs. Discussions

92% | 2

After looking at the fate of many sensitive discussions on NAO, and also facing similar situations at home or workplace, I am just wondering how does one differentiate between an argument and a healthy discussion?

I understand that there is a very thin line between the two, but how does one know that he/she is crossing the line? Do all the discussions on controversial topics end up being basesless arguments?

What I feel is that as soon as someone goes eiher on a full-blown attack mode, or on a total defensive mode, it ceases to be a healthy discussion. Any kind of discussion requires lateral thinking, and no biases and prejudices against anything or anyone. But, in real life is it possible? If it is, I am sure it is very rare. What can one do to avoid turning a discussion into an argument?

Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

Aug 07, 2002 18:00 # 4635

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Arguments vs. Discussions

?% | 3

An argument turns into an attack as soon as the sender or the receiver has hostile intent in his message.

In other words, if someone takes something personally, then he or she will respond in a defensive manner (also probably hostile in nature). In turn, the person receiving an obviously hostile message will return an equally hostile message (perhaps not realizing they had started it).

Not a pretty picture. I could have taken Martin's "star trek marathon" point a little too far, but I didn't. I could have taken what he said to mean that he thinks Americans justified an unwarranted attack on a country, but I didn't.

It is not only important for the receiver to not take things personally, but for the sender to make sure it doesn't have a hostile message contained within. If the receiver become defensive, he or she will never open their mind to your thoughts/views. If the point is to persuade, this is the worst way to go about this.

"If I die of a heart attack eating bacon, I'll be a happy man." -My father

Aug 07, 2002 22:50 # 4645

frank *** replies...

Re: Arguments vs. Discussions

92% | 3

This post was deleted by request of the author.

Aug 07, 2002 19:19 # 4637

Martin *** replies...

Re: Arguments vs. Discussions

89% | 3

Sometimes, like in this moment right now, I dont understand why many people are so afraid of a good argument. As long as its clear there is no personal offence meant what's so bad about it?

As long as I trust my opponent, as long as I know whatever I say it wont change anything about our relation/friendship, as long as there are no hidden hostilities breaking out during the discussion, its absolutely ok in my view to exchange different opinions even on a harder scale. If you always think about *how* you say something and if you are *allowed* to say it at all, what kind of talk is that?

What about honesty? Sometimes its just honest to get louder, to "fight" for ones own position. A discussion is always an exchange of different positions or opinions, so inevitably there has to be one side defending the other one attacking. In a "good" argument these roles are changing permanently like playing a ball back and forth. But thats most times up to the personalities of the ones taking part.

To get back to the current happenings: I think I have to make clear once again that no matter what I said along the way I never meant any personal attack. When I say that America's current affairs and motivs are cruel, mean and as evil as the one's they're hunting, then its my personal opinion. A personal opinion I'd like you to know, a personal opinion I try to give an account for, a personal opinion I expect noone to share just because I said so, a personal opinion that is NOT meant to offend anybody, because noone I know is guilty of the situation as I judge it (which may be totally wrong of course). And just because I'm talking about it to Americans doesnt mean I accuse them of being guilty of what their country is doing.

To stay in the picture: if you feel the need to defend for something that wasn't an attack on you, yes, then something's going wrong in the argument. But its not the way of talking to oneanother but the obviously different suppositions of how to have the discussion. Which is a pity indeed, because I found both threads very inspiring and by far not finished.

But since its happening to me again and again here (and ONLY here!), I guess I have to rethink my habits indeed. Too bad.

After decades of construction my website is finally up an running: www.kkds.de

Aug 07, 2002 23:06 # 4648

ReallyCoolDude *** throws in his two cents...

Re: Arguments vs. Discussions

?% | 1

But since its happening to me again and again here (and ONLY here!), I guess I have to rethink my habits indeed.

It's very difficult to find people that speak what's there in their minds. Truth is scarier and stranger then fiction, and it usually does hurt a lot. So, basically, what you are saying are facts, and theories that you feel are right, and if it is hurting others, do you want to change yourself and stop saying them? Or, should the people you are saying these to change themselves and learn to accept facts?

I think there is no correct answer to the above question. People usually do not accept such ideas easily. They take it personally, or if they accept your opinion it is with a grain of salt. I, for example, felt that in our Abortion discussions (and obviously the India-Pak discussions). It was very hard for me to accept that people don't realize that Abortion is killing, or, why a nuclear war between India and Pak is justified. So, I was taking every opposite post as a personal assault. Soon, I learnt the "art of healthy discussions".

One reason why people may take things personally is because when they are reading the posts, they do not have a clue as to what the emotions of the writer were, I mean if someone was narrating the same post in a very milder tone, then you will probably not get agitated, and would probably respond in a calm manner. However, if the person said the samething with a raised tone of voice, then I am sure you will go into a defensive or an attacking mode and the discussions will become arguments.

So, while we are reading the posts, how can we imagine the writer narrating it to us in a very calm manner, like you are talking to someone you like, your friends? Because, this mode of discussion can not allow you to see how the other person wrote the post, what he was feeling when he did so, the only way to interpret the post is left to the reader. So, IMHO, the reader should not form any kind of prejudice beforehand, and read the post as if some loved one is narrating it.

Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

Aug 08, 2002 07:39 # 4655

Martin *** replies...

Re: Arguments vs. Discussions

93% | 2

So, basically, what you are saying are facts, and theories that you feel are right, and if it is hurting others, do you want to change yourself and stop saying them? Or, should the people you are saying these to change themselves and learn to accept facts?

I think there is no correct answer to the above question.

Very good point. And I think here's where the problem comes from. As soon as a discussion turns into the try to change the opposite's opinion, the try to persuade him of ones own view of things, thats where the hostile flavour comes in. If you can manage to see a discussion just as exchange of thoughts and opinions, where everybody is free to take as much or as few from the other's words as he wants to, nobody gets hurt by whatever is said. But if you feel you are right and your opponent is wrong and you start trying to convince him, the discussion turns into a fight of believes. And pretty soon, just by feeling the hostile atmosphere, everything that's said turns out to be an attack, or at least is interpreted like that by the receiver.

So, even if I feel I'm right (like everybody does starting a discussion), I hope and think I'm not trying to "teach" anything to my discussion partners. If so, you got all the right to get angry about the style of discussion.

After decades of construction my website is finally up an running: www.kkds.de

Aug 07, 2002 22:51 # 4646

chris ** throws in his two cents...

Re: Arguments vs. Discussions

?% | 1

I think that love plays a big part in the difference between arguments and discussions. It's okay to reprimand, even harshly, someone if the motivation is love or if love for the other person is present during the discussion. When selfish interest takes over, and the argument is for the sake of venting at, forcibly changing, or hurting the other person, it is no longer a healthy discussion.

What I have said can be easily misconstrued because many people who argue and belittle claim to do so out of love. "This is for your own good" is the watch phrase of that group. They are, however, usually not correct in saying so.

I can usually tell when things are escalating by paying attention to my feelings. My gut feelings during a discussion versus my gut feelings during an argument are quite different. During a discussion I feel like my mind is expanding, or like a fun interchange is taking place. During an argument, I feel tense and either offensive or defensive.

It's not terribly objective, but I really believe that it's true. It's all about love.

C

Sig Wanted -- Apply Within


Small text Large text

Netalive Amp (Skin for Winamp)