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How to Argue Productively

Rolltydr

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I feel like the article linked below was written specifically for me this morning. It is something I definitely need to take to heart and practice here on TUG. Although I’ve had classes and read books on the subject, I still let my emotions take over at times and it’s all downhill from there. I’d like to hear your thoughts and if anyone has any special go-to questions or tips for arguing your point but not getting caught up in the “I’m right/you’re wrong” argument, especially when it simply comes down to a matter of opinion.

Also, just because we may disagree about something, doesn’t mean we can’t still like and respect each other. My best friend of the last 20+ years has completely different political and socioeconomic views than I do. (I live in Alabama. Almost every I know has different views than I do. ) We worked together before I retired and we would often spend happy hour heatedly debating some topic and then go have a very nice dinner together. We truly like and respect each other and would do anything for each other. We simply have different opinions about a lot of things. The internet makes it way to easy to be dismissive or mean when most of us would not act that way if we were face to face. I’m going to try and start imagining I’m face to face with the people I’m responding to.

I hope the article isn’t behind the paywall. If it is, I’m sorry.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/...roductively.html?referringSource=articleShare
 

Panina

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I feel like the article linked below was written specifically for me this morning. It is something I definitely need to take to heart and practice here on TUG. Although I’ve had classes and read books on the subject, I still let my emotions take over at times and it’s all downhill from there. I’d like to hear your thoughts and if anyone has any special go-to questions or tips for arguing your point but not getting caught up in the “I’m right/you’re wrong” argument, especially when it simply comes down to a matter of opinion.

Also, just because we may disagree about something, doesn’t mean we can’t still like and respect each other. My best friend of the last 20+ years has completely different political and socioeconomic views than I do. (I live in Alabama. Almost every I know has different views than I do. ) We worked together before I retired and we would often spend happy hour heatedly debating some topic and then go have a very nice dinner together. We truly like and respect each other and would do anything for each other. We simply have different opinions about a lot of things. The internet makes it way to easy to be dismissive or mean when most of us would not act that way if we were face to face. I’m going to try and start imagining I’m face to face with the people I’m responding to.

I hope the article isn’t behind the paywall. If it is, I’m sorry.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/...roductively.html?referringSource=articleShare
It is behind a paywall.

One can, should and has a right to state their view but they should not attack, politicize, etc.

I take the time to write, read, think, reword where necessary to bring the temperature down. Basically a pause is needed for moment.

Unfortunately raw emotions, that are many times not respectful of others, have highjacked many threads here on Tug. Even the most simple ones and I wonder how did it get to this and why.
 

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A big problem is that many people have “confirmation bias”, meaning they search out or accept information, disguised as news, that confirms their own beliefs, rather than actively researching facts and for the real truth.
Internet social media is largely to blame, because engines like Facebook, Instagram and twitter make ad revenue the more you click within their site.

Therefore, many think they have the real facts and they just don’t. This is a good time for everyone to work on expanding their news sources
 

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I’ll try to summarize since we‘re not supposed to copy entire articles.

1. Consider the type of argument you’re having. It is in one of these three realms: realm of the head is an argument about facts or what is true; realm of the heart is about what is meaningful, personal tastes, moral judgments; or realm of the hands are about what is useful and practical.
2. Learn your own triggers. Try to steer away from comments or questions that will set you off.
3. Ask questions to learn what the other person is thinking. As open-ended questions, not leading questions, to help you understand what the person believes.
4. Repeat back to the person what you understand them to be saying to determine if you are understanding them correctly.
5. Talk about the disagreements when you’re not in the middle of one. Come back later and revisit what the argument was about.
6. Keep trying. The only way to get better is to keep trying.
 

Rolltydr

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It is behind a paywall.

One can, should and has a right to state their view but they should not attack, politicize, etc.

I take the time to write, read, think, reword where necessary to bring the temperature down. Basically a pause is needed for moment.

Unfortunately raw emotions, that are many times not respectful of others, have highjacked many threads here on Tug. Even the most simple ones and I wonder how did it get to this and why.
Good point. I know that I need to stop and think before I respond to a lot of the posts. I get caught up in feeling that someone just made a political point that I disagree with so I have to rebut it Immediately.

(deleted the rest of the post because it will only lead to more political arguments)
 

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You don't have to pay $ to subscribe, but you do have to click and link fb or another
 

Karen G

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Thank you for summarizing the article. Those are good points for people who are engaged in arguing.

But, please don't come on TUG to argue! There are plenty of other places on the internet for that.
 

Fredflintstone

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I’ll try to summarize since we‘re not supposed to copy entire articles.

1. Consider the type of argument you’re having. It is in one of these three realms: realm of the head is an argument about facts or what is true; realm of the heart is about what is meaningful, personal tastes, moral judgments; or realm of the hands are about what is useful and practical.
2. Learn your own triggers. Try to steer away from comments or questions that will set you off.
3. Ask questions to learn what the other person is thinking. As open-ended questions, not leading questions, to help you understand what the person believes.
4. Repeat back to the person what you understand them to be saying to determine if you are understanding them correctly.
5. Talk about the disagreements when you’re not in the middle of one. Come back later and revisit what the argument was about.
6. Keep trying. The only way to get better is to keep trying.

How I approach arguments is whether they are cognitive based or emotional based. In the end, the rational side wins. It’s also ok to admit defeat in an argument because the other side has great rationale. Conversely, arguments can convert to respectful discussions once emotions are removed. That’s why it’s best to think before you hit the reply button.

Whenever I feel an emotional response, I am reminded of the following:

On every oratory speech Adolf Hitler did, he said,

“Think with your hearts, not your heads.”

We know how thinking with your emotions turned out in that case.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Rolltydr

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A big problem is that many people have “confirmation bias”, meaning they search out or accept information, disguised as news, that confirms their own beliefs, rather than actively researching facts and for the real truth.
Internet social media is largely to blame, because engines like Facebook, Instagram and twitter make ad revenue the more you click within their site.

Therefore, many think they have the real facts and they just don’t. This is a good time for everyone to work on expanding their news sources
Yes, and I’m one of those people.
Thank you for summarizing the article. Those are good points for people who are engaged in arguing.

But, please don't come on TUG to argue! There are plenty of other places on the internet for that.
Thanks for responding, Karen. I understand that TUG is for the TS community to share information with each other and that is definitely what drew me to TUG.
 
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klpca

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2. Learn your own triggers. Try to steer away from comments or questions that will set you off.

This is a big one for me. Certain people, both here and in real life, just set me off. Here I have the beautiful option of hiding them, so I am not even tempted to get into an argument with any of them. It's better for all of us. ;)
 

Panina

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For those that just keep hammering your points With attacking others or showing you political inclination, for me it is a total turnoff. I won’t continue reading and somewhere within your post there might be something valid that would change what I think but I never get there.

I have always believed agree to disagree too. Let it be known that there have been posts on tug that I have read and it made me examine my beliefs and many times it helped me to look at other scenarios. Those posts were respectful, no bashing, no politics thus I read them fully and was able to get a different perspective.
 
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bnoble

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How to Argue Productively

I've decided, as much as possible, not to. I have learned I am a lot happier by not arguing. If I find someone I disagree with, I might offer a my own perspective. I am happy to discuss honestly and genuinely, and can live with differences reasonable opinion. If it seems someone is arguing for the sake of arguing, or discussing in bad faith, I block/ignore and move on. Instead, I focus on trying to bring positive energy to those who engage from a position of willingness.

I have found I am much happier that way.
 

Rolltydr

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Unfortunately raw emotions, that are many times not respectful of others, have highjacked many threads here on Tug. Even the most simple ones and I wonder how did it get to this and why.
I think it got this way because everyone is affected in some way by covid19, either directly, by knowing someone who has the virus or whose job has been impacted by the SAH/SIP orders. Exactly how each person is affected naturally has a great deal to do with whether they are most concerned about the healthcare impacts or economic impacts. Either way, they have strong feelings and respond accordingly. That’s one reason I wanted to post the article, to remind people like me, that we can discuss the issues without getting angry at each other.
 

Rolltydr

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I've decided, as much as possible, not to. I have learned I am a lot happier by not arguing. If I find someone I disagree with, I might offer a my own perspective. I am happy to discuss honestly and genuinely, and can live with differences reasonable opinion. If it seems someone is arguing for the sake of arguing, or discussing in bad faith, I block/ignore and move on. Instead, I focus on trying to bring positive energy to those who engage from a position of willingness.

I have found I am much happier that way.
My wife is the same way. I, to my detriment at times, love to argue about things. In most cases, I consider arguing and discussing as the same thing. I was an analyst by trade and part of my job was analyzing data and then making different arguments about what the data meant. Many times, that meant arguing for positions I didn’t believe. So, my definition of argue is probably more positive than yours. To me, it’s just discussing different sides of an issue.
 

CalGalTraveler

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Also, just because we may disagree about something, doesn’t mean we can’t still like and respect each other. My best friend of the last 20+ years has completely different political and socioeconomic views than I do. (I live in Alabama. Almost every I know has different views than I do. ) We worked together before I retired and we would often spend happy hour heatedly debating some topic and then go have a very nice dinner together. We truly like and respect each other and would do anything for each other. We simply have different opinions about a lot of things. The internet makes it way to easy to be dismissive or mean when most of us would not act that way if we were face to face. I’m going to try and start imagining I’m face to face with the people I’m responding to.

I hope the article isn’t behind the paywall. If it is, I’m sorry.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/...roductively.html?referringSource=articleShare

Thanks for sharing. Your comments above especially in bold is my attitude. In addition to my business, I am an adjunct professor at a major university so a healthy debate feeds my brain. I teach using socratic methods so I am trained to debate either side of a situation. Based on my training to question the foundations of thought, I may sound like I hold a particular viewpoint but many are surprised when they learn my real view on an issue. A healthy, respectful, well sourced debate is not only sport, but I learn a lot of new things on both sides of an issue and it takes the thinking on the issue forward.

However I have come to realize that some people don't come from environments and cultures like mine where we shake it off as non-personal debate. Or people have beliefs so fossilized that they are not open to entertaining different viewpoints and cry "political" just because they disagree. Alternatively they may have been raised in a family where ideas were not questioned, and ideas were not debated at the dinner table like mine so they perceive it as conflict - when it is not.

I appreciate healthy debates on TUG because TUGgers are a smart bunch, are mostly respectful, and usually cite good sources. I learn a lot of new information which has changed my perception on several issues. I even liked two posts last week by people I almost never agree with! I found links to information I haven't found anywhere else. This is different than Facebook and it is a special place. I also recognize that some want to use TUG to insulate themselves into a "happy bubble" and that's fine too.

We all have shared frustration in the past two months over the Covid19 situation - myself included. This is a situation like no other. We are all venting and it is therapeutic. Perhaps we are venting too much and need to tone it down. I will do so going forward. Perhaps TUG could wall off a Covid-19 and other topics as a debate only forum. Attack the idea not the person. No fossilized views. Open minds only. Cite sources from reputable non-political sources. @Rolltydr I would love to join you in such a debate only forum if it becomes available. Any debate threads that arise in other forums can be moved easily as one thread to this forum by moderators to make their lives easier and to respect others "happy bubble."

I am going to take to heart the culture differences going forward. I sincerely hope however that TUG doesn't become a place where people are too PC to share new ideas and debate. I greatly appreciate this unique community but will be saddened if we are too afraid to share ideas, too PC to share an alternative viewpoint, and thus have little to talk about so little reason to return.
 
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TravelTime

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However I have come to realize that some people don't come from environments and cultures like mine where we shake it off as non-personal debate.

I also recognize that some want to use TUG to insulate themselves into "happy bubble" and that's fine too.

We all have shared frustration in the past two months over the Covid19 situation - myself included. This is a situation like no other. We are all venting and it is therapeutic. Perhaps we are venting too much and need to tone it down. I will do so going forward.

Perhaps TUG could wall off a Covid-19 and other topics as a debate only forum. Attack the idea not the person. share ideas, too PC to share an alternative viewpoint, and thus have little to talk about so little reason to return.

Agree with your points. I like the idea of a separate debate section. But I have been wondering if debating about Covid-19 is really appropriate for TUG? This is a time share and travel forum. Maybe discussing how it impacts travel is appropriate but is the rest?
 

CalGalTraveler

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@TravelTime True but I think it will be difficult to separate the two. Everyone will have a different interpretation of what's travel appropriate. There's not much to talk about travel-wise right now either.
 
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MrockStar

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Thanks Rolltydr for posting this. Very timely and appropriate. I have personally been really trying to be more objective and not let emotions or preconceived ideas bias my Reponses here on TUG or in dialog with others. I caught myself erasing a response to a post last night that after re-reading and contemplating on was not in the spirit of being epenthetic towards others. :)
 

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I first thought the thread was about - PRODUCTIVITY

My comment : [I now have Instagram for a week ( work -boss required). ]

TUG is a way more productive use of my time .
Both are additive .I have learned a lot more on TUG

LOL
 

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I sincerely hope however that TUG doesn't become a place where people are too PC to share new ideas and debate. I greatly appreciate this unique community but will be saddened if we are too afraid to share ideas, too PC to share an alternative viewpoint, and thus have little to talk about so little reason to return.

Very well put.

We all define arguing differently.

I think we can both agree on this. Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you. I think that's what we have here. I would hope that if anyone becomes offended by something said in any forum, they would simply walk away.

Even Anne Frank once said... "The only way to truly know a person is to argue with them. For when they argue in full swing, then they reveal their true character." ;)
 

Rolltydr

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Thanks for sharing. Your comments above especially in bold is my attitude. In addition to my business, I am an adjunct professor at a major university so a healthy debate feeds my brain. I teach using socratic methods so I am trained to debate either side of a situation. Based on my training to question the foundations of thought, I may sound like I hold a particular viewpoint but many are surprised when they learn my real view on an issue. A healthy, respectful, well sourced debate is not only sport, but I learn a lot of new things on both sides of an issue and it takes the thinking on the issue forward,

However I have come to realize that some people don't come from environments and cultures like mine where we shake it off as non-personal debate. Or people have beliefs so fossilized that they are not open to entertaining different viewpoints and cry "political" just because they disagree. Alternatively they may have been raised in a family where ideas were not questioned, and ideas were not debated at the dinner table like mine so they perceive it as conflict - when it is not.

I appreciate healthy debates on TUG because TUGgers are a smart bunch, are mostly respectful, and usually cite good sources. I learn a lot of new information which has changed my perception on several issues. I even liked two posts last week by people I almost never agree with! I found links to information I haven't found anywhere else. This is different than Facebook and it is a special place. I also recognize that some want to use TUG to insulate themselves into a "happy bubble" and that's fine too.

We all have shared frustration in the past two months over the Covid19 situation - myself included. This is a situation like no other. We are all venting and it is therapeutic. Perhaps we are venting too much and need to tone it down. I will do so going forward. Perhaps TUG could wall off a Covid-19 and other topics as a debate only forum. Attack the idea not the person. No fossilized views. Open minds only. Cite sources from reputable non-political sources. @Rolltydr I would love to join you in such a debate only forum if it becomes available. Any debate threads that arise in other forums can be moved easily as one thread to this forum by moderators to make their lives easier and to respect others "happy bubble."

I am going to take to heart the culture differences going forward. I sincerely hope however that TUG doesn't become a place where people are too PC to share new ideas and debate. I greatly appreciate this unique community but will be saddened if we are too afraid to share ideas, too PC to share an alternative viewpoint, and thus have little to talk about so little reason to return.
Thanks for your comments, @CalGalTraveler. I didn’t know that you’re a professor. I always find your posts interesting and now I know why. I also will try to tone it down going forward. Isn’t it interesting that even with our backgrounds and training, the heart still overrules the mind at times and we attack if someone disagrees with our position or states their position in a way that strikes a nerve?

Like you, I would like a forum to discuss covid19 and, at times, I’ve wished TUG was a little more relaxed in how they moderate the forums. Still, that’s not the purpose of TUG and I understand they may not want to moderate such a forum, although, it could actually be easier by allowing more freeform debate, as you state. If they do, I’ll see you there.
 

Rolltydr

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I first thought the thread was about - PRODUCTIVITY

My comment : [I now have Instagram for a week ( work -boss required). ]

TUG is a way more productive use of my time .
Both are additive .I have learned a lot more on TUG

LOL
I love this. My thought when I read your first sentence was, No, I’m retired, I don’t have to be productive now!
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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All I ask is that Richard / MULTIZ321 continue to be allowed to post :
WHATEVER HE FINDS INTERESTING .

I don’t recall Richard engaging in (many/any) debates - what he does incredibly well is post ,interesting information . I trust his vetting of the source ; including the pictures of alligators climbing fences .

Richard is possibly my number #1 - new Covid 19 information source .
As well well as many other topics .
 

bbodb1

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This is an interesting turn of events.
 
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