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Old November 27th, 2015, 11:06 AM   #1
RNG
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Can We Change?

Several times at our morning coffee, some participant will, without ever having any real intention of actually quitting, say with great disgust that our constant discussion and debate are useless since we all are very set in our ways and our confirmational biases are too entrenched. The rant ends and usually the declarer then launches right into his next defense of his views and attacks on opposing views. But is this true? Are people influenced and changed through personal or forum based debate?

I know I have changed. I was more neutral on climate change and a disbeliever in the claim that CO2 was the driver and no longer am. This wasn't from debate directly, but I will admit that links and sources supplied by supporters were the driving force. This change probably would still have occurred from my becoming exposed to the newer research on my own, but probably at a slower rate.

Other changes to my views are in our penal system. I used to be a real hang-em-high, lock them up and throw away the key type. Again, largely from sources I was exposed to through discussion and forums, I now believe that punitive measures are counterproductive, as a generality.

And I am far, far less extreme right wing regarding taxes. I used to think a flat tax or a universal sales tax replacing other taxes was a good thing. I no longer do. And that is largely because I also now believe that wealth inequality is damaging to a country's overall wellbeing. Again, this was from participating in forums.

I also have noted a change in Camelot's views on a number of things. Plus I'm still overcoming the shock of kbear renouncing her Republican membership.

So I am concluding that we can be changed.

Your thoughts?
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Old November 27th, 2015, 12:34 PM   #2
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I think people can change. I have since logging on here. Previously I considered myself a "fiscal conservative" in the political realm. the jr administration created a giant disdain for fundamentals. The tea party started up looking like it had some potential but the got even more wacky then the conservatives. I had people tell me that there was no such thing as a "fiscal conservative" that I had to subscribe to their religious mumbo-jumbo and what not. Working w/in the system seemed pointless. You can go and look back at my older posts. I was more of a communist style anarchist. I still believed in free market but was more vocal about small communities. I was extremely vocal against organized religion. I felt at the time the fundamentalists were the biggest threat to liberty. They were/are trying to use the state to implement their religious views on the nation. Marriage equality was a big issue. They lost that one (in a way) I dove into economics. From my research I have come to the conclusion that economics lies at the heart of all of the worlds problems. I do feel that small communist communities would be the best for humans to flourish. I do not feel that can be achieved by force. This is why I see socialism as the threat that it is. IMO it is removing liberty for the illusion of security. I fully support people's choice to participate in whatever form of community they choose but I do not support people using the state to force others to participate just because the feel that it is the right thing.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 01:15 PM   #3
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Of course people can change, but slowly, you won't see people who are all about Obama one day being all about Trump a week later.
I used to think Libertarianism was the way to go, but over time I saw it never worked because it was impractical.
The government is necessary, it will rarely be efficient, but it's usually better than no government.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 12:06 PM   #4
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Of course people can change, but slowly, you won't see people who are all about Obama one day being all about Trump a week later.
I used to think Libertarianism was the way to go, but over time I saw it never worked because it was impractical.
The government is necessary, it will rarely be efficient, but it's usually better than no government.
Libertatianism does not advocate "no government" but the minimum government needed to ensure the rights of all individuals.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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I think people can change. You must really know what you believe, but more importantly what the other side believes, however, before you can decide.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 03:57 PM   #6
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Are people influenced and changed through personal or forum based debate?
I think so. Not everybody is willing to change, or have egos that would never allow them to admit they'd changed.

I've been changed through forum debate.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 04:51 PM   #7
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I think so. Not everybody is willing to change, or have egos that would never allow them to admit they'd changed.

I've been changed through forum debate.
A friend who had shifted from an extreme right position over the years had been accused of being inconsistent. I wish I had the quick wit to respond as he did in this situation.

He asked the accuser "Why do you think it preferable for me to remain as ignorant as I once was?"
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Old November 28th, 2015, 05:16 PM   #8
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Can people change, Ask Ann Heche (Humor)
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Old November 28th, 2015, 05:21 PM   #9
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'When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?'

John Maynard Keynes
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Old December 8th, 2015, 12:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNG View Post
Several times at our morning coffee, some participant will, without ever having any real intention of actually quitting, say with great disgust that our constant discussion and debate are useless since we all are very set in our ways and our confirmational biases are too entrenched. The rant ends and usually the declarer then launches right into his next defense of his views and attacks on opposing views. But is this true? Are people influenced and changed through personal or forum based debate?

I know I have changed. I was more neutral on climate change and a disbeliever in the claim that CO2 was the driver and no longer am. This wasn't from debate directly, but I will admit that links and sources supplied by supporters were the driving force. This change probably would still have occurred from my becoming exposed to the newer research on my own, but probably at a slower rate.

Other changes to my views are in our penal system. I used to be a real hang-em-high, lock them up and throw away the key type. Again, largely from sources I was exposed to through discussion and forums, I now believe that punitive measures are counterproductive, as a generality.

And I am far, far less extreme right wing regarding taxes. I used to think a flat tax or a universal sales tax replacing other taxes was a good thing. I no longer do. And that is largely because I also now believe that wealth inequality is damaging to a country's overall wellbeing. Again, this was from participating in forums.

I also have noted a change in Camelot's views on a number of things. Plus I'm still overcoming the shock of kbear renouncing her Republican membership.

So I am concluding that we can be changed.

Your thoughts?
Change? I don't know. To say it is one thing, to go out and actually live it is another.

To me, genuine change (In any form, including personal opinions) can often be a slow or fast, confusing, violent or psychologically chaotic act made worse on a public forum when a changing person (Intentionally or not) sucks in all those around them in their personal search for a truth that meets their personal requirements of satisfaction and brings peace to the one experiencing it, while us who view it are left with no idea what had actually transpired.
I can't imagine what an individual goes through when their views begin to differ from a prior presumptions, too evolve beyond what they previously held before.

Does Camelot qualify? Or Kbear? I don't know what Camelot had said that made you take note, but kbear's declarations is of no surprise to me. It was a long time in coming i suppose? Unless i was mistaken about past comments by her, she's mentioned doing so repeatedly over the last several years. I have been expecting it, really.

When i think of true change, as i have tried to define it, The only poster here i can think of right now who might be possibly changing is Beasty.

Can we change. Sure. But i reckon there aren't as many of us in the world who are in a rush to change as you perhaps believe. Then again, maybe my expectations are too high, as usual?
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