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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think I might be guilty of this. I've engaged in hundreds of debates on various forums over the years, and if there's one single consistency I can find, it's that no matter how right I know I am, it's virtually impossible to convince the other person. Almost everyone sticks to their guns from my experience, no matter how ridiculous their argument is and how blatantly wrong their position seems. Ironically, I probably do the same thing and don't even realize it. I have a knack for playing devil's advocate and coming up with pretty logical reasoning for my positions, even if I feel my general premise might still be wrong. I've been reading through a few years worth of my post history on a different forum and even I don't agree with half the shit I say.

And the funny thing is, I usually feel like a dick after a debate, regardless of what the topic was. I try not to debate in real life because I don't like conflict.

So what's the point in debating? Why do I do it when I realize how utterly pointless it is? Is this an INTP thing, or just a me thing?
 

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Same here. Except I find that, in the debates I've participated in, no matter how many times we go over why X is simply not true, at first they will agree, and then they will bring it back up about 5 minutes later and stick to it like it's the last thing on Earth. :angry:

It's pointless, I...I guess is the main theme of what I'm trying to convey here. :frustrating:
 

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I love debates...they're invigorating. I'd call it more.. mental exercise, than mental masturbation. I think it is an INTP thing.
 

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I don't think I debate. at least, I don't participate in formal debates or anything that appears to be a formal sort of debate. however, if someone states their opinion like it's fact, I'll feel compelled to question it and/or play the devil's advocate.

I know that some people regard debates as something to win. I do not. I don't even think they are something that can be "won". I just want people to look at different angles of things and ask more questions.

(if I want to mentally masturbate, I'll...never mind.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know that some people regard debates as something to win. I do not. I don't even think they are something that can be "won". I just want people to look at different angles of things and ask more questions.
I consider achieving that ends to be "winning". The problem is, most people are stubborn and not only refuse your argument completely, but latch on to theirs even stronger. There have even been studies done on this frustrating phenomenon.

article said:
Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.

This bodes ill for a democracy, because most voters — the people making decisions about how the country runs — aren’t blank slates. They already have beliefs, and a set of facts lodged in their minds. The problem is that sometimes the things they think they know are objectively, provably false. And in the presence of the correct information, such people react very, very differently than the merely uninformed. Instead of changing their minds to reflect the correct information, they can entrench themselves even deeper.

“The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.”

click me
(if I want to mentally masturbate, I'll...never mind.)
Do go on...:laughing:
 

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I debate almost daily but only to defend or persuade. People do what they do, but I will let my friends or people I like know what I believe to be the positive or negative consequences of an action. I will stand up and debate forever on causes I believe in. Speaking out against excessive and unnecessary use of violence is currently something I never get tired of.
 

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Debates help me understand because they are mentally invigorating and I think about what happened during the debate, research more to find more substance to my previous points, or see from another person's perspective, and learn at an accelerated rate. I do not necessarily take sides in a debate but rather suggest multiple ideas that are alternative to the claim that a person makes. I guess I play the devil's advocate too, because I do not care if I am right, but I like to examine the truth of others to find answers. Aristotle might have said, "The mark of an educated mind is to entertain an idea without accepting it," but Socrates said, "an unexamined life isn't worth living." Both statements converge to a degree.

I consider achieving that ends to be "winning". The problem is, most people are stubborn and not only refuse your argument completely, but latch on to theirs even stronger. There have even been studies done on this frustrating phenomenon.




Do go on...:laughing:
That's an interesting article.

Check out all these memory biases people have:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_memory_biases
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Debates help me understand because they are mentally invigorating and I think about what happened during the debate, research more to find more substance to my previous points, or see from another person's perspective, and learn at an accelerated rate. I do not necessarily take sides in a debate but rather suggest multiple ideas that are alternative to the claim that a person makes. I guess I play the devil's advocate too, because I do not care if I am right, but I like to examine the truth of others to find answers. Aristotle might have said, "The mark of an educated mind is to entertain an idea without accepting it," but Socrates said, "an unexamined life isn't worth living." Both statements converge to a degree.
This seems like a valid explanation. Debate as a form of expanding our understanding of things and taking different perspectives in. This explains why we play devil's advocate, and I guess the process, for me anyways, is subconscious. In those instances where I feel I'm mistaken in some way, I'll still argue my side effectively, but maybe a day or a week later I'll unconsciously adopt an altered, and hopefully more insightful viewpoint.

I think this could also explain why I feel bad after debates. I'm not usually emotionally tied to my arguments (no matter how vehemently I argue), but that's often not the case for the opponent, and I think I tend to hurt people's feelings with my bluntness.

So in that sense, maybe it could be more likened to mental sex. Masturbation is unproductive, but sex creates offspring (new ideas!)
 

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Funny that you would use that phrase xD there have been a few times I've watched xNTPs debate and thought exactly that, "intellectual masturbation". As a way of understanding something I prefer reading to internet debates. If you are reading a book, chances are its author has spent quite a bit of time doing research for its subject or has relevant background in it. Chances also are there is reference material attached at the very end supporting that information. But over the internet you may be debating against someone whose opinion is badly informed. You may be hearing a whole bunch of subjectively twisted interpretations and misinformation. It may be badly worded opinion. Plus there may be ego involved which will distort the truth. So I personally see very little point to it. I've oped out of very very many forum debates by now. They would just be getting fired up and that's it, I'll disappear out of the thread.

So what's the point in debating? Why do I do it when I realize how utterly pointless it is? Is this an INTP thing, or just a me thing?
It probably gives you a high through sense of competition and then winning i.e. holding your own ground in the debate. NTs like to complete alike any T but unlike STs their competition is more removed into the mental plane rather than taking place in the physical plane. You're basically engaging in what is the mental plane equivalent of playing sports.
 

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This seems like a valid explanation. Debate as a form of expanding our understanding of things and taking different perspectives in. This explains why we play devil's advocate, and I guess the process, for me anyways, is subconscious. In those instances where I feel I'm mistaken in some way, I'll still argue my side effectively, but maybe a day or a week later I'll unconsciously adopt an altered, and hopefully more insightful viewpoint.

I think this could also explain why I feel bad after debates. I'm not usually emotionally tied to my arguments (no matter how vehemently I argue), but that's often not the case for the opponent, and I think I tend to hurt people's feelings with my bluntness.

So in that sense, maybe it could be more likened to mental sex. Masturbation is unproductive, but sex creates offspring (new ideas!)
It looks like you have found enightenment;) Mental sparing can release tention, help you know what and how your oppontent thinks and braoden your views or find the novelty of an issue. ultimately though..... i think we are looking for solutions (conscious/ subc) to internal problems or conflicts so we can have the knowlwdge to maintain predictability and or control of our lives. knowledge+ expeirience =compatency which breeds predictabilit which leads to controling our environment which helps us feel secure and happy because ultimatlely this fullfills the purpose for most INTP's

the immature debater wins at all cost, burns bridges thus learns nothing and stays conflicted

the enlightened debater creates synergy between both parties and thus can debate/find the solutions for unresolved issues across all time and all problems:p with anyone
 
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