Note 18

Sometimes, some people debate merely because, having been failures in their lives, the process of a debate gives them an illusory chance to redeem their self-image. Such people will not listen to proper arguments and act the Devil’s Advocate because winning the debate is all that matters to them, regardless of the objective truths. You can distinguish them when they contrarize whatever you say: they don’t concede at all, they are not truly listening, and if you point out a flaw in their argument, they will not seriously consider it a flaw and even if they do, they rationalize that you don’t understand their fine point, or claim that you have a sinister motive to provoke them. I usually debate for the sake of dialogue and to reach a higher point of understanding, but when I face Comrade Advocates, I could do better things than waste my time.

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2 thoughts on “Note 18

    • Well, there is a limit to how much you can put and feel yourself in others’ shoes. Psych research backed by philosophical theories that have not been refuted for 400 years show that it is impossible to exactly imagine a given situation from another person’s point of view. The best we can do is “imagine” we can imagine the situation from their point of view, but this is not valid enough. Still, it has its merits as you said. Stuart Diamond says one way to bypass imagining is to play-act the other side in a given negotiation, which definitely works, but for debates? maybe not. We need to know why we are debating with someone….if he is not fit for our debate, what use are good arguments?

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