The Benefit of Losing an Argument
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16-07-2015, 07:46 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2015 07:52 AM by ideasonscribe.)
The Benefit of Losing an Argument
For the last few years of my life I have attempted to come as close to the truth about reality as I can.
I have spent a good deal of time reading articles and studying different types of science that would help increase my knowledge of our universe. I try to sift through the less accurate information and follow the path of the data that is most supported by tests and trials.
As far as I know, this is the best way to approach reality.

I recently made a new post on Atheism and Theism here: ( http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...nce-of-God ) regarding some of the research I have been doing.
I made quite a few mistakes in my approach, but I am comfortable with learning from those mistakes.
One of those mistakes was giving not a clearer picture of what I am trying to essentially accomplish with my "argument" (I'm going to remove the title of 'argument' from now on until I've learned better ways to make a sound argument, however). My intention was not to prove the existence of 'god', but rather to provide an alternative perspective to the results of experimental data and the accumulation of evidence of a non-local, information-driven universe. We already have theories, and I see the red flags in those theories and wanted to provide an alternate perspective.

Believe it or not, I was and still am open to actual studies that show the shortcomings of what I presented in that essay. I am not, however, open to semantic debates on what I mean by 'god', on a thread that I am not intentionally trying to prove the existence of a literal god. If you don't like my definition, what would benefit us both, I believe, is to inquire about what I mean by those terms - not that those terms are "crap" or "nonsense". No one is benefiting from that sort of counter-argument. If that's what we can call it.

So I've also learned some about argumentation itself. I've learned that it's not always about winning an argument. I don't usually approach arguments to "win" them anymore. Rather, I like to take a more practical approach to them. I want to benefit myself more than anything. When I come in with an argument, I want to walk away from that argument with a better understanding of my argument, the data, reality, and the people I am arguing with.
I've also learned that if I come into an argument with the mentality that I am going to "win", then I've already shoved my bias and predisposition into the conversation. We won't be having a productive conversation. I will simply be trying to "convince" the other person why they are wrong and why I am right. My mind will not be open to learning anything at all, and no matter how good the counter-arguments of my 'opponent' is, I will be ignoring what could be a very reasonable approach to reality.

So here's a great clip from a TeDx talk by Philosopher Daniel H. Cohen. He basically puts my points into perspective. I hope you enjoy:

http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_h_cohen_...ke#t-57153

“What you believe to be true will control you, whether it’s true or not.”

—Jeremy LaBorde
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16-07-2015, 10:40 AM
RE: The Benefit of Losing an Argument
(16-07-2015 07:46 AM)ideasonscribe Wrote:  ... For the last few years of my life I have attempted to come as close to the truth about reality as I can ...

What for? The full truth of anything is unknowable because knowing "it all" is impossible. The best we can achieve is to know enough to get by.

Hunting truth for its own sake wastes time. There will always be far more unknown than known, so the quest for knowledge is better broad than narrow, so that we know a little about a lot rather than a lot about little. A drive for truth for its own sake narrows the scope down to knowing a lot about something close to nothing. And you'll never know all about it anyway.
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16-07-2015, 10:48 AM
RE: The Benefit of Losing an Argument
Discussion is almost always more useful than argumentation. Being open to the idea that you might be mistaken is the only way to challenge your precepts. Taking ego out of the equation (in the form of "winning" or "losing") usually improves the quality of discourse.
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16-07-2015, 11:55 AM
RE: The Benefit of Losing an Argument
"Searching for the truth" isn't nearly as satisfying as searching for a piece of ass -- or even searching for a good hamburger...............


I'm afraid "the truth" is as pedestrian, boring, and uninteresting as a tepid glass of distilled water........

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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16-07-2015, 01:16 PM
RE: The Benefit of Losing an Argument
(16-07-2015 11:55 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  "Searching for the truth" isn't nearly as satisfying as searching for a piece of ass -- or even searching for a good hamburger...............


I'm afraid "the truth" is as pedestrian, boring, and uninteresting as a tepid glass of distilled water........

Completely subjective, there can be far more satisfying paths than dealing with other humans.

Well ideascribble, there can be plenty of great findings in knowledge that you realize is lacking from discovery from the time you live in. There is nothing shameful about the knowledgeable answer of I don't know. Discussion doesn't really need to be thriving off some argument that is trying to get to any perceived outcome. You just let it happen

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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17-08-2015, 04:04 AM
Benefit of Losing an Argument -The Blog of Sincerity - Atheism, Philosophy, Science
Whether you lose or not, you are still gaining knowledge and having dignity to admit that you are incorrect - something we can't say about those who are close-minded.

The Blog of Sincerity - Atheism, Philosophy, Science

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression.
-- Thomas Paine,
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17-08-2015, 07:28 PM
RE: The Benefit of Losing an Argument
The thing about winning or losing an argument though, when it comes to debating theists...is ...they are not using the same 'facts' as we are. So, if you're going to have a fair argument, or debate...both sides have to come to the table with true facts. Facts vs fantasy...while atheists believe we emerge the victor, the other side doesn't see it that way, because they are clinging to religion as facts. Since this is an atheism site, thought that was worth mentioning. Wink

Be true to yourself. Heart
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18-08-2015, 04:33 PM
RE: The Benefit of Losing an Argument
(17-08-2015 07:28 PM)Deidre32 Wrote:  The thing about winning or losing an argument though, when it comes to debating theists...is ...they are not using the same 'facts' as we are. So, if you're going to have a fair argument, or debate...both sides have to come to the table with true facts. Facts vs fantasy...while atheists believe we emerge the victor, the other side doesn't see it that way, because they are clinging to religion as facts. Since this is an atheism site, thought that was worth mentioning. Wink

Concerning debates with theists, I think that there are a couple of things that atheists can strive to accomplish that do not involve "winning" the debate.

First off, based off of my life back when I was an devout Christian, I had a incorrect view of atheists due to the fact that I had never really met any, and that all of my ideas of them (they are mad, the just hate God, etc...) came from what I was taught growing up. It would have been very beneficial to me if I had some encounters with atheists where I was shown that most atheists are simply people that are freethinkers and have come to grips with reality. Therefore, I think that having a debate with theists can be beneficial to them in that they get a better view about what freethinking is about, and that we are not a bunch of people that are just angry at God.

Second off, by debating with theists, they (hopefully) have to attempt to use reason to some extent to justify their beliefs that they can prove the existence of God. Then, the more that you force them to attempt to use reason to justify their beliefs, the more that they realize that their position does not stand up against reason. Now, this benefit does require that the theist is actually approaching the debate with a willingness to admit that they are wrong. To once again draw from my own deconversion, I can state that it was after I determined that I was going to seek after what is true, regardless of if I had to reject God (which at the time, I very much did not want to do), that the process of my deconversion sped up quickly.

Now, I do realize that both of these benefits are geared towards theists that have not had their views challenged much and do not have an informed view on the motivations of freethinkers/atheists. Obviously, there are theists who are dead set in their ways to the point that debating with them will not bring about either of these potential benefits.
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13-10-2015, 01:23 PM
RE: The Benefit of Losing an Argument
Noone ever learned anything by winning an argument.

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton Lavey
If god had meant us to believe in him he would've existed - Linda Smith
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