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Internet arguments and misunderstandings: Productive, or a waste of time?

When you read through conversations on this and other sites, you can't help but notice some individuals who always enter into disagreements with others time and again.

How important is debating, or arguing online?

How far should you go to get your point across?

Is it even worth it to try to convince a stranger that your way is correct?

Here is a cartoon I ran across:


What do you think? Feel free to share any experiences you have had, and how you handled them.

I am not much of a debater, but I am very interested in understanding why people time and again get involved in arguments with others.


Closing Statement from W T

Online debates......productive.....when everyone shows respect for the other's ideas, and conversation takes place in an orderly way...it's ok to disagree.

Online arguments......waste of time......proceed with caution.

I thought perhaps some kind of debate would break out about debates.....but nothing of the sort....everyone's contributions made this conversation a very enjoyable one.

Wonderful links, and book titles were provided.

Thank you to all who participated!!!!

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  • May 22 2013: Hi Mary

    Nice topic, I think one of the aspects is that - what is the understanding of the word 'debate'? what do people expect to get out of it?

    1/ for some its a game, its about winning/losing - and they don't want to be the one losing.

    2/ for some its about seeing how other people view a particular issue, the reasons behind it and uncover any areas they themselves missed seeing and through this expanding their horizons.

    3/ for some its a waste of time - either they think they know everything or they just don't care.

    Today I started a TED debate on the subject - Empathy vs Apathy - Replacing 'A' with 'Em'
    I wish it was as easy as it is on Microsoft word or any text application :-) . I believe having empathy helps in debates, you think about why someone is saying something and then you ask them to expand. Otherwise people just bulldoze through.

    I'd like to finish by saying this, Smile, life is a journey, not a race

    - Ramesh
    Twitter @Ramesh_Ramki website www.futuristCMO.com
    • W T 100+

      • 0
      May 22 2013: You bring out some wonderful points Ramesh......and it sounds like you have been bulldozed before?

      I think that some issues definitely need to be debated, argued about, in public, for all to see.......and then we can all be informed about all sides of an issue

      However, because information and data can be twisted to suit the presenters agenda, then we need to look into things for ourselves, and not rely wholely on what others tell us.

      In the end, when dealing with moral issues for example, it comes down to our own convictions I think......?

      I saw your conversation on empathy......I have been thinking about it and waiting to see what I can contribute. When contributing to conversations such as yours, it takes me a couple of days to think of something that can be upbuilding to others. So I will post something later, ok?

      Thank you for contributing to this conversation Ramesh. I am smiling :)

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