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Have you ever changed your mind while forum arguing/debating? Or even witnessed it?

...and did you admit it at the time?

All I ever see are people stubbornly clinging to their positions. Seriously. What percentage of arguments do you see ending with something like, "That's an interesting point I hadn't thought of. I may have to re-think my position on this."

On a related note, does anyone know if there has been any scientific exploration into the area of opinion forming/holding and what the real art of persuasion is?

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It's rare.

When arguing with someone, I don't expect to change their mind, but I do hope to influence the silent lurkers who might be reading the exchange.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

* * *

This may seem like a minor distinction, but

I find that is it far more likely to cause another individual to change their view if you are having a discussion rather than an argument or debate.

As soon as it becomes confrontational, defenses come up and pride takes hold.

Keep things civil and casual, that is my approach.

Good on you for having the

Good on you for having the will power to do that ;-)

Yeah, I've changed position

on Gun laws. But not being an American, didn't understand how being armed stood with your Constitution. I thought Americans were just crazy about their guns. I still think Americans are crazy about their guns...but now I understand why, and fully support them.

Yes I Got Into A Debate Here And My Position Changed

It concerned Tom Woods's defense of (or at least support of) the Catholic Church.

"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

You seem to have an obsession with this Kennedy fellow. Tell me

can you remember where you were the day he died?


Unless your name is GHW Bush you should have an alibi, just like everyone else...

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.

A mixture

of my family and my own real-world experiences as I graduated from college la-la-land transformed me from a total state apologist and self-described socialist into an anarcho-capitalist.

I was lucky not only because of the people around me, but because I was able to be honest with myself. Most people would rather keep lying to themselves instead of admitting their faults, which is why most statists have conniptions and deny reality when you smite them with the logic of anarchy.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.


For sure

and pretty sure I admitted to stuff on the forum. For instance, I admitted to voting Obama his first term, because I thought he was for liberty. I watched Dr. Paul intensely, even before then, but I was one of those guys who said a vote for Dr. Paul would be a vote for Palin/McCain. I wrote in Dr. Paul last time. I hope he wins against Keynes. Speaking of which I've also learned a lot about economics, but not enough yet.

One instance is when I read Liberty Defined. I was pro choice at the time, although I was adopted. However, reading that first? chapter on Abortion (most of my library is in storage), I changed my mind immediately knowing we have a right to our life from our Creator. I changed my outlook very much. I also changed my mind on the death penalty, although somewhat reserved. I just don't like the cost of housing people in prisons taken from me, although they do pay their penance. But that's a whole 'nother story.

I've also learned from people who I disagree with most of the time.

The way I see it is we are always learning and we should always be in flux and open and tolerant.

If you ignore someone you might miss something useful.

I also registered Republican for the primaries and registered Democrat in the previous primaries to make sure Hillary didn't win, in the latter, to bring Dr. Paul to the front. Before I have been registered independent and Constitutionalist. Maybe Libertarian and even (shudder) green peace when I was younger.

I'm not 100% libertarian which I have mentioned many times as well. But I still can't find any flaws within libertarianism, only within people calling themselves libertarian. I believe, much like our race, our political persuasion is always somewhat mixed, maybe I'm wrong.

Now I think I may just not vote any more so my political party may be no thank you. The whole system is wrought with fraud and I think it's more than likely rigged to an extent, although I think that more effort should be focused on local candidates. I stay here at the DP for good news, and to learn.

As far as speaking persuasively, there are tons of books out there to help. I have one, I think it's called the art of persuasive speaking or the art of persuasion or something. I haven't read it yet. I did a quick google search which brought up a different book. I have one with a white cover. If the book isn't in storage, I will update.

Read, read, read, and you will learn. I read on the net and I also read books every day. TV is mostly devoid of anything worth watching. The best stuff you can pick up for free on a cheap rabbit ears contraption.

Best of luck to you.

Yes. I've changed my mind

Yes. I've changed my mind about:
a. Guns
b. Drug laws

Sensible arguments have change my mind.

Debate is to air opposing views.

It is a fact that, the more a person's beliefs are challenged, the harder a person clings to them. However, debate is largely for the OBSERVERS, whose minds CAN be changed, depending upon the strengths of arguments.

However, I wish to relate an experience I had two days ago on YouTube. I defended the USAF veteran who offered her cemetery plot to the Boston Bombing suspect. The first response I received from one person (a Zionist Jew, by the way) was "You Traitor!" By the time we had discussed the issue, plus Zionism, I had gained so much of his respect, he became a subscriber to my YouTube website(!!!)

While he is still a proud Zionist Jew, I really won him over with this argument AGAINST Zionism. "Recently, Israel matched New York City's Jewish population of 6,000,000. Given that there are approximately 28.5 million Jewish people in the world, New York City and Israel house over 40% of the world's Jews. These are tiny, densely populated areas WELL WITHIN THE "KILL AREA" OF A NUCLEAR DEVICE. You are sitting ducks."

Right after that, he subscribed to my YouTube channel.

Very true, it's the onlookers, rather than the participants...

...who will more than likely be the ones forming or changing opinions when there is a debate.

A very wise person who used to come here once said something along that line that while one person may be responding to a comment, there could be 100 people watching. So something I try to keep in mind when engaging in those kinds of threads.

Also, even though some of the debates might seem redundant to those who've been here for years, or like we're spinning our wheels, there are constantly new people in the audience, and more and more people waking up. So they are the beneficiaries...and proof that it's not all in vain.

Observers are who I have in mind

most of the time when I engage an internet debate.

One on one, sometimes people are more flexible. I get a bit caught off guard when I start "winning" one of those after so much not experiencing that on-line. People who know you personally are a whole different ballgame.

And I'll give some ground in a debate if it's warranted and I can see it in the heat of the moment.

Defend Liberty!


And by that I mean yes.

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.

jrd3820's picture


Fear of making a decision. Make up your mind man :)

Do I make my mind...

or does my mind make me?

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.

That's what happens when people approach discussions...

...with a debate mindset.

As I stated to someone here recently who wanted to debate, I'm interested in truth, not debate. Debate implies opposition.

I'd prefer people put their heads together and discuss things productively, whether they agree or not, instead of going into it with an "us/them" frame of mind that breeds dividing lines and defensiveness.

If things were discussed in sincerity, rather than with debate mindset, there would be more room for people to be able to change their minds or accept other views without feeling the need to save face.

But as with court trials, for many, the quest isn't so much about truth, but rather, to win.

You're exactly right.

It shouldn't be about a "debate" but instead a mutual quest for truth. But even realizing that requires a certain level of maturity. Unfortunately too often, that very decision whether to make this a debate or a discussion is already debate, which only leads to what you're talking about - someone needing to win.

My puny voice won't amplify

My puny voice won't amplify your words as much as I'd like, but I comment and thumbs up nonetheless. The debate mindset is more about individuals filling holes in their lives. The discussion mindset is about filling minds.

10-15 million more voters need to believe in non-interventionism (liberty) at home and abroad to change America. Minds changed on Syria. Minds changing on privacy. "Printing money" is part of the dialogue. Win minds through focus, strategy.

I have changed my mind many times

One of the things that makes the dailypaul so great is the debates that go on. I agree with the other comments that insults take away from the debate though. This has been a great place for me to learn and be encouraged. I hope it continues to be that place.

All the time

It's one reason the insults and name calling are so disapponting, because it tells you that the person calling names and insulting has no answers..

I came to DP with no intent on joining the GOP ever. Everything I thought I knew about the GOP, the things I hated.. I had made it very conveinent for myself to blame the GOP.

Now, I see the GOP as nothing but a tool to restore the republic and why the Democrats who infiltraited in the name of neocons fight to hold on.. and YOU helped me see that when you shared your GOP with me.

Logic is great for getting to the truth, but...

It just won't work for some people who will not leave their comfort zone. That's why you need to know all about Logical Fallacies; Not only to defend yourself in a debate but to skillfully deploy them on those who ignore truth.

I was once in a meeting where considerable time was devoted to discussion of changing the date of an event and many valid reasons were given supporting the change, then someone mentioned that the event had always been held on that particular date. A vote was taken and the date was not changed. Infuriating as it may be, that is the way people are.

The trick is to use those same type of illogical appeals in your discussions mixed in with your logical argument, which should be the foundation of your discussion. The media does this all the time by framing their discussion with straw man and ad homonym attacks.

We studied these when I was in College. Somehow I don't think they teach this anymore. I wonder why?

Right on.

"then someone mentioned that the event had always been held on that particular date"

The "that's the way it's always been, therefore that's the way it should be" logic is indeed infuriating. And common. I've witnessed this in with the liberal union mentality as well as the old school republicans. Sad. "The way it's always been" has produced a 14% approval rating of congress, but no one can put two and two together, and recognize that perhaps the entire approach needs to be re-evaluated from scratch.

Often, in the early days of the DP

Most of us got here with a head full of lies, and as we learned to "bunny hole dive" many of us found truth, and thanked each other for sharing the information.
These days, it does seem to be a shout fest, as though whoever gets the best insult in is right.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Perhaps not so much changed,

Perhaps not so much changed, but a concept brought up i had'nt considered, but agree with, that adds a new angle to a view i already had, not to change the whole view, but something that makes me consider other branches of thought,

All opinions mean different things to different people, to some, might be profound, to others may be a statement, i think that concepts brought up that are profound to one person is something they would have come to on their own, giving time and a reason and luck, unless your lucky enough for someone to remark on that something that you still as of yet not thought up.

I have the belief, that if we all stripped away the bullshit, we would realise were all the same, in our minds and in our hearts, its the bullshit that distorts those things, i dont necessarily mean bullshit in the negative sense, but more on how it stops us from recognising ourselves in one another

ecorob's picture


It happens...this place is like a school!

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

I think most people on this site

Had to realize that they were clinging to un-truths at some point. Opinion changing seems to be a gradual process. In my life there have been a handful of times that I had changed my position in the midst of an argument. So rare have these occasions been that I never forget them and refer to them constantly.

When someone is arguing he is generally not in a place where he can change. He is not thinking about what the other person is saying could be true, he is thinking about how he can refute it. Questioning of ones own beliefs rarely happens during an argument. Its not natural. The conversation has to switch from being between you and the other guy, to you and yourself.

I dont think it's about being open to the possibility that you are wrong. I think you can do that later. When you have time to think. Being stubborn for me is when someone ignores something that they can't refute. That's when I am done arguing. A simple "I'll have to think about that more" would suffice




I once had a good idea. A really really good idea. Couldn't wait

to share it. Then I realized I had just reinvented slavery. So I decided not to share it after all.

Is that what you mean?

Don't feed the pandas. Ever.