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Saturday, December 13, 2014

LET’s DISCUSS


LET’s DISCUSS

 Not so cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following opinion is from a cranky old man with little knowledge on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions will be ignored, but are welcome.  As always, please, no name calling and that means you, you big stupid head!

Never get into conversations about politics or religion.

Good advice.  I don’t necessarily agree, but it is good advice.  I like to discuss politics and religion.  I don’t like to argue.  What is the difference?

In an argument, both sides have made up their minds and have no intention of changing.  Both sides attempt to force the other side to agree with them.  In an argument, neither side ever actually hears what the other side has to say.  An argument either ends with “agree to disagree” or “well you are just an idiot!”

An argument is never productive.  It is usually counterproductive.

In a discussion, both sides exchange opinions, information or ideas.  Both sides listen to the other and actually think about what they hear.  People learn from discussions.  They learn new ideas, and they learn something about the person with whom they are exchanging opinions, information or ideas.  A discussion usually ends with, “Interesting” or "I don’t agree with your conclusions, but you make some very good points.”

I have an old  friend from college that I only see every year or so, but I enjoy discussing many subjects with him.  He is very liberal, very compassionate and very genuine in his opinions and ideas.  He is very smart, which scares me a bit because I don’t always trust smart people.  Smart people can convince you of things because it suits their purpose, not always because they are right.  I don’t always know the difference, because…well they are smarter than me.

Anyway.

This friend, I’ll call him "Stan" to protect his identity, does not argue.  He listens.  He will say, “That is interesting.”  He does not get exercised over opinions with which he does not agree.  His demeanor forces you to actually listen to his ideas.  We seldom end up agreeing with the other’s conclusions, but I generally learn something.  I learn that all Liberals are not bleeding heart jerks.  Most are compassionate and well intentioned.  Their goals are good goals.  Generally we share the same goals. 

In years gone by people used to discuss issues.  Now it seems we just argue them.  Politicians used to discuss, they used to compromise.  Now they argue, they shut down government and point their fingers of blame.  Politicians don’t exchange ideas, some don’t even have ideas; many politicians simply get their party line talking points and will not stray.  Politicians make decisions based on what they believe will get them elected. 

Many religions don’t discuss their ideas; they simply intend to convert others.  They argue.  Many religious leaders argue with great gusto and bad intentions.  Some say agree or die.

If you argue, both sides are generally angry.  If you discuss, both sides are polite.  If you argue, the other person is a stupid jackass who does not know his ass from his elbow.  If you discuss, the other person’s ideas and opinions are worthy of respect and consideration.

My opinions are never changed in an argument.  

Discussions often make me amend my point of view.

I love to discuss different subjects.

I don’t like to argue.

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.     

13 comments:

  1. Excellent post! Everyone has some good ideas, and some bad ones, too. Everyone should be heard, then the listener can separate the wheat from the chaff. The mess we're in is due in no small part to the fact that we don't listen and discuss anymore.

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  2. please convince 'stan' to run for office. :)

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    1. I know Stan and there ain't no chance he'd run for office. COM also noted that he's smart!

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  3. I hate it when I'm having a discussion with someone and you can tell they're just waiting for you to pause so they can speak, and they really haven't listened to what you've said. Most people I know believe what they need to believe. It's often hard to penetrate beyond that need, and sometimes cruel to do so.

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  4. Some people are incapable of discussion unless it's with like-minded others. That's when you know that no matter what, it's going to be an argument. That way of thinking drains my energy.

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  5. I agree, I've heard lots of all of the above methods of political/religious views and not one of them have changed my mind about my views. They remain the same as they have been for decades. Good point.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  6. I steer clear of all the hot-button topics for the most part. Many of my blog posts are the seeds of the column I write weekly.
    One of the casualties if miss most these days is civility. As you say, discussing politics and religion is good, but I'd rather pass a kidney stone than to argue.

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  7. I wish I had your patience with the stupid-heads who don't share my views. Oops, there I go again.

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  8. Be careful, Joe--you're starting to make sense!!

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  9. Haven't found too many willing to listen and too often they take my listening as compliance. So I usually just ask where the bathroom is and hope the topic has changed when I come back. I loathe arguing.

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  10. I have issues with people who refuse to consider the FACTS. You can believe whatever you want about the facts, but please don't pooh-pooh them as if they don't exist, a figment of my imagination. I did not create the facts. The Earth's cycles of cooling and warming over the last 400,000 years, for example.

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  11. You did bring up valid points here. I do agree with what you said here. I think it would be interesting to have a discussion with you.

    betty

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