Why I don't believe in ANY form of online discussion

As of last week, gay marriage became legal in all states of the USA. This community, as much as every other on the Internet, blew up. People from both sides arguing and complaining and calling each other idiots, and making insults, etc. I'm kinda included in this.

However, if there's one thing I've ever learned, is that when it comes to religion, politics, or homosexuality, discussions like this, especially online, are a huge waste of time. You are never ever ever going to change someone's mind, not even in a million years.

For both sides, the situation looks like this:

Why I don't believe in ANY form of online discussion

In my whole life I always defended that one should think for himself, and not think a certain way just because "That's what my parents taught me" or "Well there are 4.5 billion people in the world who think this way so they must be right". I also defend people standing their ground and their believes, and defending them when attacked.

However, this must be done ON THE REAL WORLD. Not on a virtual world where you can't even see the person. You can think you are changing something, but in reality you are not. You're just sitting there typing bottons. The other person will read, roll their eyes, and insult you. Now you are both mad and the situation is the same. If you were having this conversation on a coffee shop, things would be much different.

If you defend something, stand your ground. But stand it the right way. Don't sit in front of a computer screen typing words and thinking you are changing the world, or even how the other person thinks. Get out there. Are you pro-gay? Go to the gay parade and show your support. Are you anti-gay? Then don't show your support. Or make a petition. JUST DO SOMETHING.

This applies to religion too, since these are the topics that often generate more heat inside of this community.

One word of advice about this whole deal though, and I've talked about this before: Nobody cares if you're offended.

Lots of people, especially anti-gay may I add, are saying "Aww but this hurts me. It's not right. It's offensive. I'm offended and I have rights". Honestly, nobody cares if you're offended. Literally. People will laugh at you if you are against marriage because it offends you.

For crying out loud, what would you do if your 15 year-old son came home and said "Dad, dad, please help me. My teacher said I'm not the best student in the class and now I'm offended. What do I do?". You know what you do? YOU DEAL WITH IT. I would never admit this kind of behavior from a 15 year-old, and what I see in this community are tons of adults who are offended and the only way they can deal with it is whining and complaining and throwing insults back and forth. You were offended. It happens to everyone, everyday. GET OVER IT.

In the end you just have to accept you are not changing anyone's opinion, especially not online. The only you could ever do this is with proven facts. If we could isolate the Gay Gene and insert it in a straight mouse and mouse stopped being straight, that's when right and wrong came into the picture. After that, even if someone came ahead and said "I think being gay is a choice", then they would be wrong. Until science is silent about this, you just have to accept the facts.

The facts are that, whether you like it or not, gay people can get married. Whether you like it or not, the atheist population is growing and politics are slowly adapting and taking it out of the State. And there's nothing you can do about it. It's that simple.


Most Helpful Girl

  • "You are never ever ever going to change someone's mind, not even in a million years."

    Not true. I have had my own mind changed from other people's good, solid arguments backed up with research for me to dig in to. I too, have changed someone's mind by doing the same.

    It doesn't happen over night and it doesn't happen with everyone. Sometimes it takes years of being faced with different viewpoints until someone comes along and makes it click. Each time someone picks away to make an effort to plead their case, it might not have worked, but it would have meant something two years later when someone else says something and after many similar viewpoints, maybe it wasn't mine who made the change, but someone down the road.

    The same is said for anyone interested in growing. Learn something. At the very least, learn how to respectfully disagree or else respect their view. Online discussion is where many people turn to when offline, face-to-face conversation leaves someone feeling overwhelmed or shy to come to terms with what they feel or ask questions about what they want to know.

    I only wish I had the internet years ago, as a teen or in my twenties to have gone through a lot of issues anonymously online to get perspective from people about a lot I was grappling with. Instead I got through it with books and very few discussions.

    The online world is also a cesspool of trolling and rudeness. Thankfully many sites offer a blocking and deleting feature to give you more comfort online, but again, it's about growing, and if someone said something unpleasant as opposed to something that just differed from your opinion - it's about growing and knowing the difference between the two. One you can learn from, and one you won't. Bullies online are just there to make sure you keep quiet about what you say because they can't handle it. They have no proper communication skills to know what to say, and they don't have any intelligence to know how to block or get out of a discussion before it turns ugly.

    I favour respectful discussion. Even if I can't say something to change someone's mind, or they can't change mine, the progress is that we're talking, and that's what matters most.

    • Yea I gotta agree with you. Most things I said in the reddit are from my experience after writing for a few blogs regarding emotional topics like religion and moderating the comments.

      I found that most people were just there to debate but had no way of changing their minds. It would go something like this.
      "You don't know what you're talking about, the Bible has been proven to be factual at everything"
      "Can you provide a source or be more specific?"
      "I don't need to provide anything it's true".
      And this would repeat to the point where one person got bored and stopped answering.

      I find that there are indeed some people whose minds you can change, but they are very very rare, and they need to be the kind of person already willing to learn/change their mind before the debate starts. These persons will never initiate a debate with a statement, but rather:
      "Why do you think the Bible is not true?" or something along those lines

    • Well, I used to belong to an atheist group online that some religious people were free to take part in, and did. They did the same thing, as well as sit and insult as as people, making presumptions (one guy actually had no issue with comparing us to pedophiles), and one thing was that with every attempt to bait and taunt us in to exploding and firing back, I was pleasantly shocked to see people keep calm. The religious people didn't have a leg to stand on because all they wanted was to figuratively point and say, "See? See? See how rude you just were to me! Further proof atheists are rude!"

      Same thing happened in my Feminism is Sexy myTake. I explained fairly well that I wasn't about man-hating and it wasn't about being a bitch and confrontational. One guy answered with his opinion, baited me and baited me, hoping to get a rise, but I was way ahead of him and didn't bite. I discussed. I explained myself, but never insulted or swore. (More)

    • www.girlsaskguys.com/.../a10748-the-sexy-feminist

      The fact I was challenging him, had him quickly sneering "See you're a fail, you said you don't hate men and don't become a bitch and look at what you're doing! Fail." It's all there for the world to plainly see I wasn't, and even stopped the conversation pointing it out. I was baited and he tried, but when he didn't get what he wanted, said it anyway.

      With that, and usually with more than one person to give them the experience I did, more and more people (if they have half a brain) will eventually see, yeah, they actually weren't treated the way they keep thinking they do. It's only in time they may change, but we don't see it taking the heat the moment it happens.

Most Helpful Guy

  • There is a difference of being in a civil debate and a bunch of retards name calling.. Reddit for one is great site for debate and sometimes Youtube but mostly not. GaG is also bad for this because GaG is full of people who has a false self belief that they are smart when they are not..


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What Girls Said 1

  • The biggest issue with writing this take is that you are in fact trying to convince its readers that debating or making an argument on the internet won't change anything, when you in the same breath, trying to convince those that believe it will, that your point is valid. You are also debating those on here that disagree that the points you've made above are valid. If you truly believed in what you've written, you should literally have exactly NO RESPONSE to the comments section.


What Guys Said 2

  • Im offended yet intrigued by your take. To be honest its possible to change peoples thoughts on computer you just need evidence to prove them wrong.

    • People will simply refuse your evidences because it's too easy for them to do. Say I'm talking to you at a coffee shop and I'm telling how how a political party helped our country, and I give some historical evidence. You have no other choice but to sit there and listen to me/enter a debate with me or get up and assume defeat. You can't start insulting me or getting angry because you are aware of how things can end up and most people's brains know that this is a dangerous situation to get into.

      Online you can simply throw insults around, or give some smartass answer and then close the page to never return there again, or simply ignore the person's argument altogether. When I was studying philosophy I spent a lot of time debating on the web, and most people would just copy-past (literally) an argument over and over and over again until the other person got tired and quit. Then they'd congratulate themselves.

    • Isn't it the same in reality I could just walk away and say goodbye

    • Yea but that doesn't feel the same to you. It's pretty different. You are basically admitting defeat, even to yourself. One thing is having an argument online, and if you think you are being proven wrong you can just close it and forget about it. Another thing is actually going through the trouble of telling the person you have no answer for what he's saying and so you have to walk away.

      "I don't believe in the Big Bang"
      "You don't? But we know the Universe is expanding and therefore we can conclude that all it started united, yaka yaka yaka"
      *close page*

      "I don't believe in the Big Bang"
      "You don't? But we know the Universe is expanding and therefore we can conclude that all it started united, yaka yaka yaka"
      "Okay bye"

  • I implore you to please know the difference between a "discussion," and a "debate." That is all I have to say.

    • Regarding stuff that involves emotions, such as politics and religion, especially online, there's no difference. In all my experience with both, there are very few people out there who can get into an argument about these topics and not get emotional.

      It's harder to get that emotional when you're talking face-to-face because you are aware things can escalate pretty quickly, and your brain recognizes the danger signs to step away. But when you're online you can be as angry and as insulting as you like. Online debates simply don't exist.