Does anyone ever admit their position is wrong in Great Debates?

In this thread, I was going to post the following:


my response was to be:

I decided instead to bring it all to the Pit.

This is was in regards to his stance on the current situation in Wisconsin, where the outgoing legislature has passed a few laws undermining the power of some of those just elected. He is fine with this. Despite many arguments to the contrary that make good sense (well, to me anyway) he hasn’t changed his opinion.

All of which prompted me to post the OP question.

Well, do they? More specifically, does anyone have any example of a doper changing an opinion that they have been arguing for over the course of many posts and lengthy discussions, as opposed to someone who almost immediately recognizes they were wrong?

To save anyone the trouble who might be tempted to go find an example of this happening, let me save you that trouble.

No. :rolleyes::mad::smack::frowning:

It happens, when people post good faith debates. My very first post here was about climate change (it was a very long time ago and I was a lot younger then, ok?) and the thread changed my mind.

But that’s not what most people here are doing.

I did once, in a death penalty thread. Looong ago.

Even if they don’t, it’s still worth making well-reasoned logical arguments because all the lurkers silently reading along, who haven’t yet nailed their colours to the mast, will be influenced by them.

I don’t know why we cling to our established positions when shown valid contrary evidence, but we do. I’m sure through years of reading debates on here that it’s at least planted seeds in my mind and that over time has made a change, but I can’t think of an instance where I’ve immediately changed my mind about something from a series of posts.

it was some years ago, so I’ll probably botch this; here goes anyway.

Longtime poster Liberal was debating dear, late member Polycarp on religion. The subject related to proof of God’s existence. Poly posted a view that even this atheist found moving. The gist was, even if he had incontrovertible proof, he wouldn’t share it; faith beyond knowing was such a gift to him that he would never deprive someone else of that discovery.

Liberal was so moved, he reposted that response in either IMHO or MPSIMS. i’d consider that something of a change in perspective.

(Any corrections to this story are more than welcome.)

I only admit I’m wrong in the BBQ Pit, so I can whine about it first!

Seriously, though, I think many people are on too much of a personal “mission” to want to change their own minds.

I’ve seen people make shifts in their viewpoints many times. Some people are more amenable to being open to change than others.

As they say, if you think no one is open-minded, it might be you who is not.

I don’t recall who it was, but someone on this board has said that they have changed their position based on reading here.
I like to believe that some people will be swayed by facts. Eventually. Maybe.

One reason I read this board is because I don’t know jack shit about lots of topics. Sometimes I learn that a subject even exists on here. I hadn’t thought much about pre-Neolithic cultural relics before reading about it on the dope…

Anyway, I am sure I have admitted to being wrong, and have also tempered my positions, but now I regret that.

I agree. I’ve seen shifts, and I’ve even see people acknowledge errors. There are certainly obdurate posters in many threads, but I don’t think they are the rule. I’ll grant that they may dominate the conversation though.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone change their stance mid thread, but I have seen people use arguments for their stance and seen those arguments get destroyed in cross. Perhaps not a change of heart right there, but they’re less likely to use those arguments on SD again and perhaps at their company water cooler in the future. I’d call that growth.

If no one ever changed their mind here, exchanging different points of view is healthy. And even if it wasn´t, seriously, its not my job to help you tools.

Variations on this come up over and over again - e.g. just a few days ago in the anti-vax thread - what’s the point responding to anti-vax idiots, they are not interested in facts or evidence?

It’s primarily about laying out the facts and arguments clearly for other people reading the thread, people who may be unfamiliar with the issue and much more open-minded.

Yeah, the people who are changing their minds in the course of debate threads are generally not the ones posting in them.

I have no problem doing so, typically I am more frustrated by someone refusing to give reliable citations than them not accepting my view point. I honestly don’t consider myself omniscient and thus value learning where I am mistaken more than winning debates.

Unfortunately for me it seems some people do not share this view. I (gasp) even try to make corrections if I find I am in error and someone else hasn’t already provided a correction.

It doesn’t matter how much we know about any one subject, we are still mostly ignorant. There is no shame in being ignorant unless one is willfully so IMHO.

I’m pretty sure Bricker changed his stance on same-sex marriage, but I’m not sure whether it was mid-thread.

I have vague recollections of myself admitting error and changing my stance, but it may have been in Cecil’s columns or GQ, I suppose.

I haven’t really participated in gun control threads but I’ve learned tons and definitely changed my stance somewhat. You won’t find evidence in the threads, though, since I don’t post when I know I don’t have a clue.

Minor points are often seen conceded, major points sometimes. I went though a major conversion from hard right right to what I would consider center left (that’s how I would describe it at the various times of my life, though to a hard right person I would often be considered hard left), with that many points I admitted my evil ways and my changed views. Not always in the thread that was started, but noted them (not by link, but by mentioning there was a past thread) in other threads.

I’m sorry, but ketchup on a Hot Dog is wrong, has always been wrong, and will always be wrong. I will never vary on this stance.

Cite: Clint Eastwood

Well, I have certainly admitted I’m wrong in GD, FWIW. I’ve also changed my stance on some things, sometimes 180 degrees differently in fact. Mainly only 90 degrees though…

I’m not sure how often I admit I’m wrong but the thought that is possible has at least crossed my mind. I get the most value out of analytically written viewpoints that contradict my own view point the strongest.