Reverse skate - take on the opposite position than you really believe in and fight for it

To those that aren’t Americans that grew up in the 80’s, a reverse skate is a reference to roller skating rinks that normally go counter-clockwise but skaters are forced to reverse the order at designated intervals. It inevitably leads to confusion and low speed collisions which is why it is so entertaining.

This is the thread where liberals become conservatives and vice versa. No matter what ideals you have are reversed. However, it is not a satire thread in which you mock your opponents by using illogical arguments. You are in it to win if you choose to participate and you can’t treat it as a joke.

This is an experimental thread to see if the people here are capable of seeing both sides of any given issue.

I will go first. We need to pull all military assets and troops out of the Middle East immediately and not meddle in any of their affairs again. The U.S. simply cannot afford another set of foreign wars. The money involved would be much better spent domestically. Too many U.S. troops have been lost in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq and there is nothing left to gain with the current ISIS crisis. The entire region has to be left on its own including Israel. All drone strikes have to cease immediately because they are indiscriminate weapons of terror that border on war crimes of their own.

I’ll give it a try - parents have every right to not vaccinate their children, and there might be something to the idea that vaccines are actually harmful to children. It might be better for your children to either never encounter these diseases, or get the diseases and recover from them and have natural immunity.

ETA: Jesus Christ, this is difficult. :slight_smile:

You did a good job.

I have to agree that most immunizations are unnecessary because the chance of any child encountering the diseases targeted is still really low and the risk of the immunization itself is still unknown. There have been a few outbreaks of things like measles that only involved a few hundred people but I can find examples of almost anything in a country of 300 million people that affected more people than that.

Even stepping into a doctors office or a hospital for a vaccination is a huge risk on its own. That is where the really sick people are after all and a lot of them are contagious. The medical community loves to advertise how many people got sick or died from lack of immunization but they never advertise how many were saved by never exposing themselves to such an unhealthy environment in the first place. Hospital visits and medical mistakes kill literally tens of thousands of people a year.

Too easy for me. I used to have many beliefs that are opposite of my current ones; and I remember the arguments. They just didn’t go far enough.

I’ll take a run at it.

All this stuff about people being “transgender” or otherwise other than the sex you were designated as at birth is a big pile of hooey, unless perhaps you were born with ambiguous (intersex) parts.

Because you were designated as being of one sex or the other based on your phenotype, innie or outie, penis or vagina.

And there are two possibilities:

a) that all the socially associated personality and behavioral characteristics don’t actually have a damn thing to do with people’s plumbing, in which case you are still the gender that your kindergarten teacher considered you to be, it just doesn’t mean what the world treats it as meaning; or

b) that, statistically speaking, as a generalization, all the socially associated personality and behavioral characteristics DO correspond to the sexes and therefore are, generally speaking, part of sex difference; in which case you are just a statistical outlier, but you’re still a viable representative of the sex you were born as.
Hence, all sex reassignment surgery should be halted and people who go around claiming to be M2F or F2M should be laughed at as ridiculous and we should scrap the notion that sex and gender are different things.


Ooh, can I do another one?

Psychiatric services represent a humane social response to human suffering, and are one of modern medicine and modern science’s most important accomplishments.

There always have been and always will be people whose behaviors, mental processes, and emotional expressions make them problematic to the society of which they are a part. Lest that sound uncaring and callous, a good portion of what makes them problematic to the surrounding society is the extreme agonies and protracted suffering of the people themselves, which compels society to try to do something to help, to alleviate their misery. If anything, it would be MORE callous and uncaring to simply leave them to stew in their own distortions and pain.

Admittedly, society’s response has not always been pleasant, either for those on the receiving end or for those who have had cause to observe it. But there has been continued progress towards an increasingly humane approach, from Phillippe Pinel taking sufferers out of the chains that held them to the walls in the 1800s to the replacement of straitjackets with tranquilizing medication such as Thorazine in the 1950s to the gradual replacement of long term locked-ward incarceration with short-term intervention combined with outpatient commitment in the modern era.

Psychiatric medication is not perfect, and psychiatrists, like doctors in general, do tend to pretend to a certainty of knowledge beyond the state of the medical art that they practice, but millions of people would testify that before they were put on psychiatric meds they were so severely incapacitated that they were incapable of functioning outside a locked ward, lest they destroy their families and/or kill themselves; psych meds have made it possible for them to go home and to live in the community.

Critics of the psychiatric system are mostly selfish whiners, special snowflakes who magnify a few ways in which the system is less than perfect, and then try to use that as an excuse for condemning the entire field, usually because they have some personal axe to grind about how one institution or one psychiatric practitioner treated them once upon a time.

Very good contributions AHunter3. This thread hasn’t taken off the way that I originally wished but I hope everyone can see that you aren’t going to be crucified for arguing for a viewpoint contrary to their real one as long as you do it in good faith. Either it is too mentally uncomfortable or people just aren’t interested in looking at things from a completely different viewpoint even for a short time. Unfortunately, that matches real life as well. You can find plenty of satire but very few people willing to make a temporary intellectual leap to look at things from another way.

The contributors so far have done a really good job. Isn’t there anyone else willing to take a shot?

Political parties are the only thing that have kept this country together and vibrant! Without them who knows what sort of professional hacks we would get running for office.

This is a splendid thread. I’ll make a few posts:
Japan should not abolish Article 9 of its Constitution or adopt a more assertive military stance. Japan remains a nation that has not sufficiently accounted for its history of World War II aggression. It remains a nation that could return to its imperialistic ways if it does not be careful. Japan still owes China, Korea and others an official apology and trillions of yen in compensation. Japan’s very own Self Defense Forces are a violation of Article 9 and should be disbanded.

Progressive taxation rates - that is, taxing the wealthy at a higher percentage rate than others - are fair, because the wealthy can better afford such income deductions than the poor, due to having more disposable income. Moreover, progressive taxation is the only practical way of financing a government, since a 1% raise in income taxes on the wealthy generates far more tax revenue than a corresponding 1% increase on everyone else’s taxes. A flat tax sounds good but is impractical since either the wealthy would pay too little or the poor would pay too much.

Every conception has its own set of DNA and makes even a zygote a full human being deserving of full legal protection. Even babies conceived by rape are unique and must be brought to term.

My pet cause is illegal aliens or so they are called. First of all, there is no such thing as an ‘illegal alien’ unless they are a Martian arms smuggler. The term is derogatory and should never be used by any civilized human being.

I propose almost completely open borders for the U.S. at least. The U.S. was built on immigration and still is to a large degree. Mexican immigrants are at least as American as you are if they have been here for any length of time and should be granted open access to any resources and opportunities afforded to all Americans. The same thing applies to all ethnicities and prior nationalities. If you are an American, you don’t own the country. They have just as much right to be here as you do. There are Vietnamese ‘boat people’ that showed up on the East Coast in the 80’s and did quite well just like Cubans in Florida did. We even have thriving Somalian settlements in such unlikely places as Minnesota and Maine. That is no different than anything the first European settlers did (and they stole the land from the Native Americans).

The U.S. has an excess of land and other resources by world standards. Combine that with Canada and it is even more tremendous. Northern North America is bigger than China and India combined with just a fraction of the population. If we are a true humanitarians, we have to open up the vast amounts of unused land that we have in an affordable way so that immigration increases greatly. We can easily save the lives of tens of millions of people by putting productive land to work for farming through grants and investing in the education of the younger immigration population so that many of them become future scientists, engineers and doctors.

It’s an interesting intellectual exercise; I think you could find that your original position is actually strengthened by trying to come up with a valid argument from the other side, because after having done that and you remain in your original position, you know that it is something that you truly believe, and it can withstand examination.

I’ve always believed that if you want to actually make your argument to the folks who disagree with you (and not just debate them, as if it were a verbal wrestling match), you’ve got to demonstrate to them that you do understand their perspective, that you have bothered to listen to them.

So far it looks to me like just people parroting things they’ve seen other people say.

Of course, this is generally also true of threads in which people argue in favor of their own views. But still, I don’t see this as “seeing both sides of the issue”.

As a moderate, I guess I need to defend extremism. Okay.

If something is worth doing, you should do it as much as you can. If an idea is right, then you should pursue it as far as it takes you. There’s no reason to stop when you’ve just gone far enough to get by.

Answers are right or wrong and you can’t split the difference. Choose the answer that you think is right and do it. If you’re right, you’ll have solved the problem. And if by chance you’re wrong, you’ll have exposed your mistake and you can reverse your course and head in the right direction. But nothing was ever resolved by wavering in the middle.

This is just silly. While I can appreciate the idea that the rest of the world needs to grow up so that we do not have to be their policeman, the simple fact is that much of the world is not there yet. Sure, there are problems when we intervene directly, but the benefits of preventing local dominance of powers unfriendly to the US, and in fact to the rest of the free world, is worth it.

No only likes it when American soldiers die, and it is questionable if they are saving American lives over here, but they are preventing some truly terrible people from getting into power. How many genocides have happened in the last hundred years? How many of those could have been prevented with a far more aggressive American military. It would be great if a union of countries in the respective areas would do this on their own, but they are just too fractious and corrupt for the most part. By all appearances we would be in for a hell of a genocide, or at least religious purge (which would have the same body count) if ISIS is allowed to have free control over Iraq and the surrounding territory.

If ISIS is allowed to grow in power, they will be worse than a new Taliban. And we have already seen what is possible when there is a known section of the world that terrorists can train and prepare without concern for the local authorities. I imagine the major terrorist attacks in Western nations would go up dramatically. It is a lot harder for them to plan major attacks when they are fighting in their front yard.

As to drone strikes, while I have already said that it is a regrettable occurrence that Americans will die in these confrontations, there is no need to increase that number beyond what is absolutely necessary. We simply place a higher value on human life (that is not a judgement, just a strict value in currency terms) than our opponents, so we should use drones to buy a lower body count among our own soldiers. It is just like arming them with better weapons and giving them better armor, only far more effective since they can be on the other side of the world from the conflict.

Not necessarily. It is very difficult to come up with any truly new ideas of your your position let alone for your opposition but it can be done.

I brought up the idea that the risk of exposing yourself to any medical setting is a bigger risk than getting any vaccination. I didn’t get that from anyone and I am not sure that isn’t true if your are just talking about an individual which is the only thing that most people are concerned about. Seeking any type of medical treatment is one of the deadliest things you can do statistically speaking. Hospitals and doctors offices are carriers of disease by necessity and many of them are deadly. If you want to catch something really bad while running up an unpayable bill, the emergency room is the place for you.

Did you ever notice that farm children hardly ever get allergies or other chronic diseases that seem to plague our current supposedly healthy urban populations? I know you have. It is because the immune system of the urban population is weak because the haven’t been exposed to enough micro-aggressors. People are not meant to live in semi-sterile environments so all attempts at hygiene are basically writing the death warrant to small children and babies in our current environment.

Smart adults only take medical care in the case of clear-cut emergencies like broken bones. We don’t allow our children to be exposed to a disease ridden environment in the first place.

I don’t think the idea for this thread is to break totally new ground and make new arguments for an opposing point of view; the idea is to try to embrace and fight for a position that is completely opposite of the one you actually hold strongly.

I’ll try another one; there are definite advantages for women in a male-dominated society. If women are not allowed their basic human rights and are looked at as something that must be taken care of by men, that puts them in a position where they don’t have to make any decisions, and don’t have to take any responsibility. They are under no obligation to make any effort to look after themselves, because the menfolk must take care of them properly.

That’s true, but doesn’t change the point. Bottom line is that parroting a few lines that you’ve seen other people say many times does not amount to “seeing both sides of the issue”.

I suppose if lengthy debates broke out, with people forced to consider the arguments their putative opponents were making and think to themselves “how would the other side respond to this?”, that might count. But simply tossing out a few well-worn lines doesn’t count, and this is all I’ve seen so far.