What motivates you to start and/or post in controversial threads?

I’m curious what motivates people to start and/or post in various controversial threads. Threads such as gun control, religious beliefs, partisan political beliefs, etc. Most people, I believe, especially those well into adulthood, are pretty entrenched in their beliefs. As such it is very difficult to change people’s opinions. So why do you start/post in such threads?

  • Are you attempting to change other posters opinions?
  • Can you just not let your opinion of ignorance go unchecked, so you want to get your own opinions in the thread for the record of others that may just be reading the threads?
  • Do you just love a good argument, so it is for your own entertainment, and you enjoy the battle of words and putting others in their place?
  • Are you practicing with the teeming millions for that conversation you know you’re going to have with Uncle Charlie, right before Thanksgiving dinner this year?
  • Something else?

For me it’s probably some combination of a few of those reasons. At the end of the day, I believe everyone is entitled to their own views and am glad that Americans live in a society where having deep seated convictions on either side of an argument is okay and that we are free to express those opinions. I have friends that live in other parts of the world, where such freedom of expression does not exist and can get you in a lot of trouble if you attempt to exercise it.


1.) I like to argue.
2.) When I know I have a solid point, I like seeing the mental gymnastics the other side will go through to refute it.
3.) It’s good exercise for the brain.
4.) If I can change even just ONE mind…

Because I am the smartest person I know. You could all learn a thing or two from me.:wink:
Of course this is IMHO only.


Whether or not I participate also depends on whether or not I like the message board, and the sensitivity of the moderators. Some mods are trigger happy, and I don’t want to get kicked off a board I like, so I’ll usually avoid those controversial threads. On the other hand, if I know the mods to be loose, or if it’s a board I care less about, it’s worth the risk of things going south, and my gloves come off. Varies.

I’m new here, so I’m playing nice while I figure out where the line is. :p;):smiley:

Go start a thread about declawing cats. Then you’ll see :slight_smile:

As a cat lover, and daddy of four myself, I’d better not. :eek:

Also this. ALSO also rage.

It’s out of a sense of duty.

I strongly believe that if one must link to an XKCD comic it is only proper to link to the actual XKCD site. Thusly.

I consider it an example of …, um, …, er … Duty Calls.

Yeah, we’re just wired up this way.

I like discussing politics and religion, and I don’t get the opportunity very often in real life.

If the topic is serious and no-one has covered the point(s) I want to raise, I will post, usually only once or twice per thread, to make my point(s) for the record. Just to get them out there, so that incorrectness doesn’t win over readers by default (yes, I am generally correct, why do you ask?).

However, usually by the time I spot a thread all the points on all sides have already been made, so I don’t bother. Also it can be too tedious to read through the whole thread to find out what’s been said, so again I don’t bother.

Ooh. A big Cat daddy. Nice to meet you.

Sometimes I like to examine my own beliefs to see if they can be defended. I would have difficulty challenging myself so it’s better to seek somebody who holds beliefs different than my own to engage with.

Other times I am still in the process of forming beliefs. I find a good way to develop an idea is to engage in a debate on the various aspects of it.

The OP forgot one reason: some people just like being contrarian trolls. Pot-stirrers. I know a few Dopers (one in particular) who immediately spring to mind. GD and the Pit are the only forums in which they ever post, and controversial threads seem to be the only threads in which they ever participate.

I don’t do it very much here, and I do it even more infrequently on another board that I follow.

But on that other board–the ignorance, it burns! Did you know that Canada is socialist, bordering on communist? That we in Canada have no free speech, and can be tossed in jail, at the whim of a police officer without due process, for simply saying “I hate Muslims” to the guy on the next barstool? That we wait nine months to see a doctor, assuming that the government has assigned us a doctor? That the government can confiscate our guns at any time, for any reason?

None of which are true, of course, and as a Doper, I try to dispel their ignorance. Although I refrain from commenting, until things get too far, there is a point at which I will comment. And I do. It is an uphill battle, but I am hopeful some reasonable people see my remarks, and consider them as reasonable people should.

I’m fighting ignorance. As a Doper, I have to, and so I comment. It really is taking longer than we thought, but I am doing my best.

LOL, we’re like a cult. We drink the cat Koolaid but outsiders think we’re weird.:slight_smile:

Well most posters on here are pretty liberal and if it wasnt for the few conservatives like me posting… well it would just be them trying to out-liberal each other.

But there are some issues I do feel strongly about and I feel its important to give my input.
Finally I learn alot from listening to a diverse crowd.

Trying to learn what I can. There are things I am not really for but not really against either. Most of my firearms (including my cannons) load from the front (muzzle-loaders/flintlocks) so they really aren’t even legally considered “guns”. Ban AR15s this afternoon and it will have no effect on my life. I dip snuff and have the odd cigar now and then so outlaw cigarettes and I couldn’t care less. But the Libertarian in me says I should care – a lot. So I jump into some of those threads now and then seeing if I can add to my base understanding.

None of which is true. They have the same laws in Canada as they have in the rest of the United States.

Honestly, I can’t believe how ignorant some people are.