Fantastic topic once again coberst. You're a wonderful addition to these forums
Originally Posted by Daniel Terhorst
Disagreements are inevitable. It's how people handle them.
Originally Posted by coberst
Our options are reject, accept, and hold. I think that ‘hold’ is the most important and should be the most often used because everyone is ignorant of almost everything.
Originally Posted by cdn2wheeler
Better to shout at one another than to shoot at one another.
Well said all
I'm sure it's clear to everyone that we're emotional creatures. Even when we understand and have experienced the benefit that calm (but still passionate) debate can generate, we're still often led astray by our emotions.
I think that many people, young or old, are sometimes unaware of the feelings which guide their reactions. As an example of feelings which people may be unaware of, coberst, you pointed out an unhelpful attitude commonly attributed to young people. My initial reaction was to point out equally common attitudes attributed to older people.
Another issue is the reason people post, as Tayrak mentioned. Some people don't believe they have anything more to learn, but a lot to teach. Others want to learn, but don't like the way what they're trying to learn is presented. Others, like myself, often see a lack of consideration for alternate possibilities/explanations/perspectives (and in a broader sense a lack of critical thinking), and try to point this out. Sometimes not very diplomatically. Sometimes neutrally, but it may be perceived as an attack.
Another aspect of our development can influence our behaviour during a debate. As cdn mentioned, as we start to form solid models of the world, once those models are established they're pretty hard to shake. There are theories which attribute this to the security our belief in those models seems to provide. Therefore any disruption to those models may be seen as a threat to our security.
Michael Chui wrote a summary of his approach which I think would be relevant here, but I can't find the thread. If you're listening, Michael, have you got that link handy? Though as one of the best examples of how to conduct an intelligent debate, I'm sure even Michael reacts inappropriately sometimes.