What are you capable of being persuaded about?

Patterico claims that the two most important factors in making a 9122lalala-i-can-t-hear-you-posterspursuasive argument are 1) personal credibility and 2) an audience capable of being pursuaded.  I’m not sure I agree that those are the two most important factors, but I am interested in an off-shoot of the second factor. What things are you capable of being pusuaded about? Lowell’s and my recent conversations with Francois on this blog made me wonder. In short, Francois does not believe that he can reason with me to get me to change my mind that liberal-anarchism is the best way to run a society (I’m paraphrasing). I sincerely believe that if he could show me the error of my ways then I would change my mind. I’ve changed my mind in the past. I used to be a pacifist who believed the that  death penalty should be abolished! I voted for Jimmy Carter (to my eternal shame).  As those who know me will attest, I am very opinionated, but I am also willing to listen to reason. REAL reason, and facts, not bullshit. Facts, not lies. Sure, I have many areas of life that I am fairly well set in my ways, but there are many things that I am not convinced about. There are plenty of things that I do not have enough information about in order to make an informed decision.  

For instance, I’m open to extra-terrestial life; to numerous alternative life forms that once existed or that still exist that have not been discovered yet here on earth (trolls, leprechauns, fairys, dragons dinosaurs (alive–duh), and the like.  I’m open to the fact that people can “mind travel” (I had a good buddy who swore that he did).  I’m open to real arguments and facts that man made global warming is occurring. I’m open to re-examining my belief about the death penalty. I can be persuaded on many new issues that arise that I have never dealt with or studied before. Sure, I have a conservative point of view or template with which I view the world, but I am not a slave to the template. I am a natural contrarian–I don’t like to agree with conservatives, I’d rather disagree with them whenever the facts or logic persuade me to the contrary. I don’t want to agree with Rush Limbaugh so much–I seek out areas with which to disagree with him (unfortunately the fat bastard seems to read my mind on most issues).  

I get the impression that most bloggers are so closed-minded that they cannot be convinced that they are wrong.  I welcome a good debate. Perhaps you won’t convince me, but I guarantee you that I will listen and consider your arguments. Unfortunately, most liberals don’t seem to actually set forth arguments using logic. And most seem to take great delight in making up facts.  Without facts and logic, all debates devolve into A) My position is correct in my opinion; and B) You are a stupid SOB for not sharing my opinion.  You can’t change an opinion, just like you can’t change someone’s personal taste in food or drink, without understanding the thought process that went into coming to that opinion. If their opinion is merely adopted (my parents were Republicans, so I’m a Republican; or I read it on the dailykos or RockDem), then you are wasting your time trying to convince them otherwise. If, however, the person actually lets you know why they believe what they believe, you might be able to pursuade them that their logic is flawed, or that their opinion is based upon an incorrect understanding of the facts, or that the facts are incorrect, etc. 

But most people seem too insecure to open up and say why they believe what they believe. Most seem afraid that they will look dumb, or they are afraid maybe some argument will change their minds. Most seem not really interested in thinking about an issue, or re-thinking about an issue. Hey, it’s ok to change your mind.

Many liberals read this blog, see that I am an opinionated conservative, and probably conclude that they would be wasting their time to comment here. Not true. I welcome debate. Also, this is a theory, but I think many liberals are afraid to even be seen frequenting a site that takes controversial stances (like supporting Rush Limbaugh, calling blacks racists for voting for Obama over Hillary, saying fuck, etc.).  Come on, don’t be such little wusses. You won’t be polluted by adding your two cents here or anywhere like this.

In short, grow a pair of balls. Open your minds to new ideas. Engage. And I’ll do the same.

5 responses to “What are you capable of being persuaded about?

  1. Your comment on the Healing Wall site proves that you have no respect for any perspective other than your own. And that you bundle everyone into either “us” or “them.” As a result, you cannot be persuasive to those who might disagree with you. You have NO personal credibility which I is the first criteria you mention.

  2. WTF are you talking about? I don’t recall making a comment on the Healing Wall site. Get your facts straight before you accuse me of something.

  3. hey John, here is something that will make “their” heads spin http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=56460103173&h=Al19b&u=SNEzT&ref=mf right off their shoulders…

  4. Frankieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, where you been?

  5. trying to find a full-time job that actually pays me for the work I do….

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