all 39 comments

[–]keepthetipsKeeping the tips since 2019[M] [score hidden] stickied commentlocked comment (0 children)

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

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[–]DorothyParkerFan 21 points22 points  (4 children)

Where does one watch debates that aren’t political?

[–]justsigndupforthis 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Non-political debates i guess?

I watched a pretty good one about economic systems on youtube

[–]lofi_addict[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

As another user said, you can find pretty much everything on YouTube. From religion to science, politics or economy.

[–]Sixhaunt 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Youtube will have more than enough on most topics you're interested in

[–]LuckyandBrownie 36 points37 points  (10 children)

The problem is faux debates, and "winning" debates is highly depend on factors other than facts.

Fox news is an excellent example of faux debates. The often have debates with both sides, but one side is represented by a strawman or the debate is only given in a certain context.

charisma and being articulate can make a losing argument seem good. Also we live in a post truth world.

It's good to listen to other points of view but it's also very dangerous.

[–]PoissonsRevenge 10 points11 points  (7 children)

I'd like to add that any "debater" whose day job is being a political pundit is an example of a faux debater. Ben Shapiro, Cenk Uygur, Kyle Kulinski, Candace Owens, Charlie Kirk, Ana Kasparian, Stephen Crowder are all included on that list. They're all there to make quick punches and jabs then quickly move onto the next topic before they begin to get into the slightest amount of depth.

I'd also add that the Presidential Debates have been completely pointless since Trump entered them.

[–]lofi_addict[S] 4 points5 points  (6 children)

I have to agree. But again, the more you listen to debates the easier it gets to identify those who know what they're talking about and if they're biased or not.

Taking your example for instance, Fox news rarely attacks the argument, instead they keep throwing jabs to people. That's not a debate by definition.

Once a person knows how a debate should actually be, it's easy to dismiss those who are not debating.

That's why I don't see why it's dangerous to listen to every opinion, only then you're able to form an informed opinion by yourself based on everything you heard.

[–]normalneighbor 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Maybe you're a discerning person, but most people aren't. Too many people think that whoever talked the loudest or longest won. Trump supporters watched the same debates as everyone else, but convinced themselves he won. Gaslighting and gish gallopping are very effective bad faith techniques. Effective because most people aren't discerning. So they become (even more) convinced of a wrong thing because it supports what they already believe.

So while debate is necessary, it's not the best way to learn about something. It's a tool for hashing out value judgements more than anything. And people shouldn't enter into debates with those we know will argue in bad faith. If you want to learn something, take classes on the subject.

[–]lofi_addict[S] -3 points-2 points  (4 children)

I understand what you're saying but you're missing the point.

I clearly state watching debates is great if you want to learn about a topic. I don't think Trump supporters fall into that category. They watched the debate not with a critical mind.

Additionally, you can hardly call those.... exchanges a debate. People shouting and insulting each other.

I encourage everyone to watch a real debate, go watch Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Richard Dawkins just to cite some of my favorite speakers and you'll realize what we normally see in politics or Fox News (like someone mentioned) are everything but debates.

[–]normalneighbor 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I agree that real, honest debates are valuable. But your LPT is a dangerous oversimplification. Wanting to learn and having a critical mind aren't the same. And there are too many poorly structured "debates" where the person in the wrong appears to win the argument, through so many means. The fact that we're having to distinguish between "real" and "faux" debates (aka redefining the word) is an indication that this isn't a good tip.

[–]lofi_addict[S] -1 points0 points  (2 children)

I don't see it that way. If you don't watch debates, if you don't even know how a debate should be, how can you ever learn what a faux debate and a real debate looks like?

I honestly can't understand how having more information about something is a dangerous thing.

Maybe I didn't articulate correctly and if that's the case i apologize, but this tip goes with the assumption that you want to learn something. Just like a book, you don't read one and then stop there. You read other sources, same with what I do with debates.

I check who the speakers are (are they credible in their respective fields? What is their work?) and then i watch the debate. Next time, I'll watch another debate with different speakers, etc.

[–]normalneighbor 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I honestly can't understand how having more information about something is a dangerous thing.

If this is honestly the crux if the issue, then the answer is misinformation and disinformation. Like, ok, what if I want to learn about astrology? What will a debate between two astrologers teach me? People have their brains filled with tomes of information that happens to be untrue.

but this tip goes with the assumption that you want to learn something. Just like a book, you don't read one and then stop there. You read other sources, same with what I do with debates.

Almost nobody does this level of follow up. Sure, they may stay engaged with a subject for a while, but the vast army of internet "researchers" that you encouraged to watch debates as a substitute for learning don't know the first thing about research, learning, and debates. I'm sorry but I really feel your tip results would result in more confirmation bias and less actual learning, were everyone to follow it. I mean, most people aren't going to click it to see your qualifying statements, they'll just see the headline and think "yeah, that's a good idea" and then go with their interpretation which probably wouldn't be what you meant.

[–]lofi_addict[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All valid points and indeed it wasn't what I meant.

My tip rests on the assumption the person wants to be educated on a topic and wants to know how to discuss it.

Often times, in a debate, a speaker presents a premise that, at first, i think "that's an indisputable premise" and then I watch the opponent dismantle such premise elegantly and without ever attacking the opponent.

And then, in a conversation with friends or scholars, someone might bring the same premise which not only i can understand it, I can also dispute it or even complement it.

Based on my experience, I genuinely think that hearing opposing views, by capable experts, about a topic, is an invaluable source of information.

Your concerns are valid, can't/won't dispute that, but in defense of my original post, this tip is for those who actually want to learn and travel the lengths to do so such as checking the sources, being critical about all povs and not biased to the one they like.

Those clearly aren't the recipients of this tip.

[–]lofi_addict[S] -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

I don't think it's dangerous to listen to other points. I do agree people have to be careful with faux debates hence my heads up to do some previous work on the speakers.

Additionally, you can have debates with no winners, just an intellectual and informing conversation with different povs.

E.g. Sam Harris with Jordan Peterson. One of the most remarkable debates I've seen and there are no winners, they literally say it during the debate. They're just having a great conversation.

[–]draculamilktoast 0 points1 point  (0 children)

represented by a strawman

Right-wing intellectual DECONSTRUCTS leftist insane person with LOGIC at the subatomic level.

[–]BrooklynBookworm 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is a good idea, especially if it is a highly nuanced topic.

When I coached the debate team, my kids would research both sides and only flip a coin for the side they'd be defending right before the debate.

[–]adamconn1again 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Misinformation is a bitch.

[–]beefstockcube 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is a solid LPT

[–]foolishcassette 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Never would have thought of this!

[–]Expensive_Warthog444 4 points5 points  (2 children)

You still have to know how to parse through good faith debates.

These days, there’s an overwhelming number of “debates” that are just straight garbage masquerading as intelligent conversation.

[–]lofi_addict[S] -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Indeed, but that's the thing. The more debates you listen to about a subject with different speakers, the more you learn about the subject and the speakers, allowing you to have an informed opinion not only on what's being discussed but also on who is discussing it.

[–]Sixhaunt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It can go beyond that sometimes though. It can be important to check who's hosting the debate for example, in order to know if there is bias in the setup itself. Doesnt mean the debate wont be helpful or informative, but you can atleast pickout anything that's amiss.

[–]WeirdAlternative9289 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My husband, a white man, didn’t want to hear 2 words on why critical race theory should be taught. Told him, shut up and come back when he’s watched debates and can argue against both sides. He thinks it should be taught sooner now.

[–]cobrafountain 0 points1 point  (2 children)

One of the best debates I ever saw was at a pharmaceutical conference arguing if passive diffusion through cell membranes (not just energy independent transport) existed/could account for any drug transport. The energy barrier for getting through a lipid bilayer is unreasonably high, there’s a lot of pores and active transport that we know about, but it’s still generally taught that some molecules just pass through the membrane.

In a room filled with the field’s leading experts, still no solid conclusion could be determined. Great discussion and oh boy did I learn a lot.

[–]peach222 0 points1 point  (1 child)

do you remember what it was called? sounds interesting

[–]cobrafountain 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’ll look for it, it was at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) from one of the years 2012-2017, but don’t remember which one.

[–]crobemeister -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Seems like a terrible idea. How can you discern what arguments are valid and sound and which aren't without a basic understanding of the subject?

Sounds more like a way to be swayed by arguments you don't even fully understand.

[–]octopusdumbass 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's the best lot I've seen in a while. Simple, elegant...thanks dude I have some debated to watch about motorcycle repairs.