So, let’s say you just spent 45 minutes going toe-to-toe with someone of an opposing viewpoint in the comment section, of any one of your favorite social media sites. And, let’s say that heated exchange–as is the case more often than not–was centered around some typical topic of disagreement like gun reform, abortion, religion, politics, racism, sexism, or whether or not what something some celebrity did was morally right or wrong.
After all the tedious pounding of the keys, the viciously venomous naming-calling, the visceral displays of multiple parties lacking empathy for one another, the raging, bias, and evidence-lacking rattling off of opinions, the induce churning stomach and racing pulse, and the childish blocking of accounts, let me ask, what was/is the point of continuing to debate on and on with each other in the comment section of these social sites?
And, people these days will debate about literally anything. If you want to lose faith in humanity, just literally venture to any comment section of virtually any website. And, you’ll find people bickering back and forth about whatever. I have no doubt in my mind that it is the intention for us to keep on debating about these types of things in order to keep us divided and disorganized.
Like, how has debating people enriched your lives or the lives of others?
Do you get some type of prize, other than some shallow sense of achievement for quote-on-quote “destroying” or “owning” someone?
What value did you add to the world and in what really meaningful and significant way?
Upon debating with someone, did you go into it with the intention of helping others get better, with a thorough thoughtful exchange of ideas, or was your intent to show off your debating skills to or to publicly humiliate someone?
Have you ever walked away from one of these extremely winded online debates thinking, “Wow, I actually gained some additional unique insight from this person I didn’t have going into it that I can use to make a significant impact in the world with!” Do you think others walked away thinking that, or did they leave away with the same un-evolved perspective of the world they came into the discussion with?
I’ve always been the opinion, I don’t believe in debates. They’re ineffective because, at the end of the day, we really don’t consider what their purpose is. I mean, they’re entertaining for sure, and, if we already have a belief we’re looking for someone to just confirm or validate, we’ve already picked a viewpoint in the debate and have closed our minds to any kind of new insight.
And plus, someone could “win” a debate just because they were better and presenting their viewpoints, not because their viewpoints were morally right. That just means they are a better presenter, not that they aren’t ignorant.
I believe in having respectful discussions, and I only believe in having discussions, centered around with those aforementioned topics, with those who have my best interests, as a human being, in mind. And of course, vice versa.
I don’t want to listen to a debate so that I can be presented with some type of “superior, all-knowing” concept for me to follow along with. If I choose to witness or to be a part of a debate, it’s only because I’m looking for information to help me better think for myself and to come to my own conclusions.
Any debate I engage in is either to present information I believe my opponent doesn’t have, because I want them to them to grow as a person or to teach the spectators how to debunk wicked or inadequately informed stances, not because I think I’m better than them but because I feel it’s our job as human beings to help each other get better.
We have to start seeking discussions from those who have our best interests in mind, as long as it doesn’t violate our inherent rights as human beings, but who have differentiating viewpoints. And, if someone has differentiating viewpoints and can respectfully articulate them to you, stop blocking them or deleting them from your social media account because you can’t handle the truth or because you don’t want to evolve your way of thinking. That’s childlike and pitiful.
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