I debate a lot.
Which can often be strange to me, well, in person more so than online, because I don’t deem myself a talkative person. And “talkative” is highly subjective, of course. “Talkative” is also not a prerequisite for debate prone personalities, it is just easier to be attacked for views, or attacking opinions when you’re actually talking, than not. I’ve seriously digressed here…
As stated, I find myself defending and attacking viewpoints and opinions with people, and sometimes dogs, in many of my travels. As of late, I’ve come to the understanding that most people rely on appeals to emotions, more than well reasoned, or well informed, logical statements. In fact, I’ve had people actually denounce logic as a western(European) construct. Which is very telling, since the quadrivium and trivium were both based on the disciplines found in the temple of Luxor. Logic being reasoned discourse among the hierophants. But, I understand the power of the emotion, and the need for many people to hold sway over the audience, even if it means neglecting sound thought.
This is not disparage my reactionary people in the least bit, however. I also realize that over analysis and lack of decisive actions are the bedrock of the formally trained. If I am in a precarious situation, I usually don’t call on people that need to be reasoned with. I tend to call on people I know I can get to act without asking questions first. This might place them in a box for most people, but trust me, if you have ever been shot at or locked up, you know that it helps to have people that only ask,”Where are you?”
Of course, reactionary types tend to make me not want to debate. Unfortunately, we all are pretty bond by our beliefs, which is cool. Cool meaning understandable. Yet, beliefs originate from the same place that our defense mechanism originate, which can be dangerous when attempting to elevate a person’s mind. It is like pulling teeth when I discuss religion because so many are personally tied to their beliefs. We have a tendency to incorporate our religious beliefs in a way similar to identification. When I say many people that practice Islam are being indoctrinated into Arab culture, I am called “uninformed”. I am yelled at. Once I was even threatened with death.
I’m not one of those shaman that just gives light, I tend to give life. I teach people how to see beyond the constructs of their worldview. I can’t lean on arguments of authority. There are none that be an authority over truth. I can’t lean on arguments that attack people, ad homenim statements. Everybody is not going to be able to fit the standards of wealth, popularity, or attractiveness. Just because a person has a lifestyle I deem savage, doesn’t mean they can’t provide a well reasoned thought. I can’t rely on statistics, even if I’m the primary source because even my sampling can be a limited view of the total group. Logic does have its faults. Formal debate has limits. Although I hate having to humble myself to charismatic debaters, I understand that people believe what they deem necessary. I am willing to calm myself for truth. Well, at least my well reasoned understanding of such.
I know what it feels like to have your worldview crumble on you mentally. We call it cognitive dissonance, but I don’t believe that that concept even explains the pain well enough.