Can you have a debate without resorting to bitter hatred?

@deejean06 (1953)
United States
February 27, 2009 3:08pm CST
This is the first time I have even ventured to share opinions on such sensitive topics such as politics and religion. I often speak with people and the instant a differing opinion is offered the immediate result is name calling and belittling. Why can't adults have a conversation where there are true differences in opinion without acting like children? I've also been in situations where there has been such bitter hatred for my opinion even though I have calmly listened to the speaker and then offered my side of the story, so to speak. Why must there be a personal attack? Have you ever shared your opinion and then been personally attacked? Do you ever have political or religious conversations with people of different beliefs than you? Do you have friendships with people who have different beliefs than you?
4 responses
• United States
4 Mar 09
Dee, I am going to say right off that I MARRIED someone who has different views, opinions, values, beliefs and morals than myself. SOME things we can agree on but others.......... all heck breaks loose. We can NEVER have differing opinions about things because it ALWAYS turns ugly with us spitting mean, evil, hateful and usually HURTFUL things to one another. For instance a disagreement we had just yesterday sparked a full out argument about US when the topic was really about a comment that was made, and we disagreed about whether it was meant to be an under cut or not. Things got really ugly really fast, and well... just read my latest discussion and you will see how it turns out. Now, according to BOTH of us, we can have discussions, disagreements and even debates with other people and have NO problems. The only time we have run into a problem was when we got together. So.... what does that tell you? Generally my friends and I have the same feelings, and when we don't we respect the other person enough not to force them into ours. Hope this helps
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
5 Mar 09
Hello Marie! I'm so sorry you can't have discussions without turning to spitfire and brimstone!? However I feel you're a better person than me. I don't think I could have made such a commitment to a person for the rest of my life when they have a different belief system. I do know a couple who have been married for at least 25 years and they are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. They just resolved never to have any discussions which highlight their differences. Thanks for the response!
@spalladino (17923)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Politics and religion have always been intense, emotional issues so, yes, I've been personally attacked for my beliefs/views/conclusions in both venues. I've never had this problem in my real life...only on the web. I guess that's because the people I've had these kinds of discussions with were as accepting of my views as I was of theirs.
1 person likes this
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
5 Mar 09
How odd that you would only have difficulties with people on the web - I guess they felt that the anonymity of the web precluded them from being respectful? That's just sad. Thanks for the response!
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
28 Feb 09
Whenever you are going to discuss sensitive subjects, you have to be careful not to offend the other person or persons in the discussion. You also should not be defensive. Be open minded and share without being pushy or judgemental or you will be judged and attacked. Of course, there will always be people who will attack simply because they feel that their way is the only right way. There is always at least one like that in every crowd. If that happens, you just ignore it and move on, as long as you have done nothing to cause it it is not your problem. I have friends in all walks of life, all creeds, all races, and all political persuasions. Most of us can discuss any and all topics. Some of us have to avoid certain topics and out of respect we do. Shalom~Adoniah
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
5 Mar 09
Shalom! Thanks for the response - I consider it very good advice. It does seem that there is always at least one in the crowd who will simply attack. However I do try to be as open minded as possible because that's the way I would want people to be with me!
• United States
27 Feb 09
I belive that you can have a debate with out acting like a child, unless there is a TV camera filming you. I have never been so embarased as when I watch a presidential debate. Two grown men acting like two year olds makes you want to call their mother and have them both sent to their rooms without dinner. I find myself in casual debates all of the time because of the classes I am taking and no one ever leaves with their feelings hurt or calling names. I will admit though, that I am not capable of entering a religous debate. I have a very strong faith and I am not good at seeing the other persons side when it comes to that. So I am respectful and just don't enter into one.
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
3 Mar 09
You sound like a very level headed person and a good person to debate with. I too try to see the other side of everything and put myself in their shoes before I make a comment, or worse, a judgement. It's great that you can have debates in your classes and not have hurt feelings. It's also good that you know what you can and cannot have a conversation about. Thanks for the response!