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comment by oyster

The short version: Being dismissive means you give up opportunities to learn something that might benefit you personally or might benefit your ability to influence the other side. Sometimes I'll just throw out an experience of mine and close it with an actual point and sometimes I'll just leave it open as something to just be thoughtfully considered. I do feel like I've affected peoples opinions that way so I do think this article has merit for that reason.

Remember our last conversation ? I may not have articulated my point as clearly as I could but my basic point then was maybe both sides have a point, or maybe there's more behind what somebody else is saying. People have arguments all the time where two people don't even disagree, they just think they do because they dismiss it before they really get to understand each other. The author likely wasn't saying that all licensing exams are silly but some definitely are. Dismissing that argument means we loose an opportunity to learn about just how silly these tests can get. I think very few people in the history of debating have put forth an argument that was 100% correct or 100% wrong.

I have a lot of fairly conservative friends which just comes from where I grew up. I've argued with plenty of them as if they were completely wrong and my side was right and it doesn't work. It just devolves into insults and stupid memes. I used to argue with this one girl about abortion mostly because I knew she was only being all pro-life on the internet to make this girl who had an abortion feel like shit so fuuuuuck her. No amount of smart things I said mattered until I appealed to her worldview and then twisted it to make her see how my side actually supported her worldview. I wasn't asking her to reevaluate her worldview, just her projection of it which is a hell of a lot easier. A lot of people give the Clinton's shit for saying abortion should be safe, legal and rare because it's the opinion of the middle ground. It's a compromise but it feels like a knife in the back to the women who feel like saying it should be rare still makes it sound shameful. Thing is though, the people who subscribe to that kind of feminism are wasting good opportunities to bring people to their side even if it takes baby steps. There is almost always a solution that neither side is fighting for but both would come to if we just hear out each side and ask questions. I mean consider Gabe, the first two times he had to leave work would have been counted as me leaving early because I was sick, not used as strikes against me. Could he have found another way that didn't mean he had to leave work ? Possibly but maybe he wasn't that nervous because he didn't realize his employers were total asshats. Or maybe he never called in on those days and is withholding that little tidbit of information. If we assume he is being truthful it is possible to hold both opinions that he should have called a cab BUT he shouldn't have been fired since the two times he left sick shouldn't have counted against him so this would just be his first strike.

Going back to abortion because it's the easier example of emotional connection and a lot of people will have some personal experience that dictates how they feel about it. It pays to understand why the person who was a 100% unplanned pregnancy has some internal conflict with pro-choice even if they feel bad about it. We could dismiss this person but we could also think ya that's fair on account of them having to evaluate their entire freaking existence. The "do what you want, it doesn't hurt me at all" line of thought is probably harder to swallow when you have to think if you would be alive had things been different when you were conceived.

I have another friend that probably would have voted for Trump had he been American, I doubt he would now. We've had respectful conversations where neither of us felt shut down which gave us the opportunity to actually understand the other person and understand how to actually craft our sides to appeal to them. I was never dismissive of him and that's why we could have positive conversations.

You could rip your hair out trying to craft the perfect argument for you point but if it doesn't appeal to something in the other person you aren't going to get them to your side.

Could this article have gone into more detail about certain topics ? Sure, but would that really have stopped somebody from finding a hole to poke ? I've read too many comment sections to believe that, people will always find something to rip apart an argument no matter how carefully crafted it is. Look at the shit flat earthers come up with. I have a theory this only really comes about due to an intense mistrust of authority which is the real problem we should be addressing if we want to argue with them but I haven't tested it much. Dismissing them kind of ruins the opportunity to sit down, have a beer/coffee and get to understand how they came to hold this opinion.

So the gist of it is, we're missing out by being dismissive. I know I've done it plenty of times, and will probably catch myself doing it in the future no matter how hard I try and avoid it.