On Philosophical Conversation And Debate

I struggle with understanding the utility of engaging people on philosophical topics. Sometimes it can be an enriching experince. Two minds engaging in mutual stimulation. Challenging and learning from each other. Other times it can be a huge waste. Cause unnecessary social conflict or trigger insecurities.

I have no confusion over writing articles and essays as a a good way to engage philosophically. I can write out their perceptive without interruption. I can get responses in long form. Having the time to flesh out my ideas, keeps me from misspeaking in the moment or strawmanning out of haste.

I used to just adore any debate all of the time. I’d bait friends and family into conversations. Part of this was a genuine love of ideas and a search for truth. I’m certain another part of it was out of a bit of sadism. Maybe need to feel smarter than the one I was engaging.

These days I’m a bit more careful. I’ve choosen to listen more. In fact there are some friends I refuse to enagage at all. Sometimes the chaos it can cause just isn’t worth it.

Simultaneously I find myself listening less. I’m more secure in my positions. More experienced and researched. Confident that with the right series of questions, I can get most people to reach similair conculsions to me.

Maybe there’s no objective rule to be found here. Debate can be good sometimes and bad other times. I’ve learned to be more nuanced in my evulation. Diccusion can be insanely valuable. It can also be insanely costly. As with all things, one must learn the right time and place.


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