Lada 馃彙 Prkic

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Without Disagreement, There Is No Genuine Engagement?

Without Disagreement, There Is No Genuine Engagement?

Writing on social media, one should be prepared for disagreeing with their expressed views and ideas. Some people simply cannot tolerate disagreement.

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After publishing聽my latest article, How Much Time Is Left for Homo Sapiens?,聽in which I wrote about the so-called Doomsday argument, the term argument came to my mind as a topic due to its different meanings. Having discussions on the article on several social media, and seeing how people give voice to disagreement, also gave me an idea for this article.

Etymology suggests that the term argument itself originated in聽Latin from聽the word argumentum,聽which means proof, evidence, reason.

One definition of argument implies dispute or quarrel, a verbal fight, arises from a disagreement between two or more persons holding differing views where each side defends his or her point of view against others. Mostly is seen on topics concerning national politics and religion.

I do not see an argument as a dispute or quarrel. Quite the opposite, it is the opportunity for healthy and constructive conversation, exchanging ideas, and sharing views with reasonable people.

Making an argument actually means to take a position on a particular issue providing statements, reasons to justify or refute that position. You should always expect disagreement with your point of view, regardless of how clearly and consistently reasoned. Even when statements are true and proven, people will find reasons to disagree with your argument.

However, in evaluating another person鈥檚 argument, human reasoning is biased. We do not see our own mistakes in reasoning but being vigilant in finding errors聽in聽the reasoning of others,聽especially if we disagree with them. We are all guilty of it! I found myself many times in the trap of my own biases, despite my critical thinking ability.

Being biased is in human nature. Understanding the importance of being open to different perspectives and willing to discuss topics that may contradict our beliefs and values make us less biased.

Disagreement is inevitable. We are all different because of different backgrounds, levels of knowledge, and experiences that shape our biased perceptions and affect the development of our belief system.

Diversity in ideas and views is beautiful, but handling diversity requires dialogue. People who have trouble separating their opinions from their identity are not able to have a conversation that respects diversity.

While reading comments on social media, I wonder again and again why so many people cannot civilly discuss disagreement, explain their view, and ask questions to understand the other person鈥檚 perspective. Many avoid further engagement with those who 鈥渄are鈥 to disagree with their point of view.

Discussing disagreement is not only about changing each other positions on a particular issue. It is about understanding each other鈥檚 views, agreeing to disagree, and possibly learning from diversity.

When someone wrongly believes that Earth is flat, I still want to know how he or she came to that conclusion and what arguments support such beliefs. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even wrong and misguided one. It is up to us to decide is something worth disagreement.

Wouldn鈥檛 it be great if we could give voice to disagreement without the risk of ruining relationships?

Because of the toxicity of social media in general, I refrained from making any comments on posts with weak arguments and assertions without adequate reasons due to the possibility of being involved in the discourse after expressing a different point of view. Although my comments were always responsive and not reactive, I experienced a few times that even a polite disagreement can ruin fragile online friendships.

Despite my negative experience, I still believe that without asking questions, discussing thoughts and ideas with goodwill, and respectful disagreement, there is no genuine engagement, neither on social media nor in real life. A big lesson in life is learning to deal with situations and views with which we disagree.

While writing this article, one of the maxims by Balthasar Graci谩n came to my mind. Although published in the 17th century, his pithy statements are still relevant.

The prudent avoid being contradicted as much as contradicting: though they have their censure ready, they are not ready to publish it. [鈥 The wise man, therefore, retires into silence, and if he allows himself to come out of it, he does so in the shade and before few and fit persons.

Would you rather be the wise man Graci谩n wrote about, who retires into silence and, like Socrates, interact only with few and fit persons, or would you give voice to disagreement?

Silence is not always golden.


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Comments
Michael Andersen

Michael Andersen

8 months ago #45

disagreement is the key that gives you the motivation to overcome.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

9 months ago #44

#43
Yes Paul, it would, but not easy to achieve on social media.

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

9 months ago #43

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic. "Wouldn鈥檛 it be great if we could give voice to disagreement without the risk of ruining relationships?" it certainly would. Thank you

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

9 months ago #42

#41
In my opinion, whether or not people become less able to discuss things in an open-minded manner is more a matter of personality than of age. :) I know people who are my mom鈥檚 generation and who mellowed with age. To discuss with people who are narrow-minded and intolerant is difficult no matter the age.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

9 months ago #41

Learning to be assertive can be useful with "discussions" However if a person will not acknowledge fact, evidence or acceptance of something new or different to their views, it's better to refrain or give up. Recently I have noticed as my friends age, they are less able to discuss things in an open minded manner.

Franci 馃悵Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Of course there will be disagreements otherwise what's the use! It's how one projects their difference in opinion that matters. Respect goes a long way.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #39

Thank you for sharing, . Good to see you here. 馃

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #38

#37
Yes, and one of the losses is the departure of many users who were active on the platform both in writing and commenting. When I said I prefer sitting back in silence on social media lately, it applies to contents about Covid that have flooded all social networks. Conspiracy theorists, those who are against wearing masks and all kind of sceptics and deniers of the virus's existence, are so vocal on every social media and produce the content chaos. Navigating through that information chaos isn't easy, and at some point became frustrating. Being informed is of vital importance, but most of the articles I read on social media contribute to even greater confusion. I also refrain from commenting (hope my beBee friends will not resent me), and try to find relevant information on my own. There are topics on which respectful disagreement isn't welcome. :)

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

10 months ago #37

#36
I know what you mean. The connections here are deeper and the conversations more meaningful. I just hope it keeps being this way as beBee has suffered a lot of losses this past year.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #36

#35
I was exploring Minds and joined last year. Interesting, but beBee is far better for the way I use social media. Life is too short to spend much time on any platform. :)

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

10 months ago #35

#32
Thank you for clarifying. Anyway, when you have time, it would be nice to explore other SMs. Just saying :-)

Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

#29
1/2 I'm probably the closest thing to being 'immune to ego and bias' that you will ever meet. As a child, all I ever wanted to do was to use what I had been given to help people. I was made to feel ashamed for being brilliant from the get-go. I experience stalking from people who wished to control the submissive nature I adopted so people would feel comfortable around me and like me. I often got and get bullied relentlessly by such people. 鈥淛oyce is no school behavior problem but she is underachieving. She is intensely interested in her hobbies. She raises and breeds tropical fish, hamsters, and experimental mice. She has done a great deal of research for her hobby and finds it a tremendous source of satisfaction. She hopes to go into research and her dream is to work at Bar Harbor where they are doing 鈥渢remendous things鈥 in genetics. Testing reveals an I.Q. of 134 on WISC placing her in the superior range of intelligence.鈥 I was 13-years-old and dreamed of curing cancer. My performance IQ was/is in the stratosphere. BeBee was/is no different. I tried to escape a stalker [a few years back] through other platforms where he could be blocked because it was/is impossible here. But there are many ways people employ to disrupt others' lives.

Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

#29
2/2 So if I am brazen and loud about my gifts, forgive me. I really had to learn how to do that. You people taught me the ropes. That said鈥攎y analysis of events over the last few years tells me you [and me] are in extraordinary danger. You people are completely ignoring me. You are looking at my assertions through the reflection you see in a mirror鈥攖hat reflective cheerleader telling you to want to be a success. It is not any personality deficit that I have that is the problem. A woman I greatly admire was murdered a few days ago. A woman who sought to warn people we are all in danger. Her 10-year-old son found her body. Many people [many of us] have been murdered and it is a difficult topic of conversation among those of us who love children鈥攂ut it a conversation we all have to have because even if one of our bodies is found shot in the chest and drowned in a bit of water, it is deemed a suicide. My tribute to her got barely a cursory glance. I'm sorry, Brandy. Over my life, I have failed many times. I've had to console myself by telling myself, "I did my best and my best will have to be enough." I have another self-taunt that runs through my mind during difficult times. "If I have to tell people I told them so, I failed." The sense of failure I've been feeling lately [after years of studying; sociological/psychological, other factors, and melding events that have happened in the past such as PIH donating to Hillary's State Department] is absolutely overwhelming these days. All I can say is: Good Luck

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #32

#31
I meant to say, every SM I use, beBee and LinkedIn.

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

10 months ago #31

#30
My experience with Minds is a bit different. So, let's agree to disagree :-)

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #30

#25
Zacharias, it applies to every SM, especially in these COVID times.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #29

#27
#28 Joyce, my comment wasn't personal but general. I'm sorry if you understood it differently. It is one more example of how the text-based only interaction can lead to misinterpretation. Having university degrees, even the PhD degree, doesn't make you an expert. It requires years of learning or experience and is based on one's ability to apply gained knowledge and understanding, as you have demonstrated in your articles. I am a lifelong learner and spent many years after my university degrees in the further acquisition of knowledge. I don't bother with does someone consider me an expert. About seeing complex issues from every point of view, the problem is that the positions we take on issues and how we see things from different points of view are consistent with the rest of what we believe. No one is immune to the ego and bias trap I mentioned before. :)

Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

#26
"We have no ability to see complex issues from every possible point of view." Not to mention, the above is not true and discriminatory. I am a nonlinear thinker. My thought process is actually driven to see complex issues from every possible point of view. There aren't many of us who do so--I converse with a few. And the only reason I don't have lots of degrees under my belt is that my baby boy was injured. I had to forego those free educational caravans. But they were there for me. It's just my child was more important.

Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Lada--I'm a polymath--a genius. Any genius knows unequivocally that "it is a foolish man who thinks he knows it all." We are all limited--some less than others. When I first came to beBee, I was near dead. I'm no longer near dead, but dying slower. I refuse to apologize for my intellect and now tend to hang out with intellectual friends. There is virtually no competition. Not true most other places. I do not question their expertise and they do not question mine. If I say I know it--I know it.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #26

#11
Joyce, I was thinking about your thoughtful comment, and it reminded me of a book I have read recently about how humans are, actually, limited beings. We have no ability to see complex issues from every possible point of view. Our knowledge is very limited. The more we know, the more we discover how much remains to be learned. And we don't know what we don't know. I can't say for myself that I am an expert in my field. I have a large amount of knowledge, but there's so much more to be learned. In fact, I know only several people in my field who I call expert, and one of them don't think of himself that way. :) So many people call themselves experts, especially on social media. It degrades the true meaning of that word.

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

10 months ago #25

#21
I guess it depends on what SM you frequent :-)

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #24

#13
Ken, I couldn't agree more with your words. Meaningful communication on social media is possible only with reasonable people who will engage in dialogue and listen to understand. We don't have to agree about everything to be friends. Although the text-based only interaction can lead to misinterpretation, social media still can be a space for civil discourse.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #23

#14
Ken, I'm still laughing how you were wrong on so many levels. 馃槀馃ぃ

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #22

#12
Thank you, Paul. Your comments on my writing always bring a smile to my face. :)

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #21

#6
Thanks for sharing and commenting, Zacharias. I like your comment and the quote by Dylan Thomas, although the quote can't be interpreted literally. When it comes to social media, sitting back in silence is something I prefer lately. :)

John Rylance

John Rylance

10 months ago #20

Ooops missed out than.

John Rylance

John Rylance

10 months ago #19

#18
Quality rather quantity Lada

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #18

There's no audience like beBee audience. Small in number but active. 馃槂

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

10 months ago #17

#16
Actually, just today I employed something similar with someone I work with. It's funny how some humor can make things so much smoother when there is already some rapport. Cheers

John Rylance

John Rylance

10 months ago #16

#14
Ken as you have said in the past humour often has a part to play in dealing with problems. An example of this is this from Brian Clough, a Football Manager. When asked how he dealt with disputes with his players? He replied " We sit down and discuss the problem, then agree I was right. How many Senior Management use and/or admit to using this approach?

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

10 months ago #15

I just realized that I forgot to share this!

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #14

Following on from my #13 below, and if you鈥檒l permit a deviation from your serious proposition, I find that familiarity can breed a certain degree of lack of reason between us as we age. As an example, my wife and I were arguing hammer and tong when we parked on the roof carpark of a local multi-storey mall the other day. As we took the elevator down to the ground floor, it appeared that I was wrong on so many levels. 馃槀 Then when it was time to return to the car we decided to take the moving stairway. Well that鈥檚 when things escalated. 馃ぃ

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

10 months ago #13

I agree, Lada, that to have a sustained and meaningful argument you need to have reasonable and respectful people open to diverse opinions and willing to accept a certain degree of conflict. It is my experience that most interactions on SM these days fail to enter into meaningful argument, as it is much easier to refrain from commenting on the blogs of those with whom we disagree and to look for and support the blogs we find more agreeable. Soliciting comment, any comment, on SM is becoming progressively more difficult, as our attention spans shrink and we search for entertainment and gratification rather than conflict on line. I fear that perhaps the great argumentative debates, whether reasonable or otherwise, are only to be found on face to face (or indeed Zoom to Zoom) encounters.

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

10 months ago #12

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic Brilliantly and eloquently put Ms Prkic

Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

#10
I agree. But when I say I know. it has nothing to do with bias or ego. I'm sure you have things you are rather expert in. I would not even consider disagreeing with you on something I know you have experience and/or expertise in. If I say I know, you can bet I have gained expertise on the subject. That does not mean I reject other opinions--I always consider any new information. I have friends who are experts in their fields. I ask them their opinions, but one in particular always falls back on his topic when the going gets rough--he says, "I don't know--I'm the ****** guy." But I know he has opinions and is just being lazy.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #10

#5
Thank you for sharing, Joyce. My opinion is that people who engage in the argument should be aware of the limitations of their positions. We don't know everything (even though many think so) and make mistakes in reasoning. To liberate ourselves from the ego and bias trap is the hardest thing to do.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #9

#4
Thank you for commenting on both platforms, Harvey Lloyd. I agree with Steven Covey. It is actually about finding common ground about an issue. Sometimes differing views share more than it is seen. Finding common ground is like building a bridge helping both sides to meet in the middle or near the middle. It's not always possible, but at least we should try.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #8

#3
John, listen to your wife, she is always right. :) Thanks for commenting.

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #7

#2
Pascal, thank you for being the first commenter and for sharing. :) In my work, as a construction project manager, I practice almost every day conversing with opinionated, rigid and dogmatic people who think they are always right. Sometimes the circumstances are such that we have to work with such people. Discussing with them is a real challenge and test for the concept of respectful disagreement. :)

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

10 months ago #6

I have similar experiences with various SMs, even free-speech ones. Arguments are not as popular as in the times of Socrates and even then, someone can argue that they were not as effective either (remember what happened to that philosophy master, who sparked Plato's interest in the field). If today it seems righteous and even noble to sit back in silence, avoiding conflicts and arguments (especially online, where communication is limited, at best), let's remember the words of another wise person: "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." (Dylan Thomas) Cheers!

Joyce 馃悵 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Funny--I was in a store before the shutdown. I often spoke to a homeopathic clerk there. As we wound our way to this fiasco [yes this started long before you think it started...] I told her of a conclusion I had derived as a result of studying sociological implications and evolving circumstances. My conclusions have long manifested, but I remember our last few words. "That's what you believe," she said. "No," I said. "That's what I know."

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

10 months ago #4

Arguments have become argumentative as experienced by the listener. Two totally different concepts but they seem to be linked. Arguments used to be, now i am sounding old, two competing ideas attempting to find the best of both and proceed. Today though with so many social constructs that must be plaid to, an argument represents a mind field of various constructed axioms. Step on one and you get your leg blown off. Steven Covey offer a great way to look at an argument. The Third Alternative. When two competing positions exist, create a third space where the pieces of each can be fitted together to form a third alternative, both can agree too. Great read.

John Rylance

John Rylance

10 months ago #3

In an argument heated or otherwise there are no right or wrong views, just somethat are better than others. My wife rarely agrees with me, as she says to agree would mean we are both wrong, i agree with her. You are never farwrong when you're right.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

10 months ago #2

Good one . I am very selective I often observe first try to get a sense of the ecosystem if its a new one and then decide or not to interact but on social media or elsewhere. Dogma frequently shown is very often dampening my enthusiasm for those exchanges though :-)

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

Lada 馃彙 Prkic

10 months ago #1

This post was previously published on BIZCATALYST 360掳 (https://www.bizcatalyst360.com/author/ladaprkic/).

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