Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Why Debate Is Pointless


Belief In Bigfoot: Why Debate Is Pointless

By Dorraine Fisher


I'm going to tell you something you may not want to hear. Will you change the way you think based on what I say? The odds are against it for lots of scientific reasons, but you know I'm going to say it all anyway.

I no longer debate the existence of bigfoot...or anything else for that matter. And people often ask me why. Citing that debate is healthy thing. But I strenuously disagree for reasons about which I've spent a lot of time thinking.


When I was still new to bigfoot research, I was easily pulled into debate after debate with skeptics. I knew what I knew and no one was going to try and tell me otherwise. But I've since learned that ANY debate about Bigfoot with ANYONE is pointless. And I'll tell you why. But this story can't be told without delving into basic human nature. Yes, here I go again

First of all, what is a debate? It's basically an argument, right? Perhaps it takes place in a controlled environment and both sides are given a chance to speak. But it's still an argument nonetheless. And an argument is a conflict of sorts, or a fight...without guns or fists. But still a fight at its core.

And in the event of a conflict, we, as humans, are hard-wired to try and accomplish one objective: winning. We can't help ourselves, really. Instinct is a powerful thing. And when instinct takes over, logic and reasoning inadvertently go right out the window. It's not about finding the truth. It's about winning the argument. And just like any competition, you'll basically do whatever you can get away with in order to achieve that goal.

But why is that? Don't the “facts” speak for themselves?

They do, but only if others are really listening to what's being said.

The facts can get lost in the midst of all the preconceived ideas of the debaters. But what preconceived ideas could these debaters possibly have, you ask? The same preconceived ideas that all humans (yes, everyone) are guilty of harboring. And that is the idea that the other side of the argument has some hidden agenda. The belief that everything coming out of their mouth is a blatant lie. You see this in social-political arenas all the time. Even the soundest reason won't change the view of the opposing side, because you are the enemy. You have to be wrong.

If we believe they're lying about everything, the facts won't matter. All the work and frustration it took to collect all those facts is moot...because they're hard-wired to NOT believe them anyway. The opposing side is the enemy. And the enemy is ALWAYS wrong. Right? That's what we all think.


And, of course, you may agree with a lot of what I've said here, but you'll feel sure it doesn't apply to you. Right?

Sorry. Everyone is guilty of all this. No one is exempt. We ALL have this entrenched, burning need to be right and will fight literally to the death to prove it. Why? Because being right is the most important thing in the world. The person who's right gets all the perks; sometimes even gets to be king or queen. Being right is everything. No one wants to hang out with the person who lost the fight. And fear of isolation in a social species like humans is a pretty powerful thing. We don't want to be alone. So in order to be elevated in stature, we need to be right. Or, at the very least, we need to make the other side look wrong. Very, very wrong.

You see, science has this thing called the argumentative theory of reasoning. And the idea behind it is that we humans didn't take up debate about a subject in order to discover some universal truth. We did it to try and exert authority over others. It theorizes that humans didn't evolve the ability to reason so they could find the truth or make better decisions. We evolved reasoning skills in order to convince others or to be cautious of what they try to convince us.

In a nutshell, we're suspicious by nature. It was a very important survival mechanism. And as much as we'd all like to think we've evolved as a species, we're still animals after all. Maybe it was designed to help us be wary of strangers and to preserve our own lives. So, it's at least easy to say it's not really our fault. We're flawed human beings.

But that, my friends, is why I don't debate Bigfoot or anything else any more. How often do you see someone's opinion being changed by a solid point that was raised? They don't really hear that point or comprehend because maybe their basic human instincts of suspicion have kicked in. It's mostly about winning. And they're in safety mode. Maybe that skill has outlived its usefulness in the modern world, but it's still there nonetheless. Not to mention again that humans are naturally competitive and have to win the argument at all costs.

So how much do you really think sound reasoning and truth really matter?

And you can tell yourself Dorraine is crazy and she can't possibly be talking about me. But you're guilty. We all are. We're hopelessly human. And it's a hard pill to swallow that we may have advanced ourselves, survived, and even thrived as a species by actually ignoring facts and truth in favor of winning an argument.

So the next time you feel this burning need to build your case and put all kinds of facts together to support your argument, remember I said to not waste your time and energy. It won't get you anywhere but the land of frustration. ******DF




This Post By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher. Dorraine is a Professional Writer, a nature, wildlife and Bigfoot enthusiast who has written for many magazines. Dorraine conducts research, special interviews and more for The Crypto Crew. Get Dorraine's book The Book Of Blackthorne!



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3 comments:

  1. Jumping link after link I managed to find and read this piece. Everything looks pretty logic and reasonable at first, but there's a lot of misconceptions there that I seem to catch easier due the fact that I don't share your culture.

    You are right about an argument, it is a clash of two different opinions, so it is a fight. But is wrong to assume it's about winning things. You have to remember that human have a lot of different cultures, and sometimes what is completely undebatable for your culture is totally different in other's.

    For example, two people may discuss about a football team, their objective may not be winning, but rather defend some honor, especially when one of the teams are really bad, it becomes a matter of defending. It can be a matter of justifying yourself, like when you debate who's pretty and people think you are just crazy, you debate not to win, but to justify your own taste.

    You may say that justifying and defending is a type of winning, but sometimes all you trying to do is say that your option is also valid, not that it is the best. How can that be a win?

    This need for an argument is also very cultural, it actually came with the whole technological revolution. We are curious, yes, we poke things to see what happen, but that thing must catch our attention first. I bet you never discussed what wall at your house is whitter, or don't even notice if there's one.

    So what we debate about is bound to what we find interesting, and what is interesting depends on your subjective view of the world and the culture you are immerse in. You may look at many trees everyday and not once asked yourself which type of trees those are, if they have fruits, if they have nuts or acorns, that don't matter to you, just like the whitter wall. But, if you were a native that depended on tree with fruits, you would know every type and you would care to know that, you would discuss about that. For example, how many greens you usually use? I would say a light green, a forest green, maybe a lemon one and a "standard" paint green? Some South America native had about 10 or more words for different tones of green, cuz it mattered! The same way, Japanese has only one word for both green and blue, cuz the difference between those 2 don't matter to that culture.

    If we would argue about how many colors there's in the rainbow, our answer is completely based on our culture. The "truth" is there's no color, cuz "color" is a way we chose to divide the many different things we see. Sometimes the answer change cuz of subjective view, if you can't see "red", you'll answer differently.

    The big problems about arguments is right there, it depends on you and your culture, not in one absolute "truth". You end up with two different people that see and understand the world differently trying to make the other see the way you do. When the other don't have an already made conception of what's being argued, it becomes something like teaching. When he does, whoever, you get two people trying to make the other see their way, and in some cultures that's sometimes offensive, it brings the idea that he knows best, that his better. It loses the whole brainstorm side and become really a fight, and both just think there's got to be a single truth.

    If I would point a villain in the whole thing, I would chose the "truth". The "truth" make us feel like we have this super power with us, that justify crashing the other's view. If I know God is there, I use it to justify all my actions against the nonbelievers, they MUST know the "truth" that I carry, that "truth" is strong than the other's "opinion". Everyone think they carry the "truth" with them, so you enter and argument to crash, not to debate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ... Continuation...

    Try sometime randomly debating about something completely trivial you never cared about or noticed, like a lamp in the street. Debate about it's position, color, type. This debate is quite pretty, you change sides, you openly listen for the other suggestion, you don't try to "win" cuz you don't carry with you the idea of how it's suppose to be, you carry no "truth" about that.

    Many also make the mistake to think that "science" equals "truth", they carry this "scientific" logic and "facts" that it's suppose to be definitive. "Science" is a way to see and understand the world around us. "Science" says that you observe a phenomenon, try to understand it and come with a explanation, if that exp. works, than it becomes a "fact", not a "truth". Sometimes, actually, many times, the fact was "wrong", it made sense and worked, but looking at a different angle or the big picture you would see that it was coincidence, or that both were connected to a third that caused the phenomenon.

    Science is also always changing it's concepts to "better" classify and organize those phenomenons. One day it decided that Pluto shouldn't be called a planet anymore, Pluto itself did not changed, wasn't Pluto that no longer is a planet, planet that no longer includes Pluto. The "truth" "Pluto is a planet" completely changed to "Pluto isn't a planet" in seconds cuz we wanted that way.

    So you see how our culture and subjective view classifies and mold the world to fit our thoughts and truths. The real world cares very little about that, Pluto didn't change at all cuz we decided it's not a planet anymore. The same way, if there's a Nessie, it couldn't care less if we think it exists or not. Even if it's there, it's probably completely different of this idea we have. Think about an animal you never saw in real life, like a koala, we think it's cute and all that. But when you actually live with the damn things you realize that it was all a fantasy. The real animal and your idea of that animal are completely different beings.

    And that's not exactly a bad thing. I love searching cryptology cuz it makes me imagine things I would never even consider alone. Try you inventing an animal, a complete different one, being original is really hard, we lack that. The beauty about cryptology (just like the mythologies) is that it's not created by a single person, it's the shared ideas and conceptions of all the "believers" together. Every sight, photo, "fact" or idea is absorbed by the whole community and developed to become very complex and amazing conceptions. Let's face it, even if Yeti is found and put on a zoo, is it going to be exactly like the one we imagine? No, just like the koala it would surprise you and do things that you just didn't expected. Maybe it was just the animal that started everything, but it becomes something completely different in our minds.

    And again, that's not bad. Actually is one of the most amazing things in the whole world, our capability of making things that has no actual real form but that for us are very much "alive" or "real". Like Capitalism, can you point at something and say "that's a capitalism"? That's "abstract", in other words, just real in our heads.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ... Last one, I swear...

    And what if Bigfoot doesn't exists? What if it does? Matters little to them and to be honest little to us. When they discover "alive fossils" is a big thing for like 15 minutes, after that everyone forgets and become a curiosity. And in a few years everyone just assume it was obvious and all the debate is completely forgotten.

    Maybe the answer to "Why debate is pointless" is that it just don't matter who's right or who's wrong. Even wrong ideas and concepts can be beautiful, look how much they gave us? Books, movies, stories! Even if they don't exist in real life, they are part of human culture. If you believe it, than enjoy it; if you don't, enjoy it the same way. It doesn't need to be a fight, nor to be a competition, it can just be what it is. There's no frustration if you not trying to win or be right, it'll exists or not depending on itself, nothing you can do about it, more people believing makes no difference to them.

    ReplyDelete

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