The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
has anyone here ever had an opinion that was changed by this setting out of the arguments, with evidence, etc?
I can name a very simple one: I used to think that deposing Saddam Hussein was a good idea, because he was a Bad Guy. Then somebody pointed out that Bush the Lesser had started pushing the smaller members of the UNSC around by blackmailing them with threats of withdrawing foreign aid, and I went "hey, waitaminnit - you don't get to do that! You've got a case, why do you have to bribe and blackmail to make the other guys come around to your point of view."
Similarly, I used to think about Afghanistan "well, it worked fine enough for Kosova..." Until some kind chap pointed me to a declassified MI6 analysis that said that the official British story about Kosova (which the Danish press had plagiarised wholesale) was basically a load of crap. Now, if the Russian spies say that the official British version of events is full of crap, I take that with a grain of salt. But when the British spies say it...
Of course, when you have a position that you've spent a long time thinking through, spent a lot of energy nuancing and spent a lot of debating hours refining, the chance that a single argument will shatter it wholesale is much smaller. No doubt it's partly because you have a greater emotional attachment to the idea and the narratives you use to justify it. But I think it would be silly to discount the fact that the position has already been changed and refined quite a lot.
In principle it's possible that someone can point me to an argument that completely justifies slavery. In principle, it is also possible that someone will provide me with data that conclusively proves that Maxwell's equations are wrong. But it has to be really, really good, because there's rather a lot of data and theory to support Maxwell's equations, and slavery violates most of my principles. So proving Maxwell's equations wrong would entail finding another model that describes all these volumes of data, and convincing me that slavery is right, would involve convincing me that most of my principles are wrong.
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by Oui - Jul 24 1 comment
by Oui - Jul 18 26 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 16 5 comments
by ATinNM - Jul 13 25 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jul 15 5 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jul 14 1 comment
by Oui - Jul 12 24 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jul 9 27 comments
by Oui - Jul 241 comment
by Oui - Jul 202 comments
by Oui - Jul 1826 comments
by Oui - Jul 184 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 165 comments
by ATinNM - Jul 158 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jul 155 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jul 141 comment
by ATinNM - Jul 1325 comments
by Oui - Jul 1315 comments
by Oui - Jul 1224 comments
by Oui - Jul 11
by Oui - Jul 103 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jul 927 comments
by gmoke - Jul 9
by Oui - Jul 81 comment
by Oui - Jul 84 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jul 740 comments
by Oui - Jul 234 comments
by Oui - Jun 309 comments