Kraken wrote:I'd add a third argument type: Faith/belief vs. evidence/logic. Whether in religion or in politics, it inevitably leads to the two sides talking past one another with little hope for agreement, never mind conversion. Ideologues don't "preach to the choir" or "preach to the enemy," they just preach, by which I mean they regurgitate orthodox talking points as if they are given truths that needn't be supported.
As political issues become more polarized, they produce more ideologues on both sides. I try to avoid engaging with true believers in anything, because it's frustrating when evidence and logic are useless. The process of rebutting can be useful in honing one's own arguments, as in your "preaching to the enemy" case, but it's ultimately pointless if even the most ironclad argument won't change your opponent's mind.
Holman wrote:For an example of the OP phenomena, I just look at my Facebook: leaving aside a few incidental acquaintances and work-related connections, my FB population is divided just about evenly between family and old friends (most very conservative, some of them militantly so, some of them Social Conservative activists) and my later cohorts from grad school and from private-school teaching (most very liberal, some of them militantly so, some of them Progressive or LGBT activists). These people don't talk to each other, but I see their rhetoric passing in the night on my FB page in ways that reflect how difficult it *would* be for them to talk to each other if they maintained the tones they keep up when talking to their own side.
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