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Gifted_With_Languages's avatar

When it comes to an argument do you always listen to both sides of the story?

Asked by Gifted_With_Languages (1137points) July 30th, 2014

Why? Why not? Explain.

I thank you in advance for answering my question.

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13 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

As a human born with a good dose of common sense I would like to think I do, but over the years our faith and ideas become so entrenched in our very souls , I have a real doubt anyone really listens to both sides anymore.

dxs's avatar

If it’s an argument I’ve already heard, there’s no point in going through it again. I already have my side so you’d have to persuade me, too, if you want me to budge. But if it’s something I’m unsure about, I always take the time to hear both sides, even if I feel slanted to one side.

hominid's avatar

I’ve always enjoyed a good argument, and have often played devil’s advocate just for the argument’s sake. It’s a good exercise in exploring the variables involved, and allows you a chance to see the potential flaws in your own beliefs about something (sometimes).

But there is very rarely only two sides of any story, but it seems we like to portray things this way. It makes for a nice news story and it’s clean. Forcing everything into the two-sides model is usually the fastest way to avoid coming to any true understanding. Another side effect of the two-sides nonsense is that we’re left with a “the truth must be somewhere in the middle” problem. The truth is almost never “in the middle”. And the “middle” is hardly ever the middle. It’s forcing facts into one flawed model after another.

Do I listen to “both sides”? I have no idea. I would like to think that I evaluate and consider every possible variable involved. But that’s highly unlikely. I’m likely subject to flawed thinking and fallacies just like everyone else. The human brain is not capable of evaluating and policing its own processes. We build systems for overcoming such limitations (science, for example).

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I got out of my way to expose myself to ideas I disagree with. Otherwise how would I ever know if I was wrong? It’s been known to happen on occasion.

filmfann's avatar

I try to.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, unless the argument offered is ill informed and completely ignorant of facts.
Case in point. Being a life long animal nut and living rural for the last 23 years and as a former wild life re-habber, I was recently told by a panicking newbie to the country/mountain scene up here that they were going to trap or shoot a river otter in their pond. They emphatically stated it was the city slickers that voted on these conservation laws and that these animals were vicious and destroyed all your pond life.
Well, they do eat fish and frogs and other invertebrates, but more than likely it will move on because ponds don’t support much life to begin with, opposed to the large rivers in our area.

It is probably just passing through, deal with it.
I found it funny considering they were “city slickers” a mere 2 years ago, and told them outright that were wrong. Conservation laws are instilled for, well, duh…CONSERVATION of endangered or threatened specie and that river otters were protected because they were trapped to the verge of extinction for their pelts in the last couple centuries.
I will not keep my mouth shut when it comes to propagating total bullshit ignorance.

If you’re going to move to a high wildlife area educate yourself and learn to live with the creatures around you.

Smitha's avatar

Yes, I always listen to both sides of the story since its very important in order to form an informed opinion. But some times hearing both sides too may not help because in some cases a story might have three sides. Two sides of the story and the truth.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Smitha I think every argument is in fact multifaceted. But people in general are not good at thinking multidimensionally, so we reduce everything to a false dichotomy to simplify things for our feeble minds.

ucme's avatar

Yes & then we agree that I was right all along.

JLeslie's avatar

I try to, or I mean to, but I doubt I can say I always do. Even if we are hearing the other side, we might not really be listening, because we have a filter, or a persective, that colors how we hear things. It’s just how it is. Some subjects I am probably more open than others. I assume everyone is like that to some extent or another.

kritiper's avatar

Most definitely! Because there is always an aspect that needs to be brought out if the truth is to be revealed.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

The very best wayto refute a statement or belief, is to know first that statement or belisf as thoroughly as the opposition. I always listen to EACH side of the story, however many that may be, in order to be effective in supporting or opposing a view.
(How’s that for concise?)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Proverbs 18:13
He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.

How can you know where the argument stands until you know if it can stand on its own or be debunked by opposing evidence? Sometimes things seem like a slam dunk until you strip away all of the chaff and get to the core. If someone says something to me, I want at least some facts or eye witness I can hang my hat on.

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