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dstebbins

How come so many people can't accept dissenting opinions?

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iNow has

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Tribalism. We’re basically monkeys without tales and slightly less hair. 

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Are you familiar with us/them thinking... ingroup and outgroup behaviors?

 

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We've established that it might very well be learned behavior rather than genetic/instinct.

have we?

And modern society muddies the water

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I’m inclined to agree with iNow’s assessment of tribalism, just my $0.02. We fancy ourselves civilized and beyond such things when instead we see so many similarities of behavior among our fellow creatures who are even less recently down from the trees. However, I guess one could say tribalism kicks the can down the road because one can then ask why do we have tribal behavior and why does it dominate our supposed higher reasoning ability (which I think is paraphrasing OP’s question). I’ve had a post I wanted to make on this forum that demonstrates this topic, where I have been called every imaginable name merely for voicing the thought ..... not sure yet I want to get into it. So, I think it probably is something very primitive.

Edited by Cynic

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Seems to me, that, of the now several people involved in this discussion , only one has displayed the behavior mentioned in the OP.
So the behavior doesn't seem to be as widespread as the OP assumes.

Or maybe he's trying to prove his assertion by acting it out...

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The core issue here is also anonymity and the lack of social sanction or punishment for inappropriate behavior. 

IRL, acting like an asshole brings consequences. You get ostracized from the group. You get shunned. You’re made to suffer for acting in a way contrary to the local code or culture.

That doesn’t generally happen online. Online we’re free to punch at others without fear of being punched back in a way that causes any damage. It’s magnified by our ape background where we have “those like us” and “those who are different.”

It’s easier to dehumanize those who are different, and it’s easier to find ways we see those differences. Instead of recognizing we’re more alike than different, that neighbors all want food and safety and shelter just like us, we see “the other” and pigeonhole entire classes of people into flat one-dimensional categories we can dismiss. 

There are also state actors intentionally and actively pushing this breakdown in civility. Discourse is being intentionally coarsened and our “leaders” are setting examples where it’s views as okay to attack those around us who don’t happen to share our identity... who aren’t part of our ingroup. It becomes more common, so we feel it’s more okay, and the vicious self-reinforcing cycle continues spiraling as often we model our behavior upon the behaviors we observe in others.

It tends to give a quick dopamine hit and it feels good to rhetorically wound perceived opponents. It makes people feel powerful to pick fights and strike out at others within the safety of anonymous online environments where any counter strikes don’t do any real damage. IRL we’d feel the counter punch to our face, but online it’s just empty words.

There are numerous reasons this happens, and those reasons Will differ from one person to the next, but at its core is the relative safety that comes from online anonymity and lack of social sanction for behaving inappropriately. 

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6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

have we?

!

Moderator Note

iNow raised some valid points, so yes. You seem to have acknowledged this. I don't see why you would subsequently object to the observation.

 

 

4 hours ago, MigL said:

Seems to me, that, of the now several people involved in this discussion , only one has displayed the behavior mentioned in the OP.
So the behavior doesn't seem to be as widespread as the OP assumes.

!

Moderator Note

Perhaps I missed it, but I don't see where the OP assumed this was widespread. The OP in fact states that it is not universal.  

"Why do humans do X" is not the same as "why do all/most humans do X" but it seems like the latter was assumed in some responses. In any event, please proceed without assuming this needs to be widespread.

 

 

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Swansont, I appreciate you sticking up for me. Really, I do appreciate it.

But maybe YOU can help me with this question, provided you actually understand what I'm asking. I understand that you may not be an expert in psychology or human behavior, but are you adept at finding scientific studies?

Because as I pointed out in my first reply after the OP, I was looking for actual scientific theories, not just people speculating.

I tried googling it, and maybe it's just because the question is poorly worded to the point where Google can't understand what I'm saying (my OP seems to be poorly phrased to the point where these sentient, human posters get confused), but I wasn't able to find a single actual theory on why this happens. The closest I was able to find was this article, which is more just some guy ranting about how frustrating the phenomenon is rather than making a serious attempt to explain it scientifically: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/why-we-blame/201708/why-we-hate-people-who-disagree

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1 hour ago, dstebbins said:

Swansont, I appreciate you sticking up for me. Really, I do appreciate it.

But maybe YOU can help me with this question, provided you actually understand what I'm asking. I understand that you may not be an expert in psychology or human behavior, but are you adept at finding scientific studies?

Because as I pointed out in my first reply after the OP, I was looking for actual scientific theories, not just people speculating.

I tried googling it, and maybe it's just because the question is poorly worded to the point where Google can't understand what I'm saying (my OP seems to be poorly phrased to the point where these sentient, human posters get confused), but I wasn't able to find a single actual theory on why this happens. The closest I was able to find was this article, which is more just some guy ranting about how frustrating the phenomenon is rather than making a serious attempt to explain it scientifically: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/why-we-blame/201708/why-we-hate-people-who-disagree

I would hope such a study would have a way to define "dissenting" in a meaningful way. Something I see all too often is one person making a misstatement (speaking too generally, or exaggerating, or using fallacious reasoning, etc), or being too superficial in a description. Then a second person corrects them, or goes into more detail, and gets marked as a dissenter. Sometimes being overly accurate and precise is a way to avoid giving tacit approval (gotta say something or it looks like you totally agree). Sometimes it's necessary. And sometimes it's not dissent so much as clarification.

 

5 hours ago, iNow said:

The core issue here is also anonymity and the lack of social sanction or punishment for inappropriate behavior. 

IRL, acting like an asshole brings consequences. You get ostracized from the group. You get shunned. You’re made to suffer for acting in a way contrary to the local code or culture.

That doesn’t generally happen online. Online we’re free to punch at others without fear of being punched back in a way that causes any damage. It’s magnified by our ape background where we have “those like us” and “those who are different.”

It’s easier to dehumanize those who are different, and it’s easier to find ways we see those differences. Instead of recognizing we’re more alike than different, that neighbors all want food and safety and shelter just like us, we see “the other” and pigeonhole entire classes of people into flat one-dimensional categories we can dismiss. 

There are also state actors intentionally and actively pushing this breakdown in civility. Discourse is being intentionally coarsened and our “leaders” are setting examples where it’s views as okay to attack those around us who don’t happen to share our identity... who aren’t part of our ingroup. It becomes more common, so we feel it’s more okay, and the vicious self-reinforcing cycle continues spiraling as often we model our behavior upon the behaviors we observe in others.

It tends to give a quick dopamine hit and it feels good to rhetorically wound perceived opponents. It makes people feel powerful to pick fights and strike out at others within the safety of anonymous online environments where any counter strikes don’t do any real damage. IRL we’d feel the counter punch to our face, but online it’s just empty words.

There are numerous reasons this happens, and those reasons Will differ from one person to the next, but at its core is the relative safety that comes from online anonymity and lack of social sanction for behaving inappropriately. 

I think this is closer to what the OP is talking about. Sure, we're still overly tribal in our thinking, but I think it's the anonymity of the medium that's driving this behavior. Personally, I think our lust for extreme entertainment has generated this weird format where everything is boiled down to two sides screaming at each other from opposite sides of the room.

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20 hours ago, dstebbins said:

Those who hold hyper-passionate opinions will often treat dissenters like they (A) are being willfully obtuse just to troll others, (B) have such low levels of intelligence and/or such high levels of naivety that they can't see the cold hard facts right in front of them, (C) are themselves being actively manipulated or even outright brainwashed by external forces for said third party's own sinister ends, or (D) all of the above.

I only see the four options here for those who hold passionate opinions.

Maybe if he had included option (E) or none of the above, then I could assume it is not a widespread phenomenon.

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18 hours ago, swansont said:
!

Moderator Note

iNow raised some valid points, so yes. You seem to have acknowledged this. I don't see why you would subsequently object to the observation.

 
 

I disagree with your conclusion.

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

I disagree with your conclusion.

!

Moderator Note

You are free to rebut iNow’s post. You are not free to make baseless assertions. If it’s “nature” then you must support the claim.

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 3:13 PM, dstebbins said:

You literally did not answer my OP question, just now.

My OP question was "Why are people predisposed to do X on an instinctual level?" You responded by saying "People do X."

May I suggest a reading of Arthur Koestler’s ‘The Ghost in the Machine’ could be of value in this context? I’m wary of attempting to precis his thesis and misrepresenting his tentative conclusions. Put as simply as I can he suggests the human forebrain developed ( in evolutionary terms) overnight and is out of sync with  primitive tribal  and aggressive instincts stretching back far further than our emergence as anything like homo-sapiens.  To simplify his argument almost to the point of charictature: we are worse than apes equiped with nuclear weapons amongst numerous other means of achieving our own extinction, either through tribal aggression or blind group think. 

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3 hours ago, Dissily Mordentroge said:

May I suggest a reading of Arthur Koestler’s ‘The Ghost in the Machine’ could be of value in this context? I’m wary of attempting to precis his thesis and misrepresenting his tentative conclusions. Put as simply as I can he suggests the human forebrain developed ( in evolutionary terms) overnight and is out of sync with  primitive tribal  and aggressive instincts stretching back far further than our emergence as anything like homo-sapiens.  To simplify his argument almost to the point of charictature: we are worse than apes equiped with nuclear weapons amongst numerous other means of achieving our own extinction, either through tribal aggression or blind group think. 

It might be interesting to compare that with more recent work, such as Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow which also looks at the two modes of thought and uses a lot of experimental evidence to try and understand the difference.

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