The foundation in the west of discussions about fundamental human nature has shifted from the bedrock of biblical basis to the sand of modern questions. Despite this, many people still hold the same views of humanity. That despite the human’s ability to be very nice, there are flaws that sin or vice can make much worse. Some believe that the underlying state of humanity is logical and reason. The evidence does not suggest that. Human emotion and instinct control much more then what many are comfortable acknowledging. There is every chance that the person you are having a discussion with has left logic long behind and operating with new rules. Understanding this and appreciating some human vulnerabilities gives us a better chance to bring the conversation back to logic and also decrease tension.
Talking with a person who is not talking to you:
When a discussion strays into the more tense and heated level, sometimes you may have the feeling that the person is not debating what you are saying. Perhaps they are going off what they believe is the general position of people like yourself. They will refute arguments that you have never made and get offended at things you never said. This can occur due to the person’s brain not remembering that they are having a discussion with an individual, but use memories to get it out of the conflict. When humans are afraid or angry, the brain will throw up what it believes are solutions. If the person has heard that people like you think a certain thing, then they can want to deal with that before you surprise them.
Unfortunately, this can also create the feeling that the person you are talking with is not actually the one discussing. They may read off replies that seem very similar to ones that you have heard from others. When people become defensive, they can close themselves off and also stop engaging with what you are communicating.
When a Mob Exists individuality decreases:
Some of the more unfortunate moments in political history have occurred when a large number of people have gathered. Some of the best have also occurred. Problems develop when a large number of people gather. Actions that individuals would never have taken occur. This has been extensively studied. However, when you are trying to talk to a large group of individuals, the ability of a conversation to develop gets hard. Communication does not get easier when there are more people that the brain has to focus on.
An internet debate can often be seen like this. With technical elements and limited points to check what the tone is meant to be, they can spiral out of control quickly. When trying to talk to a large number of people, you may notice the pile in. From a logical standpoint, it does not make much sense why the other side when there is more of them would want to pile in. This can be due to seeing their peers take a course of action and others feeling that they should take that course. It can also be due to the pull to not miss out.
The unlimited ability for miscommunication:
Take the following “It is bad that Trump is”.
Is that the negative or positive position about Donald Trump? Your brain may fill in what is being said. Yet in its current state, it says nothing as the crucial element after the “is” cannot be seen. With the way phrasing can occur or even word choice, people can have a misunderstanding. Entire arguments have come down to someone not hearing meaning conveyed in the tone of an individual. The more complicated the topic, the more chances for a misunderstanding to occur.
Unfortunately, the environment for most debates does not help with this. A fast paced conversation means the different steps needed to process what someone is saying must occur faster. A raised tone or insults make it harder to use critical thinking and work out what the person’s points are without straw manning. Sudden hostility hurts trusts meaning that the individual will be vaguer with what they say in reply.
You are this individual too:
As you have read the ways that others have not been logical or controlled in a discussion some of you would have noticed you have done this. Often the biggest problem with modern arguments is the fact that both parties act in this way. It very easy when someone leaves the logical process of communication to follow them. If they call you a name, you call them a name. Yet using that example, you are no longer have the discussion on that topic but having a contest with who can insult the other person the most.
Conversations require the effort of both parties. To try and understand what someone is saying only gets harder, the more difference between your ideas and theirs. Humans have many flaws, and this can be seen when we have those discussions. Yet while humans have their flaws, we also have the remarkable ability to get better when we want. With the world in its current state, do you best to remain logically to the point of a conversation. Together we can limit the misunderstanding and have better discussions.