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How To Debate The Planet Using Just Your Blog

Last night, we recorded the first episode of the all new Contains Moderate Peril podcast featuring myself and Pam. It’s always interesting talking to this lot because somehow, they are able to share their honest opinions while remaining classy (for the most part). The only problem is – do we all agree on the topics we discuss? Or is there a chance we’re holding ourselves back? Roger has said that: “this will be more of an issue related show, rather than a focus on specific games and movies [and] I’ve always favoured commentary and debate of topical points.” With this in mind, we’re wanting to converse on various topics and expand into informed discussion and debate. That is what Contains Moderate Peril would like to do and we can do that in an adult fashion. I absolutely agree with Roger’s view from yesterday on whether we have a consensus in the gaming community, or if perhaps we have a “reluctance to engage, as well as the refusal to acknowledge that one may be wrong.”

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I will be the first to put my hand up and admit that I am guilty of this. As human beings, we have this need to feel as though we are right, and a need to feel as though we are liked. If we don’t put forward potentially controversial opinions then we don’t risk offending people and resultingly becoming disliked. And after all, a lot of us like the comfort that the overall community gives us. It’s basic psychology, really, and personally I think it all comes into Murray’s system of needs which accepts that we all have different “unconscious psychogenic needs” and behaviours based on personality, and these often have crossover points.

But that’s not to say that we fit into a ‘type’ and have to stick there. What if we can have reasoned shared opinions and debate despite our internal need not to offend or be offended? It’s absolutely possible to put forward an opinion in such a way that we’re not picking on each other and saying things for the sake of dissent. We’re all adults here and have the ability to read somebody’s opinion, disagree, share our own opinions, agree to disagree and continue on with our lives. I’d like to think that we all (or if not, at least the vast majority of us) have the ability to recognise where the line is and not need to breach it for the sake of it.


So let me put this to you, dear readers. Can you say that you honestly and 100% truthfully put forth your opinions when sharing with others? Or do you hide behind this reluctance to engage, fearful of offending others and causing dissent against yourself? Perhaps we could all do with a little more friendly banter, livened discussion, and mature debate on the topics we’re all so passionate about.

I for one will definitely struggle to overcome the internal filter, but at the very least, I vow to try.

Related sidenote: Part one of Couch Podtatoes’ discussion on religion and politics in gaming featuring myself and Roger is up now. This part discussing our thoughts on religion. Comments welcome!

14 thoughts on “How To Debate The Planet Using Just Your Blog”

  1. I honestly find myself walking unique lines. I try to speak in a way that’s sensitive and respectful of others, while still stating my perspectives and opinions. There’s an art to speaking in a way that others can disagree with, but still feel loved at the end of the day. This is why I struggle when people think they should just “throw out opinions” carelessly. When something is obviously controversial, I think a certain tact should be employed.

    That being said, I feel no fear of others having disagreement or anger towards me. Offence is in the hands of the offendee, not the offender. I don’t give people free rent in my head unless they deserve it. This has taken me 30 years, having my own business, a wife, children, etc. in order to get to that point. It’s not natural, but it’s necessary, I think.

    I’m not going to touch the personality side too much, but I tend to rely on Myers-Briggs for my biggest understanding of people. I haven’t delved into Murray and might someday, but I don’t have that time right now (kinda playing hooky here typing this response).

    The reality is, if your base mindset and heart is to show respect for others and love them as having intrinsic value, then that will shine through how you phrase your thoughts and opinions. It’s an element of humility that I find very few people exhibit. At the same time, holding back your thoughts and opinions also doesn’t show dignity towards yourself and in my opinion, insults others because you assume they’re too weak-minded to handle it.

    There’s a balance there, between humility & tact vs. honesty & clarity.
    TheTravellerofTyria recently posted…A New Journey – The JuggernautMy Profile

    1. With me, I hold back because *I’m* too weak to handle the responses I may or may not get. Otherwise, I agree with you. Being constructive and respectful of others is one of the most important ways to be a good human being and something I always strive for.

  2. I think this is one of those things that both comes with age and experience. I remember being quite shy and reserved and absolutely sucked at those spoken assignments. Then in year 12 it just clicked for some reason and I became more comfortable with it, well comfortable enough to get my point across.

    AS you get older well, you stop giving a shit what other people think haha.
    j3w3l recently posted…Couch Podtatoes Episode 32: Religion in GamingMy Profile

    1. Absolutely! I’m sure we were discussing this on TS last night, actually. That after a while you just kinda stop caring what people think. It’s good to find a balance!

  3. It really depends for me. On my blog and on Twitter I might not always be as honest and unvarnished, because I know I will offend or alienate readers. In real life the person I’m always completely honest with, is my boyfriend. Even if we don’t share the same view, I know he will never make me feel bad over how I feel about a certain topic. With other family members, I sometimes just nod along. Especially when some of my aunts and uncles are expressing their rather classist/sexist/racist opinions. It’s really interesting to think about how many people use different filters in different situations
    Celine recently posted…Review: Glass Houses by Rachel CaineMy Profile

    1. Indeed, different filters. We all use different personas with different people. It’s really interesting. You are one person when you are with your mother, another with your friend, and you are probably closest to being you when with the other half. Think its really interesting thinking of all the different “us’s” there really is.
      Missy’s Mojo recently posted…A new hobbyMy Profile

    2. Oh god I know what you mean regarding family! They’re from a different era though, one where that was the norm.

  4. Honestly I think I’m on the complete other side of the spectrum. For all my life I’ve always spoke my mind in discussions, not holding anything back. Sometimes being brutally honest and in the process offending people. I can tell you that sometimes it’s healthy to not always express your opinion or to filter it a bit. Most people can’t handle honesty or strong opinions and when you have them I’ve noticed that people tend to not invite you in discussions anymore.
    I think a delicate balance between knowing when it’s okay to speak your mind and knowing when not is healthy, no matter who you are around. Even friends have limits.
    Sandrian recently posted…HeartacheMy Profile

    1. Yeah, that’s interesting too. It’s a fine balance when you’re not used to knowing where the line lies and how to filter yourself. Personally, I filter myself a little TOO much, and I don’t need to. I can share my opinions without toeing the line, still. 🙂

  5. I often don’t share my opinions if they are not the same as others in bigger groups. But if it is people I know and trust I spill my guts. I think I need to feel safe with those around me and know that they can accept that I don’t have the same opinions as them. I’m not fearful of offending people, I don’t go around pushing my beliefs or opinions on people, I just say what I myself think and accept that others might not feel the same. I am more fearful that they will attack me in a manner where I would feel I was pressed up in a corner and no way out. That they would not respect me or my opinion because I see things differently 🙂
    Missy’s Mojo recently posted…A new hobbyMy Profile

    1. Oh yeah, absolutely. If you know that a debate could so easily set your anxiety off, I would not recommend getting involved. Very often I’m right there with you, but sometimes I don’t get involved purely out of habit..

      As I said to Mystical Mesmer, though, I would really like to think that in our community, people accept a sense of responsibility to be mature and respectful of people’s opinions and at the very least be able to adopt an “agree to disagree” nature and continue on with things. The internet these days has become so very “if you don’t agree with me I hate you and everybody attached to you” and that needs to change, because it’s stupid. We’re all different and that’s awesome. 🙂

  6. One important aspect of this willingness is personality. I personally try very hard not to openly disagree with people I really like online unless it’s a subject I have a strong opinion about, in which case I’ll typically go out of my way to make my message as diplomatic as possible. Intelligent, constructive, and meaningful debates are very likely difficult to come by, as Roger said, because participants in a multi-viewpoint discussion may find themselves in a game of magnetic cat and mouse in which one clings to their own viewpoint, is repelled by another viewpoint without regard to its veracity due to the way in which it is presented (or the person who presents it), or attempts to float in between the thematic loci. This would appear to me to be a style founded primarily on the basis of individual agency in which one becomes attached to their own particular ideas and the presentation thereof. A solution to this would be to agree in advance to a style of discussion in which communion plays a larger role, i.e. the desire to resonate and empathize with others, using a specific set of rules and to be open-minded about reformulating one’s own views on the basis of arguments and evidence presented by others.

    1. Absolutely, that’s why I liked Murray’s look at the phenomenon rather than the others I came across BECAUSE it recognises that personality has an awful lot to do with it. Also why I mentioned knowing where the line is. 🙂 I’d like to think it’s pretty obvious that the line is drawn at attacking people, and I’d LIKE to think that amongst our little community that’s kind of a no-brainer.

      I don’t think ‘agreeing in advance’ is the way to do it, because I don’t think anybody can truly agree on a way to debate, but it’d be nice to think that people are aware of how to talk to others and discuss things respectfully in an adult manner, you know? I personally don’t follow along with people who can so easily dismiss other people based on looks, personality, beliefs, or opinions. You really need to be open minded in this world, to all types of people.

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