I was trying to write up a post about getting stuck in arguments, where you thought something was obvious, and said something like “A, therefore, B.” And your partner says “but, X, therefore Y!”
And from you perspective, A is obviously true, and B obviously follows from A. And X and Y just don’t seem relevant to you. But somehow, to your conversation partner, A and B either aren’t obvious at all, or just seem… irrelevant somehow. And X and Y seem like the important things.
I feel like this happens often to me, but I didn’t carefully keep track of them at the time. I’ll try checking in with people I’ve disagreed with in the past to see if they can help jog my memory. But I’m curious if anyone has ran into this phenomenon?
A somewhat extreme but concrete example might be a consequentialist and a deontologist arguing about ethics, where the Connie the consequentialist says “We should throw the switch in the trolley problem to save lives” and Denny the Deontologist says “But you’re murdering the guy on the tracks!” and both of them are coming at the problem from such different perspectives that they can’t make any headway.
I’d ideally like examples that each involve positions that are fairly common on LessWrong.
(The important bit isn’t precisely the “A therefore B”, “X therefore Y” pattern, so much as the general phenomenon of feeling like the two participants were somehow managing to completely miss each other. Ideally, examples where the people eventually ended up on the same page, hopefully identifying the moment when the argument became “unstuck.”)