When grappling with difficult ideas or opposing viewpoints, I find it very effective to construct 'paper tigers' and 'straw men'. Hold on... Please hear me out... I often like to employ logical extremes at certain times to help me understand the boundaries of an idea I'm dealing with. This sometimes leads to straw men. In the "test lab" of my thought, straw men, paper tigers, and caricatures can be very helpful in helping me identify where I've strayed in my logic. I've found that If I can easily refute and "tear-up" the opposing view then it's usually because my understanding of that view is not complete or is erroneous at least in one point. Also, in taking my favored views to a logical extreme and maybe even trying to make a gross caricature of them, I can see where I may be incorrect in my logic or unbalanced in my presentation. I think very few on this BB intend to try to prove a point by knowingly submitting a paper tiger of the opposing view... Or at least this should be the case. It seems that it may be the case that we are sometimes misinterpreted when presenting a logical extension that the other person would object to. For me, my intent would be to draw a sketch of my understanding and ask them to coach me in drawing or take the pencil themselves and edit the sketch to better reflect the picture they have in their mind. I think this approach encourages openness, honesty, empathy and understanding. Maybe this is antithetical to the nature of this part of the BB (I know, this is a debate forum) but for me, at this point, I am trying to develop an understanding of the issues and not so much promote my views (well, maybe I have indulged a little!). I'm just creating this thread to have discussion on how we individually process thoughts, react to others, change our own ideas, etc. One of my favorite quotes is, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle Anyone out there pickin' up what I'm throwin' down?