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Why I’m Argumentative

February 23, 2012

If there’s one type of verbal discourse I enjoy most, it’s probably a good heated argument. I love to present my views, backed by evidence and rational thought, and see how the opposition responds to my arguments, and if they can provide a solid and convincing counter-argument. There are few ways I learn more than the emotionally intense, highly interactive environment that a good long debate can provide. Arguing about an issue allows one to understand their own beliefs, and to contrast them against an opposing opinion. So we should see it as an opportunity to build strength in their own beliefs, and to better understand exactly what it is they think they believe in, why they believe in, and what supporting evidence and rational thought they have for such belief(s).

It’s difficult to find someone that you can have a heated debate with and not have to worry about them getting offended. I love to argue, but I always have to worry about whether my words are too intense or might offend someone. This difficulty is because if you do not give in to people’s opinions and act like you agree with at least half of what they say, they assume you are being arrogant or asinine, and that you don’t value their opinions on the issue enough. In addition, most people don’t like arguments because they take it personally and see your words as attacking their character or personal beliefs. It seems that a lot of people don’t know the difference between a debate, and argument, a shouting contest, and an emotional pissing contest.

   I am open minded, I just have specific parameters to determine my shifts of opinion (i.e. No appeals to emotion, no authorities, no logical fallacies, no arguments of ethics or claims of absolute truth, etc). Many people misunderstand my tendency to question their opinions or turn every exchange of opinions into a heated argument, thinking that I’m “unteachable”, that I believe my opinions are more important than theirs, and that I’m more concerned with making myself look knowledgeable and being “right”, than about genuine learning.

This misunderstanding is compounded by the fact that I do have a genuine issue with humility, something I have only recently begun to work on. But I wish the people I debate with could better understand that I really don’t care about “being right”, and I actually much prefer to be wrong. Just being told I’m wrong isn’t good enough though, it needs to be demonstrated through a comprehensive discourse between my views, and theirs, such as in the debate process.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Isabella permalink
    April 30, 2012 1:23 pm

    Great post and I get the same crap from people being offended, what happened to having a good old debate???

  2. Bernie permalink
    June 20, 2012 9:41 am

    Great post it’s good to know there are SOME (few but still…) poeple like myself. Your last line hits the point very well!!!

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