There is an inexplicable paradox in much of our daily lives when it comes to arguments – that we usually argue for the sole reason of arguing. I see this all too often, and usually these sorts of arguments only lead to everyone getting pissed off and no one getting satisfied. It defeats the whole purpose of actual intellectual discourse. There is no pursuit of truth, no mutual desire for getting thing’s decided. When we bicker like this, all we are doing is trying to entertain ourselves. It rarely works.
What’s even worse about this sort of arguing is that very quickly it stops to be about actual logic. It slowly becomes about who can debase the other person through red herrings or personal attacks, or who has the better rhetoric and louder voice. There’s no honest search for an answer in that. I could only hope that people would get more sense: argue not for the sake of arguing but for the sake of getting the right answer…even if it isn’t yours. Be willing to confront the fact that you may be wrong, and try to remind the other person to do the same. Rhetoric with no content isn’t the way to go.
This happens to me all the time, and I have a feeling it happens to all of us. Which is why I usually try to ask myself why I am arguing this point or the other. What’s the intention that I set out to discuss it? Usually the intention is to have some fun ridiculing the other or proving I’m right, and that’s a problem. This happens on the internet just as much as with talking, and I’m afraid we do it without even realizing it. So let’s fix that. Just ask yourselves what your purpose is in the discussion, and if it’s not a good purpose, make it so or quit the discussing. Fight for what’s right, not for the fight.