Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Grandpa's Rules for a Good Arguement

I was on the computer reading some political blogs when grandpa came and sat down beside me. After he had finished reading a post that I had up he had this to say to me.

“Boy, politics is a mighty funny thing. By the very nature of it people will argue over the role that government should play in the solution of the problems of a society. What people generally do not understand is that most of the problems of society are in actuality personal problems and best left up to individuals to solve. For government to solve these problems would require the people of government to have knowledge of each and every person’s problem and that is impossible.

So, boy, when you are listening to people argue over politics take notice of the following tell tale signs of a poor argument and don’t emulate them.  I see them far too often when people argue over political solutions.  They reveal more about the person speaking then they do about the person that they are talking about.

Don’t stereotype a people. It convinces no one except those who need no convincing and usually they consist of persons with a herd mentality. When you hear persons argue using isolated incidences as evidence of their truths, be skeptical of their argument. Be skeptical of their intent and purpose. Stereotyping very seldom gives a accurate view of a people.

Don’t take a person’s words out of context of their intent regardless of how those words may affect your feelings. Your feelings do not justify assuming intent. The person that gets hurt most is yourself because you have lost an opportunity to learn something. This is the biggest problem with the concept of politically correct speech. It focuses on the words used rather than the thought conveyed.

Don’t presume someone else is wrong just because you believe yourself as being right. Remember that the other person thinks they are right also. In disagreements, seek a common ground and work towards an agreement from there. By this I mean, find something the both of you agree on then use that as the foundation to work towards an agreement.

Don’t label people in a demeaning manner. That, in itself, is evidence that you have no argument or rebuttal to counter the other person’s argument. It serves only one purpose and that purpose is to affect a person’s feelings rather than to convince. Demeaning a person or persons only reveals your own superior attitude towards others.

Don’t be afraid of showing your ignorance by asking questions about the other person’s stance. Regardless of how much you know and understand an issue always be open- minded enough to believe that there is more to learn. . The recognition of our own ignorance is the first step towards wisdom and knowledge.

Recognize that everyone has their own faults and that everyone has made mistakes in their life. This is human nature. Be sure of the benefits and consequences before making accusations based upon these faults or mistakes. Your own faulty mistake of judgment may have short-term benefits but long term consequences and you may have to pay the price of the consequences for that judgment.

Be informed but be sure that you are informed on the facts. Don’t rely on others to give you the facts and that includes persons that you agree with politically. When you find a discrepancy in the facts as others see them, keep it to yourself until you can resolve the discrepancy on your own. There are too many assumptions floating around masquerading themselves as facts as it is.

Remember, most of all, do not compromise your principles in coming to an agreement with others. It is better that the both of you remain in disagreement and allow time to determine who has the better solution to a problem if there actually is a problem. A lot of our problems will solve themselves if we allow them to.

.  Follow these rules, boy, and do so not because you will convince others to your way of thinking but out of self-respect and respect for your own viewpoint.”


BB-Idaho said...

Sounds like pretty good advice..that mostly gets ignored!

The Griper said...

ain't that the truth, BB. and then they wonder why this nation is not united.

of course, doing those things draw readers and that seems to be the important thing with bloggers these days.

Left Coast Rebel said...

This is great advice and easily forgotten or cast aside in our quest for 'what's right'.

Thanks for sharing.

The Griper said...

self-respect and respect for your philosophy should always be the first and foremost thought, reb.

it is only when we forget that is when we don't care how we win but that we win at all cost.

Karen Howes said...

Grandpa sure is a wise man!

I do, uh, sometimes label people in a disrespectful manner, but they deserve it, and I still demolish their arguments! :-)


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