Before we discuss the intricacies of a solid argument, it’s important to firstly establish why we even argue with other people in the first place. Anybody who holds an assortment of opinions and is exposed to public-life, in general, will know an argument is inevitable at some point, whether online or in person. In the traditional sense of an argument, the opposing ideas or concepts will clash, and a verbal argument of war is declared where each person attempts to out-reason each other to win.
This classic approach to arguing often has a fundamental flaw which is pretty obvious to all of us who enjoy a good argument from time to time. The truth will often take a back seat when an argument heats up, with ego and glory trumping the very concept of arriving at a healthy conclusion in a militaristic fashion. It encourages tactics to be utilised over substance and completely detracts from the dialogue and the issue at hand.
Well frankly, this just doesn’t work for anybody who values an intellectual debate and if we have any desire to leave our arguments more knowledgeable than we entered them we must change the way we approach an argument.
So, why do we even argue? How do you benefit from changing a person’s opinion to yours? It’s fair to say we all typically argue because we seek validation to our way of thinking. But any open-minded, intellectual can’t argue that the truth should be the end goal for any debate engaged, right? If you successfully convince me to change my opinion on a specific subject, is it not I who has truly benefited from the debate? The traditional victor gains nothing new from this time spent, whereas I have benefited from dismissing an outdated, flawed concept/idea.
The argument of war concept never gratifies the loser, leaving many who find themselves on the back foot resorting to anger and other emotional reactions to prevent a definitive defeat. Arguments absolutely never have to be this way again, and I implore those who value subjective and open discussion to change their outlook on a good argument immediately. Firstly, understand the traditional loser/winner approach is flawed. As outlined in my previous paragraph the traditional loser is actually winning as they leave the argument stronger than they entered, unlike our opponent who remains the same.
Leave your ego outside, it has no place in a debate. Have you thought this way for 8 years? Nobody gives a damn pal. Be prepared to dismiss it the minute it fails to stand up to rational scrutiny. Social progress is often the victim of stubborn egos who are simply not prepared to drop a way of thinking because it’s the way it has always been. History has a fine way of remembering the many people who held on to a flawed concept because they weren’t challenging themselves to seek the best solution.
I leave you with an excellent 10 minute TED talk on arguing the capable way. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you philosopher Daniel H. Cohen:
The founder of Capable Men.
Currently operating personal projects while he simultaneously attempts to develop the Capable Men platform. John served five years in the British army, with a tour of duty in Afghanistan before eventually departing the forces to begin a career in the private security sector.
John attended several private protection courses dealing with security strategy, close-quarters combat training, firearms and advanced driving. This new profession took him worldwide Including the protection of government assets in South America, VIP tasks on the Côte d'Azur and security work within the French Alps.
His interests include global affairs, philosophy, hiking, sports and fitness.