People who know me know I do not shy away from argument. I have strong opinions and I am willing to defend them. So I have been, over my 63 years, in a lot of arguments. Most of these have remained civil, a small portion have escalated to loud words and insults, a tiny portion have escalated to physicality. The vast majority could be better described as debates.
I have learned a lot from these arguments. I have strengthened some of my opinions and I have altered some. I don't think any argument has resulted in a complete change of my opinion. But some, no doubt, planted the seeds of change.
In my 20's, I often argued from the liberal side. In my 30's, I started shifting to the conservative. I have stayed mostly on that side but not always. I am an Individualist (but is is not that simple). So I form opinions on various things and sometimes find I am in conflict with myself. That leads to great consternation and unease.
You will note that I did not mention my ideological leanings prior to my 20's. That is because I really didn't have any. Or at least hadn't considered I had any. In my teens I probably had two or three, depending on what the girl I was dating thought about things. I still argued but it was usually about stupid things of little importance beyond the moment. And never with the girl I was dating. I was always in complete accord with her.
I don't argue as much now that I am in my 60's, if we do not count online, I am a much more mellow guy these days. Though I do offer my opinions, I rarely argue in favor of them. I just state them and refuse to engage in debate about them.
What I have found, over the years, that few people who argue have ever taken a formal debate class and many have not studied Logic. Most people violate certain rules of debate or employ tactics that are frowned upon. Strawmen, red herrings, etc. are tossed about with wild abandon. I found a page that lists fallacious arguments if you are interested at all. You might want to read through them. If you have engaged in debate on the internet (and who hasn't?), you will easily recognize those that have been used against you. If you are honest, you will also recognize how many you have used.
You are honest, aren't you?
A Night Unremembered
7 years ago