The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I love a scrap

Today is Saturday and so we dip our toes into the political pond... or is that swamp? We should be careful since there may be piranhas in the water. But I am not going to argue a political point today. Instead, I am going to examine the debate.

I like to engage in healthy debate with people who see things differently than I do, politically speaking. This is because I feel that I am right, they are wrong, and I will emerge victorious. So I wander about the internet's more liberal sites where I am sure I will find an argument... active discussion.

I pick my opponents carefully, examining the strength of their position and noting their ability to spell and to write coherent sentences. Some people misspell a lot of words. This amazes me because virtually every comment application spell checks automatically. Any misspelling is underlined in red so it's virtually impossible to not notice unless you do not bother to look up from your keyboard and read what you have typed before you locate the "Submit" button and click on it. I tolerate quite a bit of improper grammar (mostly because my own can be atrocious at times) and the obvious typos because they are easy to overlook and we've all done it. How many times have you typed "teh", for example? And I don't like being considered a "spelling Nazi."

However, a person's poor grammar and spelling often is a sign of an undisciplined mind. This means his argument will also likely be weak and poorly structured. And so I pounce.

Not really. I would rather have my positions challenged by someone I will end up considering my equal.

Lately, however, I find myself losing my taste for battle. In some cases, the opponent is just not a serious contender. This takes something out of the debate.

I often find the arguments of the Left weak. I suppose some of those on the Left feel that the arguments of the Right are also weak. We have a tendency to always see ourselves as holding the loftier position, do we not? But we all have a tendency to get lazy and use cliches and talking points rather than form arguments with our own intellect.

I recently went through a long debate about the best way to handle our country's fiscal problems. My opponent was very good. His arguments forced me to research heavily before answering. In the end, of course, neither of us gave ground. Neither of us were willing to change our minds.

But we agreed, in the end, to to disagree and to one day "cross swords" again. These re-invigorate me and encourage me to continue. Debate, even if you feel you have been bested, strengthens your arguments, your resolve, and helps you focus. It is what Freedom of Speech is really all about.

And so, like Don Quixote, I will continue to tilt at windmills.

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