Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rantish on argument

My thoughts are currently busy with a small level of frustration from an argument I just had with someone online. I don't want to get into any of the specifics since it would be unfair to present my side of the debate without giving this person side a good representation. But I've got to vent a little so that I can let go of that frustration and work efficiently.

When I argue I often do the devil advocate thing, i.e taking a side I'm not really on for the sake of argument and trying to understand the opposition argument better. Not to mention have an opportunity to try to counter my own argument and in general try to have an open mind about all side of an issue. However that not the only thing I do, one thing I do that I'm starting to realise is probably what everyone hates about me is stick to flaws in a person argument (or things I perceive as flaw, or logical blind spot) and poke at it to try the get the person to realise the flaw.

Now I'm probably often wrong in seeing these flaws and I'm pretty sure most of the people I pulled this on understood that I was pointing a flaw in their argument but they just about all seem to answer this one way: " No you're wrong." I'm sorry but a no you're wrong isn't going to convince me that I'm wrong, try to at least give an argument otherwise I'll just try to attack the flaw I see from another angle, making you go through my reasoning so that you can understand why I think it is a flaw and probably you could point out flaw in this reasoning and shut me up.

Some (including the person I was arguing with) think I argue until I am right, and well I admit it might seem that way (and since I can be wrong it can actually be that way) but personally I believe that I argue until their is a conclusion in the argument, either I'm right, I'm wrong or neither but we have to have argued a little about it and seen the question from many angle.

I want my argument style to be lousy based on the logic process, which mean that your conclusion are only as good as the premises upon which they are build. Any flaw in your premises makes conclusion flawed, that why I'm trying to poke at the "flaws" i see. It's never something personal (unless the argument is about me but that another matter entirely), your entitle to your opinion and to disagree with me, your not less of a friend if you do. Well anyway since it appears to be something that not really endearing, I'll try to stop doing it.

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