Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Art of Arguing

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
 - Thatcher

Anybody who knows me at all will know that I love a good argument. Arguing is what I do best, quite frankly I can make an argument out of anything. I have very 'different' opinions than everyone else and not a lot of people agree with me. THIS is what I love about Twitter, is that I can interact with lots of different people who don't agree with me. It gets my juices flowing, gets me going for a good argument.

I think an 'argument' is the wrong word here, a 'healthy debate' is what I am really looking for. I love sitting down and just bashing out a debate with someone then at the end of it agreeing to disagree and move on, end of. What really bugs me though is when people just take it too far and start to make it all personal. That I suppose is where it becomes an argument. That for me is when I lose respect in people.

My understanding in the situation is that you will never find anyone who will agree with you 100% and when you do ,you should try and not let them get into your life. I have been friends with people and any time we ever discussed politics and either of us made a point the other would reply with 'oh yes I totally agree'. To me that is a crap conversation, I got easily bored of this person and we are no longer friends, not because we don't like each other, simply because we had far too much in common and it got boring.

It is true what they say 'differences attract'. My twitter following is an example of that, my timeline is filled with Labour supporters and sure most of their tweets make me scream at how wrong I think they are, but that is the fun of it. In my mind if you are going to have the strongest possible argument you need to know what the oppositions argument is so you know how to counter it. For this simple reason I read The Guardian and The Independent. I am Right Wing and find if I sit and read the Telegraph I just sit there reading it going ''you don't say'' and it bores me. I like to read something that challenges my opinion, makes me think differently to what I believe and by the end of the day strengthen my own views.

Anyone who has ever argued me will try and deny this, but I love losing a debate. When I lose a debate, I can see that my argument isn't strong enough. It is usually unlikely that my view has completely changed, so what I do is look at the arguments that trumped me and see if I can break them down and find a counter-argument to them. If I believe in something I want to try and convince others so I obviously like to have a strong argument.

Some of my 'rules' I like to follow when having a debate with someone:

  • This is not a personal debate, so do not make it into one.
  • Just because this persons disagrees with me does NOT mean that I will dislike them personally.
  • Don't force an opinion change, simply put forward another point of view.
  • NEVER tell them they are wrong.
  • When you have been defeated, admit defeat. 
  • Do not make fun of or slate someone's opinion, they have that opinion for a reason.
  • Do not make your arguments into personal attacks.
  • If they make their arguments into personal attacks, end the debate otherwise it will get heated and turn into a bloodbath. (Even if it means they think they have won, let them)
Politics, and life in general is all about opinion. Nobody is right or wrong. We all just have different opinions. I am a firm believer in that there should be periods of short 5 year governments to keep the country in a stable position.I may be a right wing Tory but I know that sometimes Labour policies are what is needed to get something done. For example I do not agree pensioners having free bus / rail travel, however I understand that it is a very positive policy.

Just because you don't agree with an opinion, it does not mean you should not respect it and the person who holds it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't discuss other alternative opinions, it just means you shouldn't force your opinion on them or tell them they are wrong. It is pretty simple really!

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