Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Art of Argument

My friend showed me the skit from Monty Python entitled “The Argument Clinic”. It’s brilliant. So many people do not know how to argue. And arguing can be a good thing.

I have talked about arguing in the past, but I didn’t know so many people use a particular strategy. That is, plain contradiction. Saying, “No it isn’t” to absolutely everything without any supporting evidence to back it up. The guy in Monty Python almost ends up going mad because the person he’s arguing with simply says the opposite of what he’s saying.

If I say, “I think A equals B because of C” then I expect my audience to focus on C. Anyone can give an opinion on what A and B are, but answering with, “Well, I think A equals Z” is not a counter-argument.

A similar strategy to contradiction is evasion.

Me: “You say I don’t share my stuff. But I always do. You’re always borrowing my clothes and eating my food. And I never say anything about it. Why would you say I don’t share?”

You: “Laura, you getting in my face about this is really unattractive because it makes your roots stand out and your voice scratchy.”

Me: “But, I take great pride in sharing. You know I am very generous.”

You: “I can’t talk to ¬†you, you’re impossible.”

Me: “How, exactly? I asked you a question.”

You: “I don’t have to answer your question.”

Me: “But you just accused me of something without any proof.”

You: “You’re not generous.”

Me: “But I just told you examples of how I am!”

You: “How can you wear that shirt? It’s hideous. This is what I’m talking about.”

Me: “You’re not talking about anything!”

You: “You really have to get those roots done.”

Do you see what I mean? Maybe people like this aren’t actually listening. What else could their problem be?

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