In class last week, we spoke at great length about arguments. What constitutes a “good” v. “bad” argument? Can someone ever win an argument? Is there one way to win or lose an argument? At the end of the discussion, I was left with many open-ended questions and went back thinking heavily about my own arguments and how those and the following questions apply.
Is arguing ever necessary?
Whether or not an argument is every necessary is completely subjective to the person who is choosing to create the argument. An argument is a choice, in my opinion. It is a reach to another person or group of people in which you are trying to make them see your side of a given position or situation. Take out the circumstance of a given class assignment, etc. and you are never forced to argue your position. You can easily walk through life neglecting to attempt to press your views on anyone else. In reality, however, many would find this boring and rather uneventful. But I do not believe arguing is ever truly necessary.
2. Is arguing ever a mistake?
Again, I believe this question is almost entirely subjective. The arguer can feel as if they have made a mistake by opening up the argument and in turn not enjoying the way the conversation develops. However, if both participants are mature, respectful of the other’s opinion, etc. then arguing should not be a mistake, but in turn should be an opportunity to learn how other’s think, feel, and view the situation. Arguing should really be the opportunity to learn, if one is able to take out their personal feelings.
The only time I would claim that an argument would be a mistake is if you are 100% sure the person you are attempting to argue with is 100% not going to shift from their position – then it is simply a waste of everyones time.
3. Can both occur at the same time.
I believe an argument can feel necessary and a be mistake. In the case where one is very passionate about a position they may hold or a cause for which they believe, they may feel that it is necessary to argue for that position/cause often. However, if they themselves are not educated on the cause (to a point at which they sound ignorant) or the collected group of people they try to argue with do not care/are 100% on the opposing side, etc. it may be a mistake to argue with them.