I consider change to be a necessary force in society. With the pretense that change has to exist in order for people and life to evolve, I believe certain types of arguments exist that are necessary. An argument represents any sort of discourse about a subject of interest or a way of convincing a group of people. To me, there are two kinds of them. Ones that have the potential to do that, and ones that don’t. The necessary kind of argument is an argument that welcomes the possibilities of other ideas and incorporates their merits. It acknowledges the complexity of a situation before it dismisses elements of it. For the condition of change, the best possible (and “most” necessary) argument convinces the maximum number of people that can be convinced. It is an argument executed with judgment, with knowledge, and with an understanding for the delicate balance of what people or populations need and what they actually value having. At a minimum, an argument has to have some sort of potential to alter an opposing stance, or the potential to convince a neutral party not to be unbiased.
Arguing can absolutely be a mistake, and in my opinion, very often is. The other type of argument is any that states one’s opposed beliefs or stance without qualification and due consideration towards the issue at large. Arguing is simply a mistake when it doesn’t do anything. Clashing heads over an issue doesn’t get anything done. Political debates are so often useless because they prohibit people from working together. Necessary arguments encourage people to collaborate, and by nature suggest an ideal path that both parties can at least consider. An argument is a mistake when the stance is overbearing and lacks any amount of potential for uniting opposed forces. In my opinion, an argument that is a mistake simply helps to better define a necessary argument.
Considering the case of my qualification for considering the merit of arguing – whether or not it has the potential to exact necessary change – necessary arguments and ones that are mistakes are mutually exclusive. They can’t coexist. It is important to consider a range of arguments to be accepted as necessary. The threshold where an argument becomes a mistake is at the point where it generates no potential. At that point, arguments perpetuate stagnation and hostility.