How To Argue

We are very passionate about what we ‘believe’, even more passionate about things we have never really questioned or been challenged to think about. It is one of the strengths of a good education that it forces us to assess our thoughts and brings us into discussion with people who do not accept what we accept. It isn’t compromise when you modify what you believe in the face of new ways of looking at the world, it is evolution.

I notice this a good deal at Linked-In where I sometimes step into conversations. Posters simply do not keep the strict point in the proposition or question. They range far and wide, bring in non-sequiturs, and generally try to skew the answer to fit into their view of the world, and so much argument is not about the question at all.

Close reasoning is not an easy thing, it does have to be learned, but just as we would be very uneasy to allow anyone to roam around society with a gun on them they have never be taught to use we should actually we worried about people in society who have not been taught to reason well. It isn’t teaching people what to think, but how to think. How to encompass many points of view, how to use source material, how to find out the facts and delve into the subject matter and then to resolve upon a point-of-view.

If your mind is not tuned, you will disable your whole life.

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