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Top ten reasons not to argue

by Greg Krehbiel on 26 December 2006

10. Everybody listening to, but not involved in, the argument, thinks you’re an idiot

9. Arguments ruin friendships, but never make any

8. People believe things for reasons way too complicated to address in an argument — IOW, an argument doesn’t address why anybody believes anything, so it can’t accomplish anything useful

7. You never hear anything you hadn’t already considered — only now you hear it in a loud voice

6. The person you’re arguing with doesn’t know anything relevant or useful anyway

5. Neither do you

4. When it comes right down to it, you don’t care what the person you’re arguing with has to say

3. Neither does he

2. There are far more pleasant and useful ways to spend your time, like burying your head in manure.

1. The only thing anybody’s ever been persuaded of from an argument is that the other person is an ass

2006-12-26  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 5

  1. Mystagogue
    26 December 2006 @ 4:42 pm

    Your observations are collected from the arena that most often leads to argument: sectarianism. The other 1% of occasions that lead to argument can actually be quite productive. I’ve had a few of those.

    It kinda works like this: assign everyone a “sectarian score” from 1 to 10. If the product of these scores from two parties having “discussion” is 5 or higher…it will be basically as you described.

    The forums where people “discuss” topics like politics, religion, etc…have a population whose participants each have a sectarian score greater than 7 about 98% of the time. Your work cohorts will score a 4 or better 98% of the time. And with numbers stacked like that….

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    26 December 2006 @ 5:14 pm

    So if people who don’t particularly care about the outcome (i.e., “non-sectarians”) argue, they might actually make some progress? Yeah, that probably makes sense.

  3. pblosser
    29 December 2006 @ 8:30 am

    You wouldn’t be trying to pick an argument here, would you? or trying to be an ass, or anything? or suggesting that SAINT Thomas Aquinas was an ass (instead of a dumb ox, perhaps) for presenting all his arguments in his summae, or something … ?

    Merry Fifth Day of Christmas!

  4. kdeb kdeb
    8 January 2007 @ 1:45 pm

    He’s very nicely saying that he is VERRY sure that I am an ass.

  5. pblosser
    10 January 2007 @ 10:43 am

    How did you guess, my friend! Of course, it takes one to know one!