In the last few days, Jed talked about “how to start an argument,” while Ryan talked about creative ways to end one. They were great posts, so I thought I’d try making it a hat trick with today’s post and delve a bit into why we argue in the first place.
I know people who love to argue and debate. Why this movie was award worthy and that one was drivel. Which leisure activities are constructive and which are utter wastes of time and intellect. What will happen in the afterlife.
Religion. Politics. Sports. Pop culture. Extraterrestrials. As far as I can tell, the topic isn’t important as long as, at the end of the day, someone is wrong and someone is right. Or more right. Or, at the very least, louder.
Each of us has our own perspective on the world, a unique voice. But what are we saying with that voice?
I believe in the power of choice and, within that framework, believe that both happiness – and misery – are choices. My best friend is fond of saying this: “The only prize for being the most miserable is … Congratulations! You’re the Most Miserable!” Similarly, in the context of social or interpersonal debate, I find myself wondering, what is the prize for being right? I’m a firm believer that human beings do virtually nothing without a perceived gain. If that is true, what is the gain in winning an argument?