I love to, to , to offer up my opinion and examine others. To me, these discussions are some of the most interesting and meaningful uses of . Unfortunately, is all too often stereotyped as irrelevant and emotive shouting matches between odious and childish people, and that truly and moderate people should avoid argumentation at all costs. However, this idea isn’t truly moderate. It’s the flip side of the idea that shouting and one-upmanship is a form of honest and intelligent debate. Both of these ideas are shallow and ultimately self-indulgent.
True argumentation is both calm and passionate, both sarcastic and serious, both respectful and ruthless and, above all, logical and factual. There is a noticeable lack of this form of argumentation in the media and public life. What you get is either nicey-nice, everybody’s opinion is equal tripe or you get batshit-insane ravings from over-interested and under-informed loud-mouths.
Furthermore, few people rarely have the courage to admit that they were wrong. Now, defending your argument and what you’ve said in the public forum is all well and good, but you must realise and accept when you have made a mistake. We all must do so. People all too often defend their comments or arguments solely because they are their comments and arguments. I do it too. I suspect that we are all guilty on this count. However, we must not allow ourselves to be limited by this selfish impulse, and that’s what it does. It limits us. It prevents us from changing our opinions, it entrenches false positions and it creates animosity between peoples. It is not hyperbolic to say that this selfish impulse has caused its fair share of war and community destruction.
In addition, I must comment on something that annoys me greatly. Everybody is entitled to an opinion and I encourage and hope that people develop opinions, however, the idea that you have a right to not have your opinion criticised once you have stated it is ludicrous. Once you have stated your position, it, in one sense, does not belong to you anymore. Once the words escape your lungs, they are no longer your thoughts, and therefore are no longer subject to your whims. They are, as it were, fair game. Now, of course, you can rightly or wrongly choose not to entertain criticisms. You have that choice, but do not attempt to rebuff such criticism with the facile statement: “It’s my opinion.” It makes you seem childish.