Thursday, December 2, 2010

If you're going to tell me "You're wrong!"...

So a few days ago, I got into this discussion about something, and was accused of A) being wrong, B) being "combative", and C) being "dense".

The issue I take with this is the fact that I make it a point to not hold strong opinions (more typically, I don't hold any opinion at all) about things I haven't thoroughly researched or personally experienced. I mean, I'm not the kind of person that would argue the value of Tibetan philosophy, or who really killed JFK. Not only do I not give a rat's ass, but I also don't know enough about such subjects to form a valid opinion.

However, when I do voice an opinion, it is most often grounded in actual observable fact. I'm not going to sit there and argue with you, if I can't point out very simply the exact logical method of how I came to hold such an opinion. Therefore, I'd appreciate it if you would be prepared to show me exactly where I've gone wrong...and to back yourself up with facts. In the meantime, the following guidelines might come in handy for you:

1) Don't try to use written legislation to show me anything other than what written legislation happens to be. Seriously. Don't try to equate "it's illegal" to "it's morally wrong". You're getting into the realm of Malum Prohibitum v. Malum In Se, and confusing the two shows a gross degree of ignorance on the subject of right and wrong.

2) Don't use the "straw man". Stick to the conversation at hand. Don't go throwing random extraneous stuff into the mix when it has no relation to the issue at hand.

3) When I ask you a question, just answer it...even if you know it will prove my point. Don't change the subject, don't call names, just answer the question. If your position is righteous, you should be able to.

So there you have it. Three simple rules for arguing with me. If you are going to tell me I'm wrong when I say something, have the common decency to back yourself. Otherwise, please continue with your delusions, and leave mine to me. Thank you.

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