Saturday, October 6, 2007

JMO - Arguing for something

In a recent conversation I had with somebody, I have come to hate the assumption people make that arguing for something is arguing against something else, usually the opposite. This doesn't mean it isn't, but it's not a fair assumption to make that it's always the case. I like discussions and debates in the old fashioned sense of a conversation arguing for or against something with people arguing the opposite. Sometimes I like to express my perspective for something leaving the rest as it is, just there, and not arguing against it.

And why this point? I'm a Taoist. I accept that the whole array of views exist for any issue, and all issues have the array of views for, against and both with the issue. And every issue has facets that makes the issue, and the views, less than absolute or clear. Everything has realities that fuzzies the whole view of any issue. All you have to do is pick one and read all the perspectives on it to see the array from the extreme for to the extreme against.

What I dislike is people who assume positions when you present your view from your experience, understanding and knowledge of the issue. And we forget sometimes, they're just opinions, like everyone else's, and nothing more. Mine is just mine, and worth the same as yours, nothing more or less, just one in the many. And it's far from perfect, with my experience, understanding and knowledge.

I love learning in discussions. All you have to do is ask with a smile, "Is that really true?" Or sometimes I'll express my view as a question, wanting to know more or hear other views. I'm curious. So why do people stand there, or sit in a tavern, with angry looks and think you're against the opposite or their view? What don't they understand about, "Lighten up!" It's only a conversation.

And there are times I have a position that is extreme, along with not really liking to hear other views. I'm human, and have some views - ok, opinions - which are extreme, but I realize it's just mine. I know it's extreme, but I will always express it with a smile because I know I'm just one of many, along with my opinion. So why do people get so upset and sometimes angry with me? Why to they assume things I haven't expressed?

I don't know. But before you hit the send button or open your mouth to express your anger, think about sitting on the other side reading or listening to your words. How would you feel?

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