Argument for argument

1 Mar

I was recently accused by a friend of being argumentative in my writing. He suggested rather than writing arguments I should rather focus on imagination and creativity that fuels fantasies and creates dreams. It somehow implied that what I write was I won’t say unimportant, his accusation was even more serious, he considered it as a very trifle, flippant pursuit; a meaningless action.

Writing for jollies; to sum up his point of view.

Another friend, surprising as it may seem I do have lots of friends and all very concerned about my physical, mental, social, material and spiritual wellbeing, said that I am very argumentative in my social interactions, I make discussions as right or wrong, win/lose situations, personal and in the process lose the larger aspect and raison-d-etre of that interaction.

Now the second charge is accurate, I discuss less, argue more and bicker the most. I have been conscious of that fact and am trying my best to curtail or at least minimize it to the maximum (don’t miss the wordplay there, maximize and minimize, hehe, ain’t I smart??).

But argument being meaningless is a much serious charge and I definitely take offense on that.

What is an argument?

A contrary point of view.

Some definitions of arguments

1. an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation: a violent argument.
2. a discussion involving differing points of view; debate: They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.
3. process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn’t follow his argument.
4. a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.
5. an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.
6. subject matter; theme: The central argument of his paper was presented clearly.
7. an abstract or summary of the major points in a work of prose or poetry, or of sections of such a work.

Some famous arguments (not an extensive list, but an indicative list)-

1. Earth revolves around the sun (an argument against what’s written in the bible)

2. Earth is round (argument against popular belief)

3. Women also have a right to vote (argument for equality of sexes)

4. Right to abortion (argument against religious beliefs and tenets)

5. Gay marriage (argument against social mores and norms)

There are obviously many other examples but the point I’m sure is understood.

Arguments by their very nature are contentious and never comfortable. It is not a question of it being right or wrong but it is different, different from the belief that the other person holds.

Now it might be possible that my friend meant that my arguments are frivolous and don’t merit effort. I possibly can employ my efforts in more gainful pursuits.

Daughter “Daddy, I want to study more, I want to work, marry late”
Father “Hahaha.”

Women “I can do what I want, I am an independent woman.”
Men “Hahaha.’

Indian “We want freedom”
British “Hahaha”

Hitler “Aryans are superior race, I think I should go for racial purity”
World “Hahaha”

Any thought, howsoever ludicrous it may sound, and it will sound ludicrous if it lies beyond your zone of comfort, should not be treated with disdain. It is the arguments that change the world. Arguments in that sense are not answers, they truly are questions. They might get recited as definitive answers, beyond doubt by the propagator but in truth, he is asking you to reassess your position, see the same differently. He shows a new path, as he himself must see the new path when confronted with the other thought.

Arguments against conventional wisdom are the most important one for those impact the future.

And if you are not creating arguments for yourself, you are denying your imagination and dreams.

So dear friend, don’t laugh at my arguments, don’t deride my thoughts, they might not sound important to you but it won’t harm to mull over them in your spare time, sometimes.

And I will leave you with a world changing question “Why do people dig their noses while driving?”


One Response to “Argument for argument”

  1. John Doe March 2, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    seriously, when the next time your friends say such things to you, argue.

    i believe we as a society do not argue enough. yes, we shout slogans, we fight, we even beat and kill people with different points of view. but we seldom argue.

    i am sick and tired of seeing groups of people who just agree with each other.

    so i hope you continue being your argumentative self.

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