The Big Think

December 3, 2012

So’s Your Mom

Filed under: Education,Friends — jasony @ 5:32 am

I just got into a disagreement with someone who made an easily refutable point. I brought up what I thought was a good example, then backed it up with another one, then tied it in with an overall principle I thought was pretty well-reasoned and historically supported (not to mention held by a pretty large proportion of people). His response?

“That argument is ludicrous.” No rebuttal. No counter example. No acknowledgement that millions of people and centuries of behavior might have some merit. Just an emotional appeal and that oh-so-easy CYA word that so many people think shuts down disagreement and wins an argument. Talk to the hand!

If by “ludicrous” you mean “I can’t effectively refute it with facts so I will demean it with language” then he’s right.

I get so tired of arguing with people only to have them effectively stick their fingers in their ears and shout “no, YOU’RE a poopie head!” It makes me grateful for the friends in my life who honestly listen to other points of view and are open to changing their thinking.


  1. They must have been a [insert opposing political party of your particular beliefs]… They’re all like that.

    Comment by Josh — December 3, 2012 @ 8:45 am

  2. Believe it or not (and contrary to all my posts here lately), it wasn’t a political discussion, or at least not directly. I have no idea what this person’s politics are. Just how they feel about [insert topic]. 🙂

    Comment by jasony — December 3, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  3. Ach – there’s nothing worse than offering a carefully-reasoned argument and then having the other person simply shut it off and walk away. Frustrating. I know how you feel. At least he didn’t toss off a comment about your character.

    The truth is that picking apart the other person’s point is a way of honoring it. I say keep on him, and he may eventually come around. Meanwhile, rejoice that you do have friends who enjoy the bracing feeling of iron sharpening iron.

    Comment by barrybrake — December 6, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

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