Have you ever enjoyed arguing with someone? I don’t mean having a heated debate over something trivial like who deserves the last brownie; what I mean is a solid, intellectual argument in which both sides have strong points to support them. Both parties respect each other and recognize that the other has just as good a reason to believe what he does, despite how wrong he believes him to be. These types of discussions are enjoyable because both sides learn and are able to demonstrate their knowledge on a subject. Today, however, these are extremely rare. The majority of arguments take place online, usually on some sort of social media. It doesn’t take long to see that these are not intellectual arguments. You can try to have one, but it’s only a matter of time until someone abandons logic and begins to attack the person or their beliefs. This happens especially with political topics. Someone may be discussing the pros and cons of something such as gay marriage with another person when a third will some in and drop the term “homophobic.” I’m not going to take a position in this article, but the term homophobic is a little extreme if it’s not in response to something along the lines of “all homosexuals must be thrown in jail.” This is slightly less common in face to face discussions, but still very present. Among friends, there is often a sort of mutual respect in a dispute along with unspoken rules: (1) Don’t cut off the other person, let them finish their point, (2) No name calling, (3) If you cannot refute his claims, do not attack the person or his beliefs. (4) At all times remain calm and respectful, etc. Why can these not exist in all discussions today, regardless of differences in traits or beliefs?
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