How to Argue

In this wired world where a not-so-healthy debate is only a click a way, we could all use some help in how to disagree. Which is why I find this disagreement hierarchy kind of interesting. It helps to analyze a discussion a bit and figure out if what you’re arguing about is even worth arguing about.

More often than not, two people arguing passionately about something are actually arguing about two different things. Sometimes they even agree with one another, but are so caught up in their squabble they don’t realize it.

I think that happens a lot. More than we care to admit (because then we couldn’t argue, dammit!). So often I think the argument is over completely separate points. We argue over how it should happen, not realizing that we both want different outcomes, which would explain why we both think it should happen differently. But instead of realizing that and cutting to the chase, we keep going at each other over something irrelevant.

2 thoughts on “How to Argue”

  1. That was a fantastic article. It would be nice if the hierarchy got broadly disseminated, then we could just respond to mean comments with, “Sorry, DH1. No need for refutation. Let’s move on, shall we?” That would be much better than six more comments trying to clarify a comment that was useless to begin with. We can dream can’t we?

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