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Wednesday's Weighty Wisdom: Why argue?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by robsalvv, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Hah!! NR is a lasting testament to my own examples of defending a closely held point of view. So I'm calling my own pot black on this matter. Please refrain from joining in! :LOL: :p

    We've had some super discussions in NR. Some have stayed mostly reasonable, others have spiralled into personal attacks. Putting the personal stuff aside for a second, why do we argue? Why do we defend our belief constructs so vehemently...even to the point of clinging onto an idea that's patently flawed?

    With specific regard to NR, why are our precious screen pixels so important?? People have even left NR because of it.

    More broadly though, I've seen an uncountable number of pub fights... with the majority seemingly being over some misinterpretted sleight or personal offense... to what end does the fight serve??

    Road rage seems to be another example of an argument, but with physical overtones. What's made us susceptible to it?

    More broadly, why do people argue? Why can't we disagree without being disagreeable? It's my objective to always remain agreeable even when disagreeing. I put that to an gf once and she said it wasn't possible unless you were a robot without feelings. Is she right? Is disagreeing without being disagreeable pie in the sky?

    Are there any meanignful answers or have we become so precious because we're humans and are living in a time where we have the luxury to give credence to our every whim?

    Does self esteem play a part in driving an argument?

    I'm not sure if this post will generate much discussion, but the topic is something that has played on my mind for a while. Differences of opinion are core to so much human dynamic... perhaps we should all take debating skills in primary school and get along better????

    Speaking of human dynamics, there are no end of jokes about marriage and argument - just look at Punch and Judy... I personally don't understand why couples argue? For there to be a standup argument, one or both must be being unreasonable. By definition then, if one is being unreasonable then there can be no communication - which is what the argument is trying to achieve - some kind of communication... emotive arguing then is self defeating. It happens a lot though - especially my next door neighbours :(


    Anyway, take it where you wish.

    Some quotes for consideration:

  2. Logic suggests that one can hold a different point of view than somebody else without the need to do something about it. Emotions suggest that logic is a self centered two faced biatch.

    As for disagreements turning physical, I think our modern way of life is highly stressful and complex. Instead of just worrying about that T-rex that is about to eat us we have to now worry about bills to be paid, hours of work, getting little Johny to soccer, our next nail and hair appointment, that next job review etc etc. I think there are a whole heap of lesser stresses that manifest themselves into real stresses that feel so big and unmanageable due to the complexity of modern life. That coupled with worse diets (fast foods), less sleep and a sprinkling of Testosterone these frustrations at other people snowball into bigger things.

    Anyway I have no idea what I've been rambling on about, I'll just go back to playing the PS2 now...
  3. #3 Ktulu, Aug 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I was going to type something about how in such a restricted, legislated and monitored society, thought is virtually our last refuge of freedom.

    We also feel more pressure - we are poor for time, money and patience as a result.
    Look at the range of philosophy self-help books, cult views, and even people in church for the wrong reasons:
    We harbour a belief in the power of thought - not necessarily to initiate real change, but to help us cope or improve our lives.

    Concurrently: we are defensive of whatever views, beliefs, ideals we hold true for ourselves, because we rely on them in ways we probably don't realise... indeed would be in denial of, because we are taught dependance is weak.

    In addition; as motorcyclists we are possessed of a heightened sense of mortality, so are less likely to waste time on good-manners with anyone we have already decided is a farking idiot, and then come across as more argumentative :)

    But I don't want to type anything about that... I'll just post this link
  4. I suspect my point of view on this matter is no secret, but thanks for bringing on these philosophical threads, Rob, great stuff....
  5. I will be honest and start by saying I am one of the most argumentative people I know.
    But I always approach every argument with a quote from a man I respect as much as a parent or more. (And disagreed with on a lot of occasions)
    “The only argument you learn something from is an argument you looseâ€
    And with this in mind I will defend all that I believe until I am given something more logical to believe.

    Also I note the Quote below. His is one thing I have on occasion had real issue with. Watching someone who I agree with Butcher there argument with illogical garbage that makes it impossible to agree with them.
    But here we are talking about intellectual argument. Things like road rage are very different. I sometimes become quite effected by it, and for me it comes from people doing things that endanger my safety. (My tailgating crusade) I get frustrated by people doing things like going slow in the right lane and the like, but it never gets me hot under the collar. But things that cause danger get me ready to crack it in a major way. So these are less about the argument than about the inherent danger that the behavior represents.

    Bar brawls… or the like. Once again they are a very different argument. I personally have never been involved in any though have been sorely tempted on a few occasions. You know you are there minding your own business and some prick steps back into you repeatedly pushing on your kidneys with his elbow. You know all he wants is a fight, and all you want to do is enjoy a quiet beer. So do you just let the stupid F#$k get away with it or stand your ground? Bullies shit me and intimidation has limited value against me. But for some reason my friends have always steered me away before I have cracked it. (Probably for the best)

    The idea that modern life leads to worse arguments I feel is entirely inaccurate. Reading histories of dueling through the ages. It got to the point in England, France & Italy where a scar on the face was a fashion accessory. So many people were dieing through duels that they made dueling a crime punishable by death (A Certain irony there). People were dueling on the smallest pretence much like bar room bullsh!t.

    Arguments of Love are sometimes the most painful. When you argue with some one you have no respect for, you can dismiss the things they say, but when it is someone you love, it will always hurt. Keeping rational is all the more important and all the more difficult because of this. The strength of a relationship I believe is to be able to achieve your stated goal above of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. To be able to keep the argument constructive and quickly turn it to a discussion aimed at achieving goals, without letting it become an emotional sh!t fight
  6. I only have one question. Is this a ten minute argument, a five minute argument or just a disagreement???
  7. I will argue a point where I feel that the others perspective is formed from nothing more than prejudice, even if I hold that same opinion.

    I had lunch with a guy who said 'you can't trust a catholic'. I've known people who are openly racist. I've worked with others who are extreme left or right wing. I hold it dear that you can have any opinion you like, but let that opinion be formed from experience and your own values, rather than pure hatred or prejudice.

    Witness the debate on Haneef in NR recently. I didn't hold an opinion one way or another, but was criticised or asked to defend the gumnuts position based on my arguing that those who maintained 'this is obviously a government conspiracy to engender fear in the Australain population' actually prove their point. You can't say something so black and white, so open to debate without having some factual basis for that statement.

    I love a good discussion and am happy to disagree with you, but whatever you do, be prepared to justify your position. If that makes me argumentative, I am happy with that. In my defence I don't believe we have to agree to be close friends. A discussion/argument does not need a winner.
  8. I never argue!

  9. its called pecking order

    there's 2 reasons for that on netrider


    there are different levels of communication skills. some people have to go down a level to be understood by everyone. thats nothing new, radio and newspapers do it all the time. take *timmy* for example; he said in the NADS thread that before marriage, he must know the bad side of a woman. that means that everyone has a good and bad side and you need to KNOW the person very well before getting married. he wasnt understood that way. its easy to type in a quick response without a second thought which is fine, im sure if those nr had put some thought into it they would have come up with more possible explantions to concure with what he was saying.

    jumping to conclusions is all fine and good accept there are SOME netriders who jump to conclusions and arent satisfied when the explanation is brought forward [unlike those in nads who understood clearly]. they stick to their original thought as if it was law and argue it down to the ground.


    because some people run off emotion instead of intellect [explained below]. they dont care about whats right, all they care about is making the other person look wrong thereby giving themselves a false sense of self satisfaction [which never lasts because its ungrounded].

    what a lot of people dont seem to realize [even me some time ago] is that it's ok to say i don't know, you dont have to know everything or be right all the time to feel accepted. those who have low self esteem feel pressured to show themselves to be of value when the truth is, everyone has value, no one has to pay for their time here, its a gift to you, accept it.

    good on you but you dont have to be agreeable when you dont agree. if i were you my objective would be to expect correct details in threads such as 'believe' [details such as dates and concepts] and relax to have a casual, friendly conversation in other threads. objectify to enjoy nr more on a social level rather than a 'by the book' for every word that is said. remain aware of the fact that the written word has no tone which makes it difficult for everyone and find where the words are coming from before you reply.

    what makes nr really tricky is that we dont know each other on a personal level, so when a person puts a post in they often get more people mis-understanding their point from small details in the post than those who simply get it and converse.


    explaination of emotion vs intellect;

    i put this bit down here cause you never seem to listen to me rob, i hope u do secretly at least. i am able to answer your question.

    our feelings and thoughts travel to the same part of the brain so one can override the other.

    tis just like a seesaw, if your feelings go up [have a fight with gf, get angry] your ability to think goes down [get in the car and put your foot down, stupid eh]

    also, if you're in pain [feeling] and you do a math puzzle [thinking] then your pain will not be felt because you are using your intellect so much that the seesaw is up and theres no room for feeling.

    when a person has problems at home it effects their studdy because they are feeling and not able to think as clearly.

    so when a person puts a post in that is mis-interpretated, that person who replies may get angry and loose their ability to think clearly.

    when the original post author explains their position, the angry person at the other end may want to make a big deal out of it because they have lost ability to think clearly due to the over use of their emotions.


    because of pecking order
  10. meh, you're all wrong!

    I'm right though ;)
  11. #11 Seany, Aug 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  12. Tramp, I guess I was alluding to an actual verbal fight. I find it hard to understand why two people who choose to be together would fight. I've seen it often, but always shake my head. That's not to say it hasn't happened to me, but when it has, the circumstances were extraordinary.

    In the relationship stakes, I prefer to genuinely discuss differences of opinion. Naturally that's an ideal... sometimes, emotions, fears, uncertainties etc etc play havoc with clarity and mistakes are made... regretably in most case.

    Port - using emotions and logic in the same sentence is risky!! Two faced biatch eh??? Like stump alludes, the two things don't often occupy the same space well.

    Ktulu - you make some pretty good points. So why do we clutter our lives to such a degree that we're time poor???? hey, your motorcyclist point is :nail: .Perhaps that's enough of an explanation for what goes on in here sometimes.

    I think I resonate with Cejay's post the most though. If you make a statement with the air of a fact, then be prepared to explain it's basis... Cejay or I might just ask! lol Sometimes I'll take a con to someone's pro, just to illicit a discussion... never vindictively though.

    FL, I would never have picked you as an argumentative feller??! :p LOL. I would concur with your perception though, you do seem like a person who'll take on new info when convinced the old one needs a revamp. Someone with a more fixed point of view is likely to be in many unconstructive arguments...

    Stump, great post. I have much to consider in it. Stump - truth is I often listen to you when I come across your posts, I do not have a personal issue with you, but sometimes your outrageous statements inflame my sense of order or something like that! As a result I've chosen to apply a much greater level of discretion to what you say - the porno example is a case in point. I don't wish to belittle your experiences or what you know... but you do often make statements that are at odds with my own views... makes for some fun times :p :)

    I totally agree, NR is tricky because it's a medium of words, that's why more care should be taken in what's said... :-k

    On a personal level, I've had some special stoushes on NR, notably rear brake, weight shifting, religion, and now dubbin gate... all with the purpose of coming to a point where all the loose threads are tied up and all erroneous information addressed. It's a compulsion to share information... it doesn't come across that way sometimes... but that's why I do it. Naturally others draw their own conclusions, but that's what drives me.

  13. It's pretty easy. You take one irrational but otherwise great person and put them in close proximity to a stubborn but otherwise great person. If the good far outweighs the bad then you choose to be together, but it's an almost constant shit fight. I'm sure there's other situations with the same end result, this is the one I have had a couple of years experience with. :roll:

    I'd say most arguments come from a lack of understanding, personality disorders, social incompetence, irrationality, stubbornness, ignorance etc etc. It's not really that often that an argument stems from a fundamental difference in core values.
  14. im guna make my input before this turns in to a 128 page thread.

    by and large i think you are all missing a valid point, yes people wil lhave diffrent opionions these opinions (yes i never finished high scholl) come into contact with other people opinions when there actions menefest.


    I am of the belief i am going to eat that apple

    The other bloke is of the same belief.

    Now both people cant win so there has to be an argument (or a fight same thing) until somone eats the apple.
  15. compromise.
    learn it, it will serve you well attaining a good career and life.
    you can always share the apple ;)
  16. Meh - you need energy to argue. And a clear head helps. Most of the time I have neither and even if I did, I probably couldn't be bothered.

    I'm a 'let it slide' kinda person. :)
  17. thanks for reading my post rob. please dont forget to take time out and consider what i said. its something that everyone should consider at some point. that message sure has picked me up from a dark place and set me on the right road.

    absolutely true, i have changed the way i write my posts since i started here. another thing that is equally important is the reader to keep the authors limitations in mind and adapt to that.

    the bigger picture of the message is whats important, not the 2 words that are general and could mean many things.

    and yeah, that p0rn thread, thats what i mean by having a relaxing chat rather than a 'by the book' all the time experience.

    stump it up! :cool:
  18. :applause: Congrats on a superb thread topic with meat Rob.
    IMHO-Your sense of self and identity is built around cummulative experience that starts at birth. An event transpires and your sense of self(ego) and identity, basically puts it into 2 baskets, I------NOT I, identification------disidentification. I agree-----I disagree.
    To what extent you want to attach yourself to these events, and cling to them as fervent realities, seems to determine the amount of mental agitation and anguish you are likely to experience, and how deeply your prepared to argue the perspective with someone who cannot identify with the event.
    Obviously there are many factors on determining the depth of this identification, and what extent you are prepared to argue your point, parental, environment, economic, peer group, media.etc, etc. Then you have things like the George Costanza argument"remember Gerry-its not a lie, if you believe it :roll:
    All I can ever do is live my truth, my personal belief,s hopefully based on fact based events, laws of nature or science. Concrete truths-to me.

    The moment I try and convince you my belief is "absolute truth :!: " a space for argument seems to be created.
    Its just my opinion, thats all. The amount of energy it takes to convince someone your right, usually outweighs the benefits Ive found. Who cares, its just my reality, my perspective, my opinion. The saying "me thinks he doth protest too loudly" is ringing in my ears. If you have to argue the point that much, usually means someone's full of B.S.
  19. Taking out the point of it being patently flawed - we defend them because our belief constructs are who we are. Everyone has their own beliefs on every subject under the sun. These are built from every experience we've had in our lives. They are who we are. Who WOULDN'T defend who they are?

    Patently flawed - by who's standard? I'll argue, some would say a lot :p but I will always acknowledge it if someone can clearly point out that I AM wrong. Some people just plain won't, however a lot, like yourself and Cejay will only do so if it's logically and clearly backed up.

    I think part of the issue is because it can be hard to explain in text only. Many people have the ability to express themselves in text only, so successfully and clearly that there's rarely, if ever any issue in understanding. Some, however, can't and when they get 'attacked' it's hard to keep emotion out of it.

    I'm not a big pub person, so I haven't been around this all that much. But when it comes down to it, the majority of it, I believe at least - and again, I'm not a big pub person so I'm no authority on this - is purely alcohol related.

    The amount of stupid people in this world grows every day :p Seriously, I'd have to agree with what's been said previously, in that some of it would be because of endangerment to our person. Most, I believe, is impatience. And that, unfortunately, will not change any time soon.

    While disagreeing without being disagreeable is your aim, that doesn't mean the other person is sharing it. The majority of people argue with emotion. Disagreeing without being disagreeable can sometimes be taken as you're arguing just for the sake of arguing. I disagree with a lot of people about a lot of things. I know that people aren't always going to agree with me, and I'm ok with that. The only thing that shits me is when I'm discussing/arguing something that's important to me, within my heart, that I'm not necessarily able to explain with 'logic', and I'm made to feel that it's any LESS important just because the other person doesn't 'get it'.

    I think there's many a meaningful answer to obtain in life full stop, not just arguments. If you can articulate things so well that you make someone stop and think about their argument, themselves, their place in the world, what's important etc then you have 'won' the argument.

    Absolutely. No one likes to be shown they're wrong. But this also depends on the topic of the argument.

    Debating skills to 'get along better'? I don't think that'll change anything. People are different no matter what classes you take in primary school. School is only a small part of life as a whole, and your influences outside of that shape you just as much, if not more than school.

    Couples argue because they're different people. Just because you begin a life with someone doesn't mean you never change, that your views never change, that your beliefs never change. You continue to grow and change throughout your entire life, just because you make a commitment to someone doesn't mean this ceases.

    I've been with someone that would argue just to argue. Not necessarily about something imperative to our relationship, just anything. He liked to poke holes in people's arguments, with the explanation that he wanted people to fight for things that they truly believed in (like you and Cejay). I'm really not an argumentative person...in voice anyway. I could WRITE till the cows came home (not that you can tell :p) but I've never been good at verbalizing my arguments. So these arguments usually ended up in my feeling stupid because I couldn't clearly state how and why I felt how I did. Every now and then I'd come out with one liners that would stop him in his tracks....I liked those times :p

    I'm now with someone who hates confrontation more than I do, and does all he can to avoid any kind of argument. It's a nice change ;) It IS hard to get an idea of what he's passionate about though, and that can be hard at times. It's nice to just be listened to, it's nice to not be shot down every time I say what I believe, but silence is hard to argue with ;)

    Agreed...but it depends on the type of argument.

    Again, depends on the topic.

    You and Cejay...and many others, in a nutshell ;)

    And that's MY issue. Just because you've had different experiences and have different views, doesn't mean how I feel about something is any less important.
  20. Stump and yourself make some pretty good +1 comments Peah. TOTALLY been there on the relationship with arguing for the sake of arguing :? :bolt: They say they are"Passionate people" :jerk: what a croc of stimpy, IMO their emotionally immature individuals, incapable of rational thought, who usually try and instill fear into whoever their arguing with, just to try and prove their point.
    Agree on the txt argument versus in person,like here on this forum. I find if Im there in person, obviously I can always convey myself more clearly. If I walk up to a debate/difference of opinion/argument, I add my 2 bob and when I find myself getting drawn into it and my mouth just going :blah: ,1 of 2 things happen, I keep going :blah: or hopefully sometimes my thoughts catch themselves, I stop, internally step back, become an observer to myself and the scene, and listen to what my hearts saying to me as well.
    The heart apart from being a pump, has a neural network exactly the same as the brains, just in miniscule quantites, none the less its still the exact same neural network as the thoughts in your melon. However it has 1 major difference, it cant go :blah: ,yet still :WStupid: is on the team.
    I find if I combine the 2, I know when the person Im arguing with has or hasnt the capacity to assimilate information to form a logical point of view, or Im just completely wasting my breathe,in which case I wont even bother.
    At the end of the day, does anyone really care what I think :-k me thinks not, is it worth arguing over :-k me thinks not