What follows will take a different track than previous rants, because it is a direct response to my detractors. That isn’t a claim that the words here have garnered serious attention. Standing apart from this digital persona, in conversations taking place at other forums, I am usually asked as to why I bother arguing, often by those that supposedly share my opinion. They have already written off the opposition as being beyond reason, coming to the talk with only emotion and willing to disregard every thought that would upset their view on life. By this estimation, I am wasting my breath, and time, in trying to hold a civil discussion.
To show such disregard to the opposition is an arrogant mistake. If we underestimate the enemy, he will either catch us unaware, or we miss the chance to change his mind. Even if our judgment is spot on, and we refuse to join the argument, then we yield the entire discussion. Only their voice will be heard, while we stand mute.
Since we must speak out, than I say it must be done in a firm, reasonable manner. Be firm in your stance, but avoid open aggression or hostility in your tone. It is possible to hold true to your convictions while still respecting the view points of the other side. By understanding their reasoning, the ‘why’ of their beliefs, you will be better equipped to explain your own. Finally, by approaching the discussion with an open mind, you may realize what you held as truth is a misconception. In the end, to err is human, and are we anything but?
As good a closer as that seems, there is one more point that must be made explicitly. Any argument entered is not for the sole benefit of those doing the talking. In today’s life of instant upload, every idea expressed may be quickly known by millions. Even if your opponent is emotionally set and unreasonable, those who witness may be more open to conflicting ideas. Always assume, and act as if, someone watching may find merit in your words. Maintain tact and decorum against thoughtless claims; flatly reject personal attacks without rising to the same.