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Re^2: What is "aggressive" argument?

by pemungkah (Priest)
on Nov 16, 2010 at 03:14 UTC ( #871631=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: What is "aggressive" argument?
in thread What is "aggressive" argument?

BrowserUK - my take on an online discussion is that when someone heads into what feels to me as a personal attack (and that can vary wildly from day to day, depending on phase of the moon, amount of sleep, and coffee intake). it's time for me to say "We seem to have stopped talking about the actual subject here; I think I'll stop now" and then really stop talking to them about that subject.

Once an argument has moved away from "I think this point is wrong", or "I think you have a mistaken assumption, here's what it is, and here's why I think so" on either side to the logical equivalent of "YOU SUX0R", it's over - there's no longer an argument that can be won or lost. Person A is talking about their opinion of person B, and opinions are neither provable or disprovable; they just are what they are.

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent", and that includes verbal and emotional violence.

Please note that I do not mean you are incompetent!

I mean "I think this is a mistake you are making that makes you look bad, and I think you're a lot smarter than that."

Having read and upvoted many of your posts, I know you are smarter than that - there's no question in my mind about it. It's just a matter of spotting the point of no return faster, and being willing to say, "Bored now. Done." and walk away, no matter what the other person may fire after you.

The temptation to respond is always very large. But not doing so after your polite termination of the discussion - "We're not talking about the subject anymore, but about me, so I think I'll stop now" - will mark you as someone wise enough to not waste his time on something that will be fruitless, pointless, and lead only to bad feelings on both sides - and makes the argumentative person look like the incompetent.

If you politely stop talking after saying the truth, then you're done. If the other person really wants to talk about the subject and just got overheated, then that's their chance to cool off, back down, (maybe) apologize, and resume talking about the actual subject. Otherwise, you look good, polite, and mature, and they look dumb.

Which is a far better result than any argument could achieve.


Comment on Re^2: What is "aggressive" argument?
Re^3: What is "aggressive" argument?
by Argel (Prior) on Nov 17, 2010 at 01:11 UTC
    Congratulations!! You are now a proud member of the "half a dozen would-be PM despots" that are trying to convince him that he could be doing better on the communication front.

    As someone who is 31 levels deep in a "discussion" with him elsewhere in this thread, I am sad to report that that is the fate that awaits us. Even the loose correlation between message reply depth and node reputation was not enough for him. He's right. We're wrong. His opinion is basically locked in at this point. :-(

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

      How about you fuck off now?

      I just discovered this post; I hadn't realised that you were double dipping.

      His opinion is basically locked in at this point.

      I'm replying now, to try and persuade you that you are...you'd never believe how many next words I've rejected before selecting this one--dead.

      I realise that this will be contrary to your opinion. Quite possibly diametrically opposed to your explicitly stated, on the record, written opinion. But I still want to inform you that there are at least 5 other people that agree with me that you are, in fact, dead!

      Therefore, your stubborn rejection of our council that you should stop walking, talking and doing whatever else you are doing--that in fact you must simply stop "doing" anything--is a character flaw. A definite sign that you are overemotional. Perhaps even that you are mentally unstable.

      We have concluded that you are in fact dead. Therefore, your continuing to hold an opinion to the contrary is bad, uncouth, irreverent and rude. You should therefore, stop holding that opinion immediately. By order of the ...erm...us.


      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
        Dang it! You got me! I'm actually a Lich!! (^_^). Well, I guess technically that in Eastern style emoticons that should be (X_X)!! (^_^)

        Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

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