Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Rules of Engagement

I love to argue; this is obvious to anyone who has known me for more than, say, five minutes. I'm good at it, and I like to win. But I am more concerned about the truth than I am about winning, and I don't like to hurt people. This occasionally gets me into interesting situations...

I tend to forget that there are rules that define a debate, and, more important, define what is NOT an honest debate. These take the form of four questions: What is my position? What is your position? Am I willing to change my position, and under what circumstances? Are you willing to change your position, and under what circumstances?

Someone who is not willing to change is either teaching or fighting depending on the circumstances, and both parties need to adjust to the actual nature of the interchange (possibly by leaving the room...)

I could have saved myself SO MUCH trouble over the years if I could just REMEMBER that...

This comes up because I have recently had a run in with a stranger who invaded my LiveJournal looking for a fight, and it took me a while to realize it. It galls me to walk away from an argument that I could win easily in competitive format, but there are no judges here, and nothing to gain...

Uncle Hyena
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