Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Armor! Anger! Argue!

Yeah, right, it's a saying I came up with, somewhere along the line: "Armor, Anger, Argue!" Or a parallel formulation, with apologies to Julius Caesar: "Venom, Vendettam, Vindictum!"

I'm not going to say which random blog post out there touched off this line of thought in me today. But has it ever occurred to some people that going forth to argue, armed to the teeth, "loaded for b'ar," with armor carapace and razor-edged courtroom-attorney arguments, may not always be the best way to discover the truth? Has it ever occurred to some people that bludgeoning your opponent, no-quarter-asked-or-given cross-examination, heading them off preemptively at the pass, and always oh-so-carefully covering your ass, may sometimes be strategies destructive of truth, and destructive of our own truth-uncovering capabilities?

Has it ever occurred to some people that sometimes, sometimes, discovering truth may require stripping yourself powerless, proceeding in weakness and vulnerability, and daring to open up a place in your heart and mind where you can hear your opponent without defensiveness, without the perpetual rapier "aha!", without the ever-escalating game of one-upmanship? Dare to take off that stiff, rigid suit of armor. Dare to lay down your rhetorical and argumentational weapons.

Dare to be defenseless.

And then, in the silence, listen— openly, vulnerably, defenselessly— for that still, small voice.

Honestly, there are times when the rhetorical "nuclear arms race" of some in the blogosphere just leaves me sick to my stomach.



Anonymous Lucy said...

Been there. Done that. Stopped. Found out people confuse nice with stupid. How sad is that!?!

But ... aren't you working on the assumption that finding the truth is the point? Rather than the idea that they are merely trying to get their viewpoint accepted as the truth?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1:04:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Well, yeah, that's probably the case. And you just know that these same people are going to argue, with a straight face, that no truth, large or small, in all of human history has ever been uncovered except via the raging angry sledgehammer blows of militant "up against the wall!" argumentation...

Thursday, April 13, 2006 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger Ara said...

Dare to be defenseless.

I'll trust you if you trust me first.


Monday, April 17, 2006 1:35:00 PM  

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