Your Man Friday’s Ideas: When To Wrestle With Pigs
George Bernard Shaw once commented on the futility of arguing with true believers of any sort: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” Still, argument can sometimes be useful, although that is relatively unusual. And, of course, there are many different kinds of argument. A mathematical proof is an argument, but so is a spat about who is contributing their fair share to a relationship. In most arguments, it is naive to expect either combatant to change his or her opinion, and so arguing is pointless. (Unless one gets pleasure in exercising one’s wit or finds it enlightening to get a glimpse into another person’s mind.) However, there is value in public arguments such as debates, presentations to a jury, or conclusions presented to a knowledgeable audience (as in the case of scientific or scholarly publication). Here, the observers can change their initial opinions, which often matter.
Links here: http://kenstange.com/yourmanfriday/?p=1406