Maybe I’m strange and perverse, but I’ve always thought there was something sexy about a compelling argument.
Our enemies are quite good for relentlessly keeping us sharp and on our toes. This especially goes for sincere philosophers. They use their enemies to challenge their arguments so that they can know the weak points in their own reasoning and how to argue for and strengthen their position. There are just none like one's enemies to always look for his mistakes and do it harder than anyone else.
It's not about whether or not someone is a bigot, but whether or not the argument which that someone is arguing is worth being a bigot about.
It is never ridicule, but a compliment, that knocks a philosopher off his feet. He is already positioned for every possible counter-attack, counter-argument, and retort...only to find a big bear hug coming his way.
Some people would have killed themselves and/or someone else if they were single, and some people would not have done that.
Good editorial writing has less to do with winning an argument, since the other side is mostly not listening, than with telling the guys on your side how they ought to sound when they're arguing.
Some of the most polished ideas are discovered through healthy, honest debate, so if you don't argue with yourself every once in a while, other people will gladly point out if, in any sense, you missed a spot.
You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.
This is what we do. Not so much argue as joust, in jest. We can't stop pushing and pulling the taffy of words and concepts.
Clara shrugged and immediately knew her betrayal of Peter. In one easy movement she'd distanced herself from his bad behavior, even thought she herself was responsible for it. Just before everyone had arrived, she'd told Peter about her adventure with Gamache. Animated and excited she'd gabbled on about her box and the woods and the exhilarating climb up the ladder to the blind. But her wall of words hid from her a growing quietude. She failed to notice his silence, his distance, until it was too late and he'd retreated all the way to his icy island. She hated that place. From it he stood and stared, judged, and lobbed shards of sarcasm.'You and your hero solve Jane's death?''I thought you'd be pleased,' she half lied. She actually hadn't thought at all, and if she had, she probably could have predicted his reaction. But since he was comfortably on his Inuk island, she'd retreat to hers, equipped with righteous indignation and warmed by moral certitude. She threw great logs of 'I'm right, you're an unfeeling bastard' onto the fire and felt secure and comforted.
Still, we've attempted to argue when necessary; you've got to be able to let loose and even lose your temper a bit if you're finding it hard to breathe. Closeness has to be like running water; it mustn't stagnate and sour.
When you become aggressive in arguments, you force the other person to become defensive which means they’ll either get ready to fight you or ready to flee from you.
Ove çould not in all honesty remember how it all started. It wasn't the sort of dispute where you did remember. It was more an argument where the little disagreements had ended up so entangled that every new word was treacherously booby-trapped, and in the end it wasn't possible to open one's mouth at all without setting off at least four unexploded mines from earlier conflicts. It was the sort of argument that had just run, and run, and run. Until one day it just ran out.
If everyone in New York took sides over these petty, insignificant arguments, no one would have any friends at all.
The only way to efficiently battle evil is to copy enough to know how to counter each argument, yet not enough to believe all the bullshit.
When two warring people face each other, the war of words jumps beyond the subject. The subject remains no more central to the arguments.
Whenever they are condemning weaves or breast implants, some people speak so passionately that their false teeth almost fall out.
The real purpose of the opposition is to minimize the amount of money the ruling party will have stolen from the people at the end of its term.
A deep breath is a technique with which we minimize the number of instances where we say what we do not mean … or what we really think.
A wise woman knows when to stay silent. However, a wiser woman of faith knows that sometimes words can win the battle, when all odds stand against her.
For a long time, they sat without speaking. The air outside was filled with the lilting sound of sparrows, the buzz of traffic on Main Street, and under that the faint lapping of waves on the lakeshore. Lou smiled. It wasn't the same, but it was better.And better, Lou thought, is a start.
Sometimes it's better for a struggling writer to stay single, than to keep hearing, Oh, your a writer, and you need to spend time in writing? Then go marry your writing!
--and yet, in my heart, I always knew we loved each other, a part of me understanding that the passion with which we hurt each other came from something strong enough to withstand the blows we inflicted. Looking back, I guess I always felt that we would have time to work things out eventually, not imagining what was to come; that we would one day have to cut all ties and never speak again.
You can't fight hatred with hatred and expect anyone to listen to you. You can only try to lessen it with humor, wit, truth and commonsense. If that doesn't work run like hell, while they throw rocks at you.
Complaining solves nothing but creative problem solving amongst people with a common focus will produce solutions.
Display politeness and frankness always both in action and conversation. Don’t keep engaging in useless arguments. It scares your dreams away. Talk sensibly.
He singled out aspects of Quality such as unity, vividness, authority, economy, sensitivity, clarity, emphasis, flow, suspense, brilliance, precision, proportion, depth and so on; kept each of these as poorly defined as Quality itself, but demonstrated them by the same class reading techniques. He showed how the aspect of Quality called unity, the hanging-togetherness of a story, could be improved with a technique called an outline. The authority of an argument could be jacked up with a technique called footnotes, which gives authoritative reference. Outlines and footnotes are standard things taught in all freshman composition classes, but now as devices for improving Quality they had a purpose. And if a student turned in a bunch of dumb references or a sloppy outline that showed he was just fulfilling an assignment by rote, he could be told that while his paper may have fulfilled the letter of the assignment it obviously didn’t fulfill the goal of Quality, and was therefore worthless.
n order to capture someone's attention, you must allow them to have the mental and emotional space to let you in.
The apologist is most entrusted with apologetics when capable of arguing his opponent's position better than his opponent.