30 March 2008

A Silly Argument

I don't think all arguments are bad. Some arguments are necessary. I suppose, arguments that are constructed in a civil manner can be considered as debates, and to me, debates are healthy. They're healthier than merely cursing people, and they're healthier than resorting to physical violence or war.

A good debate is when there is a direct clash of ideas, where a person is able to engage in a head-on combat with another person, and where both parties choose and explain the best points to justify their ideas. As an analogy, a clash of ideas would look like this:

The glass is half EMPTY, because of this, this, this..

The glass is half FULL, because of this, this, this..

Here, both Tom and Jerry get to debate their ideas head-on, so all is fine.

Recently, however, two people found themselves caught in a silly argument. An argument is "silly" when it does not even involve any clash of ideas, but instead is just a series of misunderstandings about one another's words.

A silly argument does not really allow anyone to debate properly, because one's point has been misunderstood by the other party, or one's words have been taken out of context completely. The recent silly argument was NOT related to glass/water/plastic/orange juice whatsoever, but the following example is just an analogy of what happened:

I think the glass is half empty, because of this, this, this..

You know what?
I think that isn't a real glass.. maybe it's made of plastic.. hehe..

[NOTE: This was an attempt by Jerry to purposely shift the topic, and the standard friendly giggle was included at the end.]

It doesn't matter whether it's glass or plastic, the point is it's half empty because of this, this, this..

Hmm.. You know, I think we already have the technology to make plastic look like that.. Anyway, I understand your point, though.. :)

[NOTE: Jerry inserted a smiley, indicating that he was not trying to be confrontational.]

You SAY you understand my point but ACTUALLY you DON'T understand my point. If you understood my point, you wouldn't keep on talking like that.

[NOTE: An accusation was hurled at Jerry. Tom has now accused Jerry of overstating Jerry's own ability to understand. Jerry does not like to be accused that way, because Jerry is the type who would simply admit things he does not understand.]

Hey.. I do understand what you meant about the glass being half empty, but I was only saying that THAT "glass" you're referring to might not really be glass and that we probably have the technology to make plastic look like that. That's all. I wasn't condemning your point. I was only talking about the material of that "glass".

See, there you go again. You don't understand my point.

I do understand your point about the glass being half empty. Let me reiterate, I'm just talking about the possibility of that "glass" not being made of glass. You didn't understand my point so you thought I didn't understand your point. Right?

Hey, I do understand your point, ok? You said it's plastic when I said it's glass. See, I understand your point, but wait a minute.. Oh, so you have a theory about that glass being plastic, is it? Well, my friend, your plastic theory is ridiculous anyway. You clearly don't know what you're talking about.

Fine, my theory is ridiculous. But still, you should not have said I don't understand your point. I do understand your point about the glass being half empty, ever since you first mentioned about it.. So, don't think I don't understand your point!

[Along the way, some other people decide to join the "series of misunderstandings". They are Donald, Daisy, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.]

Tom and Jerry, you guys should get a room!

Come on, man. Why should you guys argue about the orange juice in that glass? Some people like orange juice, some people don't. We all have our own favourite drinks. Live with it.

I love orange juice. It doesn't matter what these two guys say. I just love orange juice.

Guys, please don't argue over orange juice.

I think these guys are only discussing about the taste of orange juice.

[NOTE: Obviously they misunderstood Tom's point and Jerry's point.. But wait, Donald had a good point, though.]

I'm out of here, nobody understands me. This has been a stupid debate.

I'm out of here too. This wasn't supposed to be a debate in the first place.

As I see it,
there wasn't supposed to be an argument at all between the two. At first, Jerry was only trying to shift the subject. He was not really responding to Tom's point.. Jerry could have done it in a better way, and he was about to, but instead Jerry was caught in that "feeling of being offended" when Tom accused Jerry of overstating his own ability to understand. As mentioned aboved, Jerry is a person who would simply admit it if he really does not understand something, because there's no harm in admitting that he does not understand something.. but once an accusation is hurled at him, then he won't take it lying down. He's got some ego too, man.

Whatever it is, they both can now laugh about the whole episode.. Of course, as friends, they would still chat and argue in the future, but the preference would certainly be for proper debates rather than silly arguments like this one.. :)