The unArgumentative Indian

Before starting off, let me thank all those who inspired (or is it conspired?) me into writing my own blog. The list includes a couple of very old friends and a humanoid. It took a long time coming off, but I knew it was going to come. Was waiting for a topic and finally I found the most nondescript and the driest topic I could imagine.

No, I did not take any cues from Amartya Sen, this is wholly my take on a trivial subject which has caused endless frustration to me. The subject matter, as the title indicates, is that of arguments and how people deal with them. Getting into an argument, especially with an elder, is the worst sin you could possibly commit as a child. “Do not argue with me!” is the common rebuttal most of us would have faced. And when two grown-ups argue, we have the all-persuading saint who breaks the fight saying “Dude, each one has their own perspective, there’s no point arguing about it”. Perspective? Can a person argue that the sun rises in the west and still get away just because it is his/her perspective?

I am not talking about subjective matters like “Is Sachin the greatest batsman?” No. We are forbidden from arguing about objective issues as well. People might have different perspectives on subjective matters, but what about objective discussions? We generally fail to draw a line between objectivity and subjectivity.

Are arguments beneficial in any way? This is my blog, so YES, arguments are beneficial. On a more serious tone, the essence of all progress is debate. Friction between forces is necessary for any sort of progress. Imagine a world without friction, with only positively charged particles, a game of cricket without bowlers (or without batsmen). How would the world look like?  No imaginable means of transport, no electricity and no progress. Debate between opposing forces is central to “change”. And all progress is change. Had people not debated about the earth being flat or round, whether the earth goes round the sun or is it the other way round, science would have remained stale. The next time you argue, do not stop until and unless you are convinced. Don’t stop just because you are arguing with Einstein. Or because you are arguing with elders. But do remember one thing, courtesy can always be maintained and arguments can be healthy.

P.S: How many times have you heard this: “I neither questioned nor argued with my elders when they told me something. This is how you should behave”

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Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (10)  
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