Sunday, April 8, 2012

Civility In Argumentation




Blogs, like the superficial world of social network such as fb provide a medium to convey and also hear others. But the difference is that it is not of little substance as the later. An opportunity to see one's thoughts or even ramblings in print and in cloud all for free! (Imagine having to convince a publisher to bet on us). However it will be preposterous to presume and be dictated by one’s fantasies and bias than by argumentation. To rubbish the other out of prejudice will tell more of one’s cussedness. To hold the view that if you are against my opinion you are against me, a dictum followed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and in the recent past by George.W.Bush is churlish in the least.

Are we able to receive criticism as we would invite appreciation? What would be the reaction to someone who may not agree with us? What would we do when we see someone able to threaten our beliefs or opinions which we know though inexplicable, we need to cling to for comfort or, for it may be necessary to cater our ego and may be even because of the fear of being disrobed? And do we use obstinacy as a shield of defense?  In the final analysis we feel offended .don’t we? Some of us would all the while and some, sometimes.

A tongue in cheek remark! “Yes, your statement, the clich├ęd judgment you made …, no comments as usual, you may carry on.” Doesn’t that tell more of the acerbic state of mind than a discerning repartee? Or it can also be because of misconstruing. In any case the loss is the spirit of debate.

It is a matter of fact that matters that are governed by social etiquette may not be confined to sexes, they overlap; there are certainly characteristics predisposed in the male of species and differently in female of species (man and beast). The matter is more evolutionary and how Nature has chiseled. And gregarious social life or formative and later day education may not necessarily completely erase evolutionary predilections. I’m apprehensive of commenting on such issues as there can be veiled and wanton statements categorising me as a women baiter. Which will certainly be as wild an allegation borne more out of inability to understand what I state and the spirit behind it? A statement of the kind mentioned in the paragraph above is deliberately left ambiguous and more than that it is subtle and crafty, assigned to euphemistically convey a message. “You conceited arse hole, you may brag but I don’t care, because I can never be wrong.”

It, to me would be akin to a termagant who wants to convey to the spouse her displeasure towards his indifference for something she fancies, but would love to exult in conveying messages through subterfuge, innuendo and as ambiguous as possible, (also say beat about the bush) to finally wear him out rather than confront him directly and tell him in simple language what she wants or means. Pertinently, not doing so is also the sign of the inability to convey in words and with reason why the person dissents. Also tells the confused mind the person keeps, though he/she would love to think otherwise-crafty allusions rather than facts that should convey the reaction in logical terms. An insurgent, guerrilla mentality perhaps!

I’m afraid of the notion, be it in me or other that what one says and believes is right and inviolate. Especially when one do not will to explain. And if the other with sufficient conviction and reason can decimate our notion, it is cussedness to play spoil sport and brand the person as intemperate and biased.

Tim Sebastian is an articulate person most of us would remember seeing on the BBC talk show, “Hard Talk”. He had pilloried many famous and infamous through his well-directed questions, crispy comments and retorts. His well-researched interviews have elicited many truths and made the many known for notoriety perspire in discomfort. And not that his observations were never repudiated effectively by the interviewee! Once, he was asked what he feels when sits across the table with the famous and the infamous. He commented that, it was his job and what he ensures at the closure of an interview was only to not shake hands with criminals and the ones with blood on their hands. Well are there folks amongst us with blood on their hands?


I suppose that in a discussion in the social world, it is necessary that one dose show the sagacity and civility to respect a different perspective, or question it with logic. And not be obstinately offended by a critique or comment understood incorrectly and in a wrong context. For being repudiated argumentatively is in fact a graduation to an improved state of mind and thought. Isn’t it so?

9 comments:

Makk said...

how do you feel about M F Hussain paint some goddess in nude?

Freedom of Expression?




I will write my view after knowing yours.

rama said...

I really enjoy reading your blogs, the words, the sentences, and your thoughts, everything in its right place.

anilkurup said...

@ Makk

M.F.Hussain had the right to paint nude images. But where he erred and foolishly was in attempting to reap publicity by making the painting controversial and naming it after the Hindu goddess .He could have given the painting any other name.

And as for the puritans ( the so called chaste Hindus) being offended and their sensibilities hurt, I wonder if their convictions, faith and beliefs are so fragile and fickle to shatter to pieces by a mere painting , if ignored would have not gotten the notoriety and publicity it seldom could bargain for.

Makk said...

the puritans ( the so called chaste Hindus) are nothing but a sect of hypocrites.

For me, it is okay. As if I care.
:). Let him paint more & more & more..


as for your comment:

Absolutely What I think.


Hats off sir. :) I finally found someone who thinks like at least in some matters.

May be more will come in future.

Insignia said...

Well, to do that persistently is a huge challenge isnt it? Its an energy sucker; if coupled with the fact that people dont try to understand what you want to say but just throw their views around to 'make their presence felt'.

Such times, its not worth your energy to debate and discuss. And Anil, you may not like it but there are lots of 'present sir' people around. Take my previous post; I can count hardly 2 people who tried understanding what i wrote - you were one among them

Happy Kitten said...

Anil: If everyone where to agrees to what one writes, it would be boring :) though I may not entirely like harsh criticism, I always enjoy a different prespective.. blogging has changed a lot about the way I think about certain issues.

anilkurup said...

@ Makk,

Poor M.H.H is dead and gone , so no more controversies.

@ Insignia,

You are perfectly right with statement of all those many who want to lean over and make known.
As for criticisms ,I personally do not detest that. But accusing and attributing something without understanding is churlish and naive. It is a pity that some get offended by a disagreement.

@ Happy Kitten,

Certainly, I do not want only agreement over what ever one says. It is just impossible unless one wants to ingratiate and be false in pretense. As you say it will be bore too. For it is different perspectives that enliven.
Blogging as you mentioned has changed our outlook, thought, knowledge and many things. One can gain nothing being cloistered emotionally and intellectually.

Meera Sundararajan said...

I like your blogs-they are good in the sense the language is good and the argument strong. Yes, there are many out there who beg to differ but then that is life. Imagine if all of us held similar views? About you being a woman baiter- wellll that is a new perspective! I find your views on the gender differences in communication styles. Yes there is indeed a difference. But much of it is through learned behavior- women may not get what they want by asking for it directly so they beat about the bush. But I agree when it comes to the style of communication the thought processes are also variables that we need to take into account. Women often have a style of thinking that is different from men and hence use words in a certain sort of way. I am giving below a link from one of my posts which you may like to read http://meerareflections.blogspot.in/2011/07/communication-in-pronouns.html

anilkurup said...

@ Meera Sundarajan,

I read your post through the link and left my comment. Sure that was a good piece to read.
As I mentioned in my reply to a comment here ,I do not agree that disagreement is bad. In fact they are the life blood of argumentation. It will be a bore when all agree with us. But the pity is some take offence by an argument or a comment in the lighter vein. That tells I believe their insipid taste and lack of life in their lives.

And my observations and comments on gender differences are based on experiences and reading that looks logical. No offense ever meant. Men are as frail as women( Shakespeare was confined in his comment "Frailty thy name is woman") but that was in one context so I do not pillory him.