Friday, May 27, 2011

Intelligent Argument 101

  Now, let me preface this by saying I love the LDS church, and its members are some of the nicest people I've ever met. That said, it also has some of the STRANGEST people I've ever met. And for some reason, whenever I have a class with someone who is also LDS, they always seem to fall into the latter category. And, of course, they are generally very outspoken about belonging to the LDS church.

  There is one such man in my dreaded British Literature class. He is one of those men who, if no one interrupts him, can keep talking for five or ten minutes on whatever point he's making because he thinks everyone must be incredibly interested in what he's saying. But, then again, people HAVE tried interrupting him before, and it didn't work, so I guess he's just a force to be reckoned with.

  Anyway, like a lot of LDS people, he is very conservative. Which is fine. I tend to be a teensy bit more liberal than most people I know in the church, but I can accept we have different opinions. BUT, if you DO have a strong opinion on something, could you please, pretty please,  just maybe, have an argument supporting that opinion that MAKES SENSE?

  I was looking to pick a fight yesterday, I admit it. I was feeling a wee bit moody, as I am wont to be occasionally, and I had the happy luck of sitting next to my favorite person in my favorite class, which was really just adding more powder to the keg of my irritableness.

  The teacher was discussing what the Germans thought of the USA killing Osama Bin Laden, and, basically, what they thought was that we were out of line. That we should have put him on trial, like we did for all the Nazi leaders, as that is what we agreed to do in some treaty or another (I admit, I am very ignorant on history), and that if we start invading any country we want and killing whoever we feel threatens us without trial, then not much separates us from the terrorists.

  MM (short for "Mormon Man", because I can't remember his name): [whispering to me, scoffing] That's so ridiculous.

 ME: Actually, I agree.

 MM: What? With who?

 ME: With the Germans. I wanted him to go on trial. And I also thought it was creepy how everyone was celebrating it. [I have a great fear of mob mentality]

 MM: Yeah, but it's the GERMANS. [Get ready for it] They started the HOLOCAUST, so that's like the pot calling the kettle black.

 ME: [stunned, and very, very annoyed] No, they didn't.

 MM: Yes, they did. [starts launching into detailed history of WWII, because apparently I have lived under a rock my whole life. Is finally cut off by my fifth, "I KNOW"]

 ME: What I meant was, the people who live there NOW did not start the Holocaust.

 MM: [silent for a minute, then gives the most irrefutable logic yet] Yeah, but, it's in their HISTORY.

 ME: [choking on words like SLAVERY and INDIAN GENOCIDE, but finally closes mouth and turns away, because this argument is pathetic and I doubt it will ever become more intelligent no matter what logic I give]

   Now, you could completely disagree with my opinion (and let me say I love the US, please don't arrest me). And I'm sure there are very compelling arguments to refute mine; I'm the first to admit I don't know all the details. But if you ARE going to try to refute me, PLEASE try to have some kind of an actual argument, and not just ugly stereotyping and blind convictions. Because otherwise, you're just going to end up on this blog.


  1. hahahah "I love the US, please don't arrest me".

  2. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole situation. On the one hand we are supposed to believe in due legal process, but on the other it IS war, he is slippery, he would be a martyr figure, and we would probably have 1000 attacks on us while he was held during the trial. Tricky...