Argue With Yourself


In things that are important to us, we like to think we’re right. Right? Right. Of course we do!

Well, do you really want to have a good chance of being “right” in those things?  Meaning, of course, a good chance that your understanding of something is correct.

Of course you do.

Then: argue with yourself. Relentlessly. Constantly.  Never conclude that your position has a 100% chance of being correct.

Try to prove yourself wrong. And never stop trying to prove yourself wrong. Seek out those with strong, or passionately-held arguments against your point-of-view. Argue with them, defend your position.

But.

When they out-argue you, admit it. And if they present a point-of-view you never considered, admit that too.

And, if they beat you, admit that too. Graciously.

Find weak points in your argument and attack them and force yourself either to defend them successfully, or discard them, and see what that does to your conclusion. It’s for this vital activity that debate opponents can be really useful.

Then, do the hardest thing of all: change your position to incorporate the new information that you were unaware of before.

If that means you have to admit you were wrong, then do just that. Not all that easy, but you come out of the whole process humbled, with new perspectives, and a much greater chance of being … right.

Now, do it all over again. And again.

— xPraetorius

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4 thoughts on “Argue With Yourself

  1. Excellent, excellent advise.
    Never be afraid of the truth.
    If I may add another important piece of advice, be as critcal of your oppents’ claims as you are of your own claims.
    Sadly, your opponents will not always be honest. Sometimes your opponents are just in error (not because of bad intentions). So, verify their claims as you would verify your own.

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