As I was reminded recently, some folks can’t tell the difference between thoughtful disputation and just plain, ornery, contradiction. When I take a position contradictory to the established order, I always try to work from a reasoned basis. I also try to find the humor in what is sometimes a tense process.

Man: An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
Other Man: No it isn’t!
Man: Yes it is! ’tisn’t just contradiction.
Other Man: Look, if I “argue” with you, I must take up a contrary position!
Man: Yes but it isn’t just saying ‘no it isn’t’.
Other Man: Yes it is!
Man: No it isn’t!
Other Man: Yes it is!
Man: No it isn’t!
Other Man: Yes it is!
Man: No it ISN’T! Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.

Funny stuff, easily applicable to real world issues. For instance, I’m looking for more reasoned debate on Carolina North and a little less reflexive contradiction.

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