Thursday, May 03, 2007

i suck at debating

this afternoon i joined an LDS member, a priestess of light, an ethnic catholic, and an agnostic in a passionate discussion of mormonism. at one point in the conversation, the priestess of light tried to convince everyone that mormonism and catholicism were more closely related than protestantism and catholicism because both faiths claim apostolic succession. despite a bag of facts, i couldn't seem to sway the priestess. thus, it is no surprise that when the debate got more controversial--i was arguing that mormons are not christians--i failed again. it took a dozen hand scratched diagrams before i could even convince my crowd that protestants, catholics, and orthodoxers fell under the same religious umbrella.

my inability to argue effectively isn't a new discovery. i have always had trouble pulling rhetoric from my brain without first thinking, thinking, and thinking some more. however, until yesterday, i was functioning under the false belief that, thank God, i could at least hold my own in a written debate. and then i posted in the controversial subject section of the grammar forum. ooooh boy, was it a disaster.

[i'll finish the 3-part post next time--i first had to confess my inadequacy in these logic wars]

andrew david. "belikin, the belizean hometown brew & a possible explanation for my sucky debate skills?" san ignacio town, belize.

ps. i may have the priestess of light's title wrong. i think she's also a druid.


Anonymous said...

i felt you did a very nice job in defending your beliefs especially with you diagrams. have you thought of posting your diagrams on your blog?

Emily said...

Andrew... I didn't go back and read the previous posts but I did read the page after that. I had a very similar experience on (believe it or not) the OTR board, The Orchard. I decided a while later that it wasn't my logic that was lacking, but a) relationships with people on the board and b) a working understanding of logic, historical sensibility, and the very idea of absolute truth in the world-at-large, especially among sensitive artistic people. It was frustrating, but I learned my lesson as well. :)
Truthfully, I was astonished how some very intelligent, thoughtful people couldn't understand that two opposite viewpoints couldn't both be 100% literally true. That was a bad sentence but you know what I mean. I don't know what to blame it on but it was almost scary.

andrew said...

thanks, anonymous. i may be overexaggerating my sense of defeat, but i do find it funny how everything fits together so well in my mind and then just kind of splatters wildly when i try to share it with others.

emily, that is surprising to find on an over the rhine website. perhaps you could have linford and karin step in and set them straight! and i agree with your analysis; debates are almost always heated and they seem to get even more tense, confused, and impossible when you're throwing arguments into the cybervoid.

andrew said...

i like that word. cybervoid.

Emily said...

can i steal that word from you?

andrew said...

of course. just be sure to offer me a tiny acknowledgement if it somehow makes you rich and famous.