Monday, November 07, 2005


The Art of the Argument

Nathan Moore has encountered some of the same frustrations I have experienced lately - arguing with those who simply aren't good at it. How do you know when you are arguing with an amateur? When they play David Copperfield with the facts, your own argument, etc., and are constantly changing tack like a dove flying over a hunter-infested cornfield.

It's a difficult exercise. Dick Wirtz, former dean of The University of Tennessee College of Law and my former professor for Contracts I and a 3L Seminar, told me the first day of law school that you should always pray that your opposition in an argument is ethical but also rational. This was some of the best and most relied upon advice I received during my schooling, because it comes into play more often than one would think. Irrational arguments - often hatched by liberals but certainly not monopolized by them - deal with spin, readings that are beyond comprehension, and ignore well-known precedents.

It certainly can be a frustrating affair, that's for sure.

I've found it's best to just ignore those commenters who leave completely irrational comments. It's way too frustrating to actually try and argue with them.
JB -

Forget trying to argue with them - the recent strain of juvenile comments over at your B4B have been unbearable to even READ. I still love your posts, but that's as far as I will go nowdays.

Good luck as finals approach!


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