Avoiding The Argument

2 May

Only a day ago, someone that was a good friend of mine for many years decided, due to the fact that we have contrasting political ideals, it was time to effectively end the friendship.

At least that’s how I’ve perceived recent events.

This has caused me to ponder the situation a little more in terms of the bigger picture. What took place was an argument without proper debate about a number of issues, nothing specific, to do with our political ideologies.

The lack of debate, rather a war of words, mostly personal attacks against me (real sensible stuff I’ve come to expect from this guy), means that the issue is not resolved or argued correctly. I’m always up for a good healthy debate about the big issues, but this has left a very bad taste in my mouth and probably will for a while.

How can someone automatically decide that they are right and someone else is wrong without exploring both sides and place things into perspective.

I gained my own political way of thinking after much soul searching, reading and experience in my own life during my teen years. This is what I have based the way I think now.

I didn’t become a socialist overnight – it was years of witnessing the injustice in this world. I also took into account all sections of the political spectrum as to how the worlds problems could best be solved. Which philosophy was best at ensuring fairness and equity in a world that has been imbalanced and harsh for the majority of its people?

Socialism, after much though, seemed best at the time and today I am 100% sure of my way of thinking.

I may not be right, however. I may be off the mark. Yet, this is what I believe, not because of a gut instinct or feeling, but because of what I have seen, read, done in my life. I also owe quite a lot of my philosophy to my father, who, from an early age, involved me in much of his political campaigning for the ALP, introduced me to a number of politicians, and always roared leftist rhetoric. So there’s also a nurture vs nature element involved here.

Wondering how people can be so conservatively minded is something that has always plagued my mind. This friend of mine is someone who I’ve always been curious of in terms of personal philosophy.

I will not go so far as to call this person a racist, or a xenophobe. He is actually quite cosmopolitan and in some respects can have a fairly progressive attitude. However, what he does possess is a number of ultra-conservative ideologies. This philosophy extends its hand towards decreased immigration, economic liberalism, cuts to welfare, legislation based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and, very recently, the secession of Western Australia from the rest of this country.

I will not personally attack this person; that is not how I develop my arguments. Nor will I state that his ideologies are ridiculous and he should change them; we are all entitled to our own way of thinking and free to express ourselves.

What I will question is how he can believe that he is making a sensible debate by avoiding one. Simply questioning my own ideology without making a claim or sensible preposition is not an argument. It reminds of this popular comedy sketch.

I would wish to enter into a proper debate with this person. They obviously have not had much experience in this area. Perhaps they have, but this is how it appears to myself since they continually avoid entering into any kind of logical rebuttal when I make a statement.

I would also enquire as to why he believes that a difference in political ideology is grounds to end a friendship. I have a number of friends and close colleagues who have a number of different opinions to myself when it comes to politics and life in general. Yet, I continue with those relationships because they are inconsequential to how we get along as humans.

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One Response to “Avoiding The Argument”

  1. Peter Spicer-Wensley June 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Hi Simon,
    Sorry to hear your friend believes that divergent ideology (political / religious / whatever) precludes friendship.
    I have been very good friends for a very long time with someone whose politics are right-wing of Ghengis Khan and his Mongolian Hordette (aka The Young Liberals…) He is a bit sexist, racist, probably everything-ist given half a chance, and yet is a warm caring human being with interesting views and conversation. And I like him.
    It would sadden me greatly if be broke off our friendship for what I would consider a non-reason. So I feel your pain though I haven’t had the experience. It’s a shame that people will let something as petty as politics and religion stand in the way of a good conversation and friendship…
    If we were all the same what a boring world it would be.
    Best wishes
    PeterSW

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