Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Let's agree to disagree that I am going to punch you in the face!
The ultimate pathetic disengagement can be found within the phrase "Let's just agree to disagree." What it means is this: I won't change your opinion and you won't change mine so let's just not argue about it anymore. Here's the thing though, if it's just two guys talking quietly in a cafe over a cup of coffee, okay, maybe that isn't the best place to have a debate, but if they both passionately believe whatever they're disagreeing about, then just giving up and agreeing to disagree is nothing more than cowardice. It's nothing more than Neville Chamberlain style appeasement. It's not only unsatisfying, it's the kind of thing that if carried to the ultimate ridiculous extreme would result in the extinction of mankind. Reductio ad Absurdum.
Hey buddy, you can't just come walking into my house... So he says: "I'm kind of sleepy right now, so can we just agree to disagree about that until tomorrow?" Please! You can't do that to my wife!...So he says: "Hang on a second. Why don't we just agree to disagree for about ... oh another three minutes or so?" Hey, you can't just come in here and kill me!... "Don't be so sentimental about it. Why don't we just agree to disagree, okay?" The lion says to the lamb: "I'm feeling a bit peckish; do you feel like dinner? No? Let's just agree to disagree about that, shall we?"
I get it that some people just aren't the argumentative type; they don't enjoy the thrust and parry of substantive debate. Maybe they're not good at it or maybe they're the kind of person who just wants everyone to like them, and mistakenly believe that giving way, knuckling under, appeasement of whatever kind is the best way to have everyone get along. I hope you are able to see—as in my example with the lion and the lamb—that at some point, when the argument is important enough, there must not only be an argument, but at some point there must also be a clear and definitive winner of that argument!
Piers Morgan and Rick Warren want to get along. They want to be civilized. They want each to like the other. Rick likes Piers and Piers likes Rick. Isn't that just the sweetest cutest most precious thing you ever did see? Rick buddy, I think Piers' spider sense is tingling—IYKWIMAITYD. You guys want to get along and normally that would be okay, but this argument you're having is an existential one. On one path mankind continues, on the other there's nothing left but the birds and the bees. It's nice that you want to agree to disagree, but see, this is television. You're not just you Rick, you're representing every Christian on Earth. It's not just all of us who demand that you defend this argument for them, God also expects you to take a stand, to defend our Christian values. You can see that, can't you Mr. Warren? We don't need you to be friendly with Piers Morgan, we need you to win the God-damned argument.
These two are on television to make their case. They're supposed to present their side with passion, with logic, with reasonable argument. That's why they're there, isn't it? They're not there to be polite, to get along, or agree to disagree. By the same token, you wouldn't see two boxers climb in the ring and then one says to the other: "Hey buddy, why fight? Let's just call it a tie and go home." The people came to see a fight. They came to see one fighter win and the other one lose.
Here is another Piers Morgan clip. He's in a real battle this time. His opponent doesn't seem to want to agree to disagree. Just like the previous argument this argument too is an existential one, and it looks as though Piers' opponent gets that, even though apparently, Piers himself, does not. The gay marriage argument is this: Man- and woman-kind may—if they so choose—betray their ancestral line. They may betray their own parents and the millions upon millions of great-great to the power of great-grand parents who sacrificed everything, who gave of their time, and of their wealth, who gave their love, who suffered heartbreak, who fought in wars, and suffered through famines, and plague, pestilence, and drought, all the heartache and horror that Satan could throw at them, all of that, so that a thousand or a million years later this proud and storied line could just end. It could just stop with this man or this woman saying: "I'll do what I want." It doesn't matter whether you believe in God or Darwin; either way homosexuality is a dead-end.
The Gun-Control argument is this: Government has the right to strip people of their only means of protection. If you believe that then you believe that the government has the right to shackle every citizen hands and feet. After all if you can't raise your fists or kick then you can't hurt anyone. Why not blindfold everyone as well. If you can't see someone you'll be less likely to injure them. Even though this is a slippery-slope argument, that doesn't mean it's a fallacy. This particular slippery-slope already has billions of dead bodies piled in a rotting heap at the bottom. Anybody who wants to take Piers Morgan's side of this argument is saying in essence: you don't have the right to protect yourself. In a world without weapons, the strongest man is king, and the weakest are his slaves.
If you don't believe me, you might want to take a look at history. You can find out the truth about what happens when people either voluntarily give up the right to protect themselves, or have it stripped from them by the state. You can find it in most any history book. This slippery slope doesn't end with just guns. In England it's now against the law to own a Samurai sword. Next up will be knives longer than ten or twelve inches. Then clubs. At what point I wonder, will everyone live in a straight-jacket and eat their food from a dog bowl or even perhaps a pig-trough?