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My Argumentative Self

This course was something I was looking forward to when I selected it. I naturally
enjoy arguing, at least when it comes to big issues. Trivial issues such as where to eat
dinner are not worth my energy to argue with. I typically love to argue and if I have the
chance I will not avoid an opportunity to argue. That being said, I do not like to start
arguments for the purpose of starting an argument. However, I must say that if I have the
opportunity to start one I will because I want to get my viewpoint in and perhaps even try
to better inform the person I am discussing a topic of controversy with.
When I argue my purpose is usually to present my point of view. My goal is for
the most part to get a good discussion and analyze my opponent. Sometimes if the issue
that I am arguing is something I am passionate about I want to get my opponent to agree
with me. I enjoy winning the argument. If I lose then I always think about it afterwards
and try to formulate in my head what I could have said instead. However, it must be
noted that winning the argument is not my primary goal. My main goal is still to get my
viewpoint across.
I am willing to compromise depending on the issue at hand. There are some issues
in which I care more about and issues that I care about less. For example, I am passionate
about gay rights. I am unwilling to compromise in a debate on that issue. However, there
are other issues in which I am less passionate about and I am much more willing to
compromise. On a scale of one to ten, one being will not compromise and ten being
compromise easily, I would say I am about a six on issues that I am not very passionate
about. On the issues that I am very passionate about, such as gay rights, I am a one. It is
very hard for me to admit that my opponents argument is sound and persuasive. I will

admit when they make a good point however, I will almost never admit that there
argument as a whole is better than mine. At the maximum I will simply say that we both
have good arguments. On rare occasions however, I will admit when I have lost an
argument.
People that I hate to debate are those that are unwilling to admit if they are wrong.
I do not just mean that they will not admit they are wrong when arguing with me, I mean
that they will not admit they have no chance to be wrong. Young earth creationists are
often like this. Not only will nothing change their mind they will not even acknowledge
when their opponent makes a good point. However, I will still argue with them even
though I do not like arguing with them. I also do not like to argue with rapists who use
lots of fallacies such as ad hominems, strawmans, hasty generalizations, and many more.
When I enter an argument with these types of people I tend to end the argument by
walking away. I like to argue with are those that are more open minded. I also like to
argue with people who challenge me. It is fun to argue with those that offer good
refutations to my arguments and often will rebut my rebuttals. Not only do they challenge
me but they also force me to create stronger arguments for myself.
I do plan for arguments however; I do not plan for an argument formally. I do not
spend time gathering sources and creating briefs or evidence cards. I often create case
developments in my head while doing things that do not require me to invest my full
conscious thought in that activity such as driving, walking my dog, laying in my bead
trying to sleep, and many other things. I often picture myself debating someone in my
head and I create the entire debate in my head including refutations and rebuttals. This
way I have a prima facie case in my head before I enter an argument with someone else.

The issues I particularly like to talk about are religion, LGBT rights, economic
policy, and movies. These are all topics I am passionate about. Inherency and solvency do
not exist in religion for me, due to it being much more abstract. Inherency and solvency
do exist in the other topics, especially in economic policy.
During the argumentative process I unfortunately speak more than I listen. It is
something that I would like to work on. When arguing I speak more than my opponent
and listen less. I am more focused on providing my side of the issue rather than listening
to the other side. However, that does not mean that I will not engage in a discussion with
an open mind. I will keep my mind open but will also speak quite a bit. I typically do not
ask questions. If I am to ask questions I will ask questions that build on my argument
rather than asking questions for clarification on my opponents opinions.
I am typically the one to end arguments. If the person I am arguing against is
either too dogmatic to change his or her opinion then I end the argument. I will also end
the argument if the person I am arguing against simply repeats their old arguments, use
fallacies such as a false dichotomy, ad hominem, red herring, slippery slope, appeal to
ignorance, and numerous others. I also end arguments when the person I am debating
against starts acting childish or immature. I am very critical of the arguments that others
make. I will not hesitate to offer a refutation or a rebuttal to another persons argument. I
will also point out fallacies when I can. I will usually require evidence for claims. If an
argument is made that is completely logical, provided the topic can only be debated
through logic, then I do not require evidence as long as their logic makes sense. However,
if a claim is made that sounds like it requires some hard data such as climate change is
not real or homeopathy is the best form of medication then I need some sort of factual

evidence. The type of evidence that I value the most varies depending on the situation.
When it comes to scientific claims I require my opponent to provide empirical evidence
and require them to provide where they got the source. With scientific claims I do not
accept anecdotal evidence. For example lets say that I am discussing homeopathy with
someone and they say as their evidence, my uncles friend tried homeopathy and it
helped lower his blood pressure. That type of evidence is not accepted by the scientific
community and is also not accepted by me because it is weak as it is only one example
and a ton of lurking variables may be present. It would also be considered a hasty
generalization
I hold myself to the standards that I set for my opponents. I use both logic, in the
form of deductive and inductive reasoning, and evidence. I prefer to argue using logic as
it forces me to think critically and is often more enjoyable. When I use logic I prefer to
argue by refuting my opponents claims. Since one of my favorite topics is religion, I
simply let the other person make an argument and I rebut it. However, depending on the
topic I will offer evidence. If I make a claim that requires support I will provide that
support in the form of factual evidence. For example, if I am arguing that climate change
is real then I will provide support for it. For me an argument is when two or more people
are discussing a certain topic and they have some kind of disagreement. For example, if
one person is stating that climate change is real and one person is saying that climate
change is not real and they are discussing this then that is an argument. Some situations
that I get involved in that require arguments are when someone says something I disagree
with. Now this can be either personal or not personal. For example, if someone says my
major at college is a waste and I am wasting my time, that is a personal issue and I will

defend my major choice. Often times with personal issues I will be much more
aggressive or defensive. I will also get into arguments when things do not really affect
me. For example, I often get into debates with people about food stamps and whether or
not they are a good idea or not. However, the difference is that in general I will be less
aggressive or defensive.
In the end I was satisfied with what I learned in this course. I have always been
interested in debating and this class has taught me how to become a better debater. The
largest benefit I have received has been by far in learning how to support my claims
better.

My Argumentative Self

Rohan Mittal

COM 204: Argument and Advocacy


Professor Guin
20 March 2015