Let’s Start Arguing for Arguments

Arguing is a tough topic for people to talk about in today’s society. A communication studies major discusses the importance of arguments.

The art of argumentation is as old as language itself, yet how often is it talked about or taught in public schools? American culture avoids argumentation like it’s a taboo and should never be discussed. This unfortunately hinders society on many fronts. Argumentation is an essential part of discourse and is something everyone does daily, so why aren’t we learning about it early and often? Are we telling our kids not to fight for what they believe in? Because by not teaching them how to stand up for their ideas we might as well be.

Understanding how to effectively communicate and argue is a highly sought-after skill in many professions, and is at the center of our political system. People in power all have one thing in common: they can argue for their ideas. Everyone should be learning how to persuade and effectively argue to further their careers, ideas, and lives. The stigma surrounding argumentation is holding American society back. We miss the advantage discourse grants us because we are afraid to stand up for what we believe in. When a group argues for a change or an idea they are often labeled as a radical group.

Both in the world and here at Christopher Newport University argumentation is needed to have conducive and intellectual discourse. Even in the context of living on a college campus argumentation is integral in everyday life. I personally believe that I learn best in classes where ideas are presented by students and discussed as a class. In this context students are arguing for their own ideas and learning how to effectively create and defend opinions and ideas, which is essential to a societal discourse system. Without this primary mode of discourse our society and our intellectual ideas become narrower and we struggle to advance our culture and ideas. Our society needs more people to learn the art of argumentation so that our general public can have effective conversations without causing riots and violence.

Too often we hear of violence in response to a peaceful protest when a simple discussion could have been held instead. This is brought to light by recent events such as professional athletes kneeling during the national anthem. A distinct lack of communication is taking place as one side presents an argument and the other completely disregards their argument and attempts to present a different one. All this is creating is an unnecessary divide in our culture due to an utter refusal from one party to hold a peaceful counter argument. If we tear down our views of argumentation as a negative in society we can move our society forward and grow as nation unified. Argumentation is key to discourse in society and it is a shame to see it treated as such a taboo. We need to accept the importance of argumentation to advance as a culture, a society, and a nation.