Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Making An Argument

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Making An Argument

When constructing and defending an argument on any given topic it is usually helpful to remember one key word: consistency. We all struggle with it and I suppose at the very heart of all of our beliefs and feelings lies some inconsistansies, but let me share with you a conversation I had a few weeks ago, pointing out what I hope are some obvious argumentative problems.

I engaged in a conversation with a person, whose name I will call David, concerning the historical importance and continued greatness of Hulk Hogan. (yes the wrestler.) Here is how the conversation developed. . .

Philip: I saw Hulk Hogan wrestle at Wrestlemania 18, it changed my life.
David: Hulk Hogan is the greatest loser to ever wrestle. He sucks.

Okay, so far we have a position being made. Obviously, David doesn't like Hulk Hogan and I am fine with that. But I wanted to know why. So. . .

Philip: Why would you say he is the greatest loser in wrestling?
David: He just is. He never puts anyone over, especially at Wrestlemania events.

(To "put someone over" is wrestling jargon for "letting someone win to make them look good. This is typically done by an established, popular wrestler with a lesser experienced wrestler to help them climb in the business.)

Philip: What are you talking about? He put the Ultimate Warrior over at Wrestlemania 6 and The Rock over at Wrestlemania 18.
David: Yeah, but the Ultimate Warrior isn't any good either. That doesn't even count.

Ok, here is problem #1. David's point was that Hogan didn't let other guys win, a statement which is made all the time about Hogan that is not true. I disagreed and pointed out a couple of examples at Wrestlemania events alone. Then, instead of staying with his original point, he simply says that the Ultimate Warrior isn't good. That doesn't make any sense. Not only does it not follow his own argument, but it fails to properly answer the fact that Hogan lost to The Rock at WM 18. So, apparently it only "counts" if Hogan puts someone over who David respects.

Philip: What about The Undertaker? He has never lost a match at any Wrestlemania event, he is like 14-0.
David: Yeah, but I like the Undertaker.
Philip: But by your original logic, Hogan is a "loser" because he didn't put people over enough but you like Undertaker, even though he has never put anyone over at Wrestlemania.
David: Yes because Undertaker is different. He doesn't suck like Hogan. Hogan is the worst.

Problem #2. Stupidity. Some of you might be thinking that this entire conversation is stupid, which is fine, but David does not allow his "formula" for what makes a wrestler "suck" to filter through all wrestlers. After he made this comment, it was clear that something else was going on here, so I asked one more question.

Philip: Wow, you are really anti-Hogan, how long have you been this way?
David: Since I talked to my brother who showed me the light.
Philip: Do you think maybe your brother might be biased and not looking at the facts?
David: No, Hogan is terrible.

So there you have it. This guys opinion is based primarily on his respect for his brother and he then simply adopted his brother's opinion and instead of saying, "I hate Hogan because my brother does," he tries to actually make arguments that clearly do not work.

I think there are legitimate reasons to not like Hulk Hogan and I respect people who don't bleed yellow and red, but those reasons are certainly not because Hogan refuses to lose. David is absolutely in his right to not like Hulk Hogan, many people don't. But he needs to to understand a little better why he doesn't like Hogan.

This is yet another reason why personal Bible study is so important. What we get from the Sunday morning pulpit is extremely important, but Christians do not seem to care if they are making consistent, good arguments when the time comes to discuss their faith. Not good.


Blogger Mike Ruffin said...

Yeah, but none of those guys could hold a candle to Mr. Wrestling #2 and his devastating high knee lift. Trust me on this. Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair were (and are) cool, too.

Your serious point is well made. Too many of us believers just go with what we've heard or with our gut or with something I don't understand. Sound argumentation based on fact is not a bad thing.

July 31, 2007 9:06 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

You could take that same series of back and forth and apply it to almost any subject in which people disagree - politics, football, people...

Why do so many people hate the Yankees? Because their parents did. Why does someone love UT and hate Bama? Because everyone else in town does. Why does someone support Bush and oppose Gore (or vice versa)? It has nothing to do with their ideals or abilities or ethics, but because of what party you belong to or what the people you hang around with believe.

What it boils down to is the excessive pride we all have doesn't permit us to admit we might be wrong and accept the truth of the other side of the argument. I'll defend some things till my dying day even though I know the other side has the better argument, simply because I'm too proud to let other people know I was wrong. I look weak, and I can't look weak! So therefore I'll continue to prop up my (incorrect) contention with justifications and rhetoric that solves nothing.

July 31, 2007 9:40 AM  
Blogger The Beast said...

Mike - Ric Flair is the man, no doubt. Have you seen the DVD collection that the WWE released of his greatest matches? It is worth the time to watch.

Barry - Yep, I think you're right buddy.

July 31, 2007 12:57 PM  
Anonymous JA said...

1)This "David" guy is an idiot!!


2)JA- "Because he said Hogan sux"

Phil, I must say you handled this alot better than I ever could. He prob thinks the "Rock" is the greatest wrestler ever. Wrestling rookie!! I'm going to stop before I get in trouble and get something started.

Renting a car and driving to Canada- $100

Gas,food,and lodging- $300

tickets to Mania- $200

Watching the Greatest wrestler to ever strap on a pair of boots walk the aisle in front of 78,000 fans screaming his name for 11 solid minutes wearing NWO colors playing air guitar breaking character and begging the fans to sit down so the match could start, all the while watching this magical event with the BEST friend a guy could ever have- PRICELESS!!

Wrestle-mania 18 was one of the worse and most amazing breathe taking moments of my entire life, BROTHER!!

August 01, 2007 12:22 AM  
Blogger The Beast said...

JA - That trip remains one of the great highlights of my life man. We were so broke, thank goodness for Budget rent-a-car! (make that a bright yellow Ford Mustang).

If I start writing about WM 18, I will not get any sleep for 2 days so I better just stop. BROTHER!

August 01, 2007 2:24 AM  

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