Face Value

Let’s take a hypothetical person – Bob. Bob is a middle-aged family man who has worked as a pipe fitter for many years. Bob is very pro-union and has seen his union help him out many times.

So Bob gets into an argument with Betty at a football game about kneeling. Bob presents his side of the issue with several points and Betty does likewise with several points.

None of the lines of argument Bob uses involve appealing to the value of unions. He argues for free speech and the right of assembly. Does his union membership invalidate his arguments? Of course not; and neither should it. His arguments stand or fall on their own merits. If Bob then presents a line of argument that appeals to the value of unions, does the fact that he is a union member render his arguments as invalid? Not in the least. You would sorta expect him to do that.

Betty, does the same, presenting her lines of argument. They also stand or fall on their merits. If Betty is a woman of faith and one of the lines of argument she uses appeals to a religious claim, does this render her argument invalid? No, of course not.

Both folks argue from their value systems and ideology – which is what we all do. Making mention of or even referring to an ideology is not only fair game, it would be expected.

The lesson of this story? 1) If people have an ideology (including faith/religion or not), they don’t have to appeal to it in their argument and we should interact with them based on their arguments, not their ideology (unless they appeal to that)… e.g.. don’t reject an argument with a union member just because you are not a fan of unions. 2) If people include their ideologies in their arguments, that can still stand or fall on their own. No ideology automatically renders an argument invalid. Religious arguments can be valid and compelling. They can also be dumb; but rejecting an argument simply because in is rooted in religion is neither fair nor reasonable. What is not fair or reasonable is rejecting an argument that is not rooted in ideology just because you identify the other person with that ideology. We should take what people say and what they argue on face value.


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For His Glory,


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