Argument as fun
I think it would be helpful to specify a fourth category of argument: Argument as fun.
"Win" or "lose" are not helpful outcomes. The benefit is in playing the game.
Arguing is intellectually and socially stimulating. It leads to new insights and often to laughter. Sharing a good argument with a friend is FUN. Whether it be about which team will win on Saturday or about whether there is a god, Contesting ideas with friends is a deeply human, growthful activity. Long live debate and argument
Closing Statement from Jonathan Pincus
Well, we’ve come to the end of our allotted period. It’s time to sum up this thread.
It seems that there is at least a partial case for Arguing as Fun, but it is a minority interest and best done with a set of mutually accepted rules or conventions if it is to remain Fun.
Some discussants were concerned about the way that an argument may spill over into anger and ad hominem attacks or even violence.
Some participants preferred to “win” arguments. Others saw it as a purposeful activity trying to ascertain the “truth”. Still others saw arguing as an enjoyable activity in its own right, regardless of “winning” or “losing”.
The discussion largely paralleled the main discussion.
Thanks to all those who participated.
I’ve had fun. Hope you have too.