Pliability and Obstinacy: Persuade Me

[reposted from Xanga]

Who you are as an individual when we disagree on mutually exclusive terms carries little to no weight for what I think of the principle. It’ll always be what you actually say that convinces me, because I always resent being subject to unpersuasive persuasion that rests only on the fact of you being you. Of course, it helps when you don’t undermine what you say with your ethos of disreputable character traits.

On the other hand, you being you is very important to me if I’m convinced that what I believe has far stronger basis in truth than what you believe. How important you are to me will determine how much I hope you’ll change your assessment. But even if I think your belief rests on weak premises, I almost certainly don’t think because of that that you’re an unreasonable person, unless in my view you’re either refusing to enter real inquiry or being suspiciously and consistently typical of your demographic. I have little respect for people who are peer-pressure pushovers because they lack strong principles.

[Note: What pleases God works. Otherwise there’s be no point in trying to live at His standard of holiness. What’s practical is practical by the order God Himself has created. Don’t any of you business and engineering majors – excuse the stereotype – think otherwise, unless you also think that creation’s irredeemable, that we have a powerless God, that we can give up and cut corners when we feel like it.]

But if you’ll talk under good rules I hope I’ll be convinced if you hold the view closer to the truth. If you believe what you think, try to convince me. Win me over on reasonable grounds based on God’s revealed truth, and move me to action while you’re at it, as long as I don’t feel emotionally manipulated by an unreasonable line of argument.

If no one from time to time challenges what I think I can almost guarantee you that I will become complacent in my unchallenged, seemingly unassailable position (yes, I’m using martial diction there for a reason). Don’t let that happen if you know we disagree. I might not prove to be as stubborn as you think if you know where to strike. Perhaps it’ll also strike away a patch of unquestioned assumptions that turn out to have been counter to the truth of God’s word.

Of course, in the other direction, because we’re all stiff-necked people, I don’t actually like being confrontational, and chances are, neither do you. But I will be if it troubles me enough in magnitude or time.

Just an fyi. Not at all related to any specific incident in the recent past.


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