Friday, 26 June 2009

Morality and diplomacy

After being dragged into a rather petty flame war on Twitter recently, it struck me that having the moral high ground is not always sufficient in winning an argument. Even if you stand on the morally superior side of a debate, if you are unable to conduct yourself with decency and integrity, then it doesn't really matter what side of the argument you stand on. As Tony Benn once said - "All war is a failure of diplomacy".

I have seen many debates and arguments lost, even from the side with the moral high ground, simply because they were unable to conduct themselves in a diplomatic manner. If you have to resort to ad hominem arguments (often referred to as name calling), then you seriously need to look at raising your game. This is perhaps the weakest form of argument. Always attack the argument, never the person.

Any moral superioriy you may have had will soon vanish in the absence of diplomacy.

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