Is it in human nature to argue?
In their claim that everyone is engaged in argument, whether they realize it or not, nearly every day, I thought, the authors of the First Year Writing: Perspective on argument were being preposterous. How can I not know if I were being engaged in arguments on a daily basis? However, it is only after reading about the various topics that the omnipresence of argument in our lives struck me. Indeed, the claim, that initially made me feel skeptical, was not much of an aberration anymore. Having absorbed the required information from the book, I decided to test my knowledge of arguments by trying to identify some of them. I, therefore, began to think about the various activities that I have been involved in, during the past week. I recall my roommate who, in one of our discussions, asserted that math is the best major that could ever be. I remember reciprocating by evincing the fact that, without engineers, our lives would be arduous and that my major is of paramount importance. This is how a one-on-one, everyday traditional argument began. It was analogous to a presidential debate with each of us trying to bring down his opponent with successive blows. We threw our ideas, beliefs, evidences, claims, statistics at each other; desperately attempting to make a strong case. “Math is everywhere and it is the very base of every engineering major”, he said. “But it is the engineers who design the things that help people”, I retorted. Our altercation grew in intensity as we addressed the different prospects that both of our respective majors offered. It was clear to me that the scope of opportunities for a mathematician was somewhat narrower as compared to the engineer’s. He again disagreed by referring to all the new fields where math was being solicited. It was, however, not long before we reached what political scientists would call satisficing point or “common ground” as...
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