There are many things in this world that irritate me. One of the biggest being a poorly constructed, poorly researched argument. I recently watched a video on YouTube where someone made an attempt to argue their viewpoint on something from their favorite movie series. I clicked expecting him to state his issue and list valid points why this idea was flawed. He proceeded to rant for eleven minutes running in a tiny circle with his “argument”. But just because you feel strongly about a cause doesn’t mean you have an argument.
Which begs the question, what exactly is an argument? Well, by definition an argument is a Premise followed by a Conclusion where the Premise leads credence to the Conclusion.
For example: Conclusion – it is hot; Premise – I am sweating; Argument – I am sweating, therefore it is hot.
So when your neighbor is shouting about your leaves being in her yard and you tell her she’s ridiculous, well that’s not an argument. But if she says your leaves are in her yard and your response is, “My property line extends two more feet, therefore my leaves are in my yard” you have an argument.
Now if you two begin going back and forth you may have a debate on your hands. A debate can be summarized as A states his side, B states her side, they take turns rebutting, affirming, then closing. Both sides present their case then address the concerns given by the other side in an attempt to come to an agreement. You could say either side presents a valid argument.
Often times both a debate and an argument will include rhetorical questions to make the other side think a little harder on their opposing stance.
I hope this clarifies any confusion. So before you “argue” check to see if you’re just ranting.
Have a good one!