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Day 15 - Argument

Being someone raised in a household with very stubborn parents, arguments were the core of my existence. As a parent myself, I have learned to not escalate arguments—although sometimes they are bound to happen. However, I want to immediately acknowledge multiple meanings of arguments within the IT world. Both of which we usually end up intimately aware.

We have:

interpersonal arguments

scripting arguments

My focus here is on interpersonal arguments. We all have them from time to time. I feel there are three core things to remember about all arguments:

  1. Words can hurt. Things said in an argument may be hurtful.
  2. It's ideal to be calm, but that's not a guarantee. Live and learn and do your best!
  3. Make amends. Arguments are one thing, but holding a grudge will never help anyone.

The thing is, no matter how strong an argument gets, it's crucial to remember that an argument is not going to last forever. Buddhism has a concept for this called "Right Speech," which says "Speak only words that do no harm. One should speak only that word by which one would not torment oneself nor harm others. That word is indeed well spoken."

What do you think of when it comes to an argument?


Arguments are as well healthy sometimes, I totally agree with you -> on what you have mentioned above, but then it can as well turn out to be positive. For example, a healthy argument leads to a conclusion or provides justification to what you have to prove in a right way (you are standing by what you believe in or what could be achieved).

I am assuming like minded people wouldn't mind having a healthy argument, this indeed would help both of them in understanding the subject (IT) in a better way.

Level 9

Arguments can be healthy but they sometimes go to far, try to remember that it's okay to change your point of view, if people would listen more and talk less there would be a lot less arguing in the world.

Level 14

I love a good argument.  The full half hour one, not the five minute one.


In terms of relationships; if you refuse to argue and let it bottle up, it will make things a lot worse in the long run.

In terms of general interpersonal arguments; people don't have to share the same opinions as you. Arguments can be made for various viewpoints and stances and it can make for a healthy debate. As long as you keep an open mind and the discussion doesn't devolve into yelling and name calling...


I hate arguments - by definition they are an exchange of divergent ideas, typically heated or angry. Now all arguments aren't heated or angry, but just the tone of arguing bothers me. Now, I can deal with a discussion or disagreement - even to the point of agreeing to disagree, but the whole idea of arguing feels like someone has to win. And if someone wins that generally means that someone has to lose.I find that in arguments it is very seldom that someone doesn't get hurt in some way.

A disagreement on the other hand (unless it escalates) is an opportunity for a true win-win. Both parties can come to the table with their ideas, but not the "I must win" mentality, and discuss the values and virtues of the various options.

Remember, if you have to win then someone is going to lose. They may lose the argument or they may lose respect. They may lose their will to fight or they may lose their will to care. What is the most important aspect? We always say "people are our most valuable asset" but do we live that out or do we live out the "This Guy" is the most important.

Be willing to disagree and discuss, but reluctant to argue.

Level 10

The original definition of arguing is probably closest to what we'd call a discussion these days; an exchange of opinion with the opportunity to present supporting evidence and facts. It's only recently that the definition has turned into something slightly more ugly, where insults and even punches can be thrown.

As someone raised by parents who considered it an relationship ideal standard to "never argue in front of the children" (thus giving the impression of never arguing), I grew up with the idea that arguing with people meant things weren't working out. Not a healthy way to think, to summarise. But I've (painfully and slowly) learned that disagreeing with someone is actually fine; it's how you handle the fact that there's a difference of opinion that matters most.


I have worked with passionate individuals who often had constructive disagreements with each other. It is bound to happen when great minds work together. Compromise and humility are key. Solarwinds can cause arguments with respect to interpretation of data, but more often than not when engineers settle on one interpretation Solarwinds solves the problem and engineers go home happy.


Arguments are when you cross opinionated conversations with emotion.

While I agree that arguments can be healthy, a more healthy approach (for which I can make no claims) is to leave emotions outside and to take part in a conversation on which you both listen and have a voice within.

Emotions can be the kickstarter to arguments and almost certainly an emotional response can be takeaways from the argument (healthy and not so) with conversations turning into arguments because an emotional nerve is tweaked.

Having said all that, I too love a good argument, but only when the outcome is I have learnt and changed an opinion I had going into it, or have won the argument.


My wife says that I'm an argumentative person.  I however disagree with her.  I do not argue, I just explain how I'm always right.  She argues by disagreeing with fact.

Seriously speaking, I admittingly avoid conflict.  It's debatable on what is the best path; to avoid the conflict all together or to argue about it.  Probably somewhere in the middle is what I'm guessing.

If I am ambivalent about a topic I might simply have a discussion about it, for example your thoughts on a piece of art or a movie. I want to know what you saw, how it impacted you, and obtain information that is from a different perspective than mine. The simple fact we are distinct minds means our perception is going to be different so discussing things like this is very interesting.Can be lighthearted and normally doesn't result in anger.

When discussing differences of fundamental beliefs, foundational understandings of how we exist in this world, it can lead to arguments. They can and I think should cause very intense emotions. Your mind is wrestling with a point of view, presented by the other, that not only says you are wrong about a specific point, but if examined closely could impact a whole set of other ideas your mind has been accustomed to. As designerfx​ stated, it is difficult in the heat of the moment, to stay focused on the details of the topic. To be respectful and compassionate of the other(s) with whom you are arguing. Ali Almosswai in his book An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments has this to say about making it personal:

An ad hominem argument is one that attacks a person's character rather than what he or she is saying with the intention of diverting the discussion and discrediting the person's argument. For example, You're not a historian; why don't you stick to your own field. Here, whether or not the person is a historian has no impact on the merit of their argument and does nothing to strengthen the attacker's position.

This type of personal attack is referred to as abusive ad hominem. A second type, known as circumstantial ad hominem, is any argument that attacks a person for cynical reasons, by making a judgment about their intentions. For example, You don't really care about lowering crime in the city, you just want people to vote for you

. There are situations where one may legitimately bring into question a person's character and integrity, such as during a testimony

This ad hominem argument is just bad form, can be very impolite, and will most often shutdown the other persons mind to anything else you have to say. It can lead to longer term grudges being held.

Of course the goal of an argument is to win, otherwise why bother. You want your beliefs to be true and so does the other person. You feel strongly about them. That is okay. It can be uncomfortable for sure. But it can be like cracking the top off of creme brulee, cutting through the hard crust of a loaf of bread, or breaking the shell of an egg, you need to apply some force to crack open the item to get at what you want. So too an argument or heated exchange can put a crack in your strongly held belief that it allows you to explore, expand, or sometimes toss out that belief. I beg to differ with tallyrich​ slightly in that an argument can be win-win, win-lose, and lose-lose. You can find out you were both right just a matter of syntax or semantics, one side could actual change the others mind, or you could find out you both had incorrect assumptions [which to me is still a win-win].

I certainly can understand why to some arguments might want to be avoided. If your experience has been one that when people argue they get physically hurt, emotionally scarred, or it has led to life long grudges then an argument could be seen as a dangerous thing. It should be avoided. I so get that, I have loved ones for whom that is their experience. Even a slightly raised voice is reason to be afraid or at least get very apprehensive. Yet I grew up in a family were heated discussions happened a lot. Very often once the argument was done people got on with enjoying each others company. My wife has commented it was such a strange thing for her to watch. Such intensity, but then a hug, and sit down for drinks! Limoncello anyone?

Level 10

Remember, woman always have the last word in an argument. Anything a man adds after that is the beginning of a new argument ~ Joke All You Can

I have an argument for your point, I just don't feel like arguing about it at the moment.    Most things can be explained as long as the arguments are defined correctly. 

Level 13

Image result for argument photo

Level 12

I remember when people used to have arguments that didn't devolve into fist fights and screaming. Now days there is no decency when opinions or views differ, it is my way or your completely wrong and I hate everything about you. You can argue your point of view without having to assault the person you are arguing with. I wish we could go back to that.

Level 9

I've learned that debating is a dead art.  Its now seen as arguing.  I love a good debate.  I've learned a lot debating others and trying to see their point of view, but today it just develops into an argument and nothing is learned. 

I heard this on CNN this morning:

"When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts.

When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, make an ad hominem attack. -- Old Adage..."

I grew up with hard parents, plus I was the youngest of 3 brothers. I had to fight with fists, and my brain, often times for what was mine. There were many an argument around the dinner table growing up. Once the arguments delved into insults and name-calling my parents would end it. So I had to learn to argue my case and get my point across without resorting to cheapshots... while still being able to take a few verbal jabs at my brothers.

I learned to argue my position and learned to discredit others case. I learned to be clever. This doesn't always work well in relationships. On a good note, I have developed the resistance to never resort to name-calling and insults.

Jesus had a great saying, Do not cast pearls before swine...which was proceeded by do not give dogs what are sacred.

A little extrapolation and you could argue that the dogs he is referring to are fools.

I think a valuable lesson I have learned the last year between the 2016 election and now the repeal of Net Neutrality is to not cast pearls before swine or do not argue / debate with those who do not want to discourse to find truth or resolution.  Do not waste energy or words on those who just want to be right or win an argument.

A pastor once said... You can make a point or you can make a difference.

No one is going to be swayed by a hyperbolic out of context meme, pithy saying or witty one liner.

Discussion with both sides goal to be truth and resolution will work. 
Two people trying to win is just an argument.

Is there a list of words that will get you moderated?

This is becoming a word a day challenge to figure out which words are getting me moderated.

Level 9

I never really understood why they call additions to a command line executable arguments.  I'm just trying to get along with my programs.  Sure I may talk loud to them when I leave Caps Lock on, but I'm not arguing.

Level 12

2 Timothy 2:23

Again I say, don't get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.

This is the most important part of every argument, so I appreciate these words tomiannelli​ . I do think the best part of an argument is if the next steps is people ending in agreement, even if they agree to disagree. I think part of this logic is maybe something that we experience as being parents, because our kids want what they want and as parents we may have different thoughts on how to end up and the same goal, which can create an argument even if the intent is the same.

A particular book resonated with me on this, called nonviolent communication. Nonviolent Communication - Wikipedia  - it highlighted a lot of what can be done to reduce the animosity of arguments. It's a genuinely life changing book.

I think at that point it may be more into the realm of debate than argument?

That quote according to a google search was from Carl Sandberg. Quote by Carl Sandburg: “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If...” . The original wording was a little bit different at the end.

Level 11

Well I don't know about arguments, but conflict is necessary. And I have learned that with trust, you can have conflict. Without trust, that's when arguments and hostility can be manifested.

Level 14

Monty Python sketch reference.

Level 11

The cause of an argument most times is the inability of one person to pay attention to what the other person has to say rather they also want to make their opinion known. Listening is sacrifice, argument is the easy way that leads to nowhere.

Level 16

Then there is a legal argument that has nothing to do with emotions at all.

Level 9

Arguments can be healthy if its done without creating stress.

I'm amazed so many technical people focused on the inter-personal-relationship-conversation path and avoided the technical script argument.  Perhaps scripting is more absolute, while people attempting to persuade is more personal.

I just saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi for free last night (the Force was with me!), and I won't give away any spoilers.  But the arguments presented in the many wonderful sections of the movie were thought-provoking, wry, humorous, or tear-producing.

I draw the line between "argument" and "discussion" or even "debate".  An argument between people, to me, indicates a large possibility of hurt feelings and frustrations.  A discussion, in my mind, does not.  Even a debate is something done with considerations and professionalism and kind empathy--again, in my world.

An argument indicates a major disagreement, without true dual-winning sides.  Compromise may be a path to success and less hurt, or it can mean backed-up anger that may spill over with too much strength in the future when an unintended straw breaks a camel's back.

Compared to this, computer scripts with arguments in them are simple & boring, no matter the power they own.

Level 10

“The volume of your voice does not increase the validity of your argument.” 

  ―  Steve Maraboli

Level 18

I have my own entry for this topic, but I was amused this morning to see that XKCD apparently decided to play along today:

xkcd: Argument Timing


Level 11

Image result for argument

Level 14


For technology purposes I prefer the term input variable.

For interpersonal...

Arguments are normal. In the best of cases they can be small differences of opinion and an agreement to disagree with both parties.

They can be knock down drag out types, animated, fierce with no clear winner or loser.

They can be nuclear (you pick the histrionics) and the result is bad feelings, anger or worse!

The best way to deal with the last two items.... Leave your ego at the door and remember to turn your ears on!

Level 9

Pro 15:1

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Level 11

A discussion becomes an argument when there is no room in each other's mind or heart that they might be wrong. The deciding factor on what is an argument is that one or both parties feel they are right and refuse to back down. Many a long night with little sleep is the result of this mindset. So how many arguments occur over things that are not important? Alas, too many, sometimes it is better to take the route that vcaldwell presents and definitely listen instead of thinking what your response is going to be.

James 1:19 "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,"

Oh, I like that!  "Input variable" is SO much more intuitive than "argument!"

So true.  I like it.


Level 16

I rarely read the comments online anymore because mostly trolls arguing... youtube for example.


Level 10

Arguing is fine. Sometimes a log onto boards just to see how many different people's buttons I can push.

Level 9

I don't mind an argument or debate over issues that bring out differing points of view.  However, I avoid pointless conflict.  If I know that expressing my opinion will stir up anger and resentment without the possibility of an actual discussion, then I stay silent.  If I'm asked my opinion and the person asking keeps talking and doesn't actually give me a change to respond, I don't force my way into the conversation.  Life is short and full of the stress of living, so why add unnecessary conflict?  There have been events and circumstances that required/caused me to jump into an argument.  I find that my general neutrality causes people to really pay attention when I get fired up.

Level 14

My network team has a healthy arguing attitude.  We debate the best way to implement new technology, but we never get personal.

Level 10


Level 12

Arguments make me mad especially when I know I am doing something correctly and then get told I am not.

Level 15

our levels of disconnect online have grown to a point where, IMO, it’s an extremely rare occurrence to find a debate on social platforms. but there’s BUCKETS of arguments overflowing...  

i generally stick with with debates among my close group of friends and family these days. i don’t need to change anyone’s belief system, so engaging in some of the more “hot button” topics feels fruitless to me. with the high probability that either party walks away malconten, it’s just not worth it.

Level 9

Agreeing with Zackm on this, most arguments, especially online do nothing but make each side dig in their heels. I tend to avoid arguing but there are times when I think it’s good to let someone know they’ve crossed a line, or that you simply don’t agree with them because silence it often taken for compliance.

Level 12


Level 9

Arguments can be good thing. I believe that being able to disagree and have a civil argument with someone can be a good thing. These types of arguments can help expand perspective on a subject.

Level 12

Arguments can be meaningful sometimes.

Level 18

While many here have chosen to focus on the word "argument" with regard to the interpersonal meaning, I'd like to focus computer use. Here is what I have learned about that, in my years as an IT professional:

First, arguments are powerful - almost deceptively so. Adding an argument to an operation can change the entire way it executes, how the information is processed, and what the output looks like.

Next, it's important to remember that arguments are extremely context-based. Just because an argument can be successfully used for one instruction set doesn't mean it will have the same impact (or any impact at all) with a different one. In point of fact, there are arguments that appear to be identical, but operate in vastly different ways depending on which command context they are run under. Worse still, some arguments have diametrically opposing effects when used in two different scenarios.

That said, some arguments seem to be almost universally applied. No matter which instruction you're using, there are arguments that pop up and have the same effect no matter what.

The third important thing to remember is that arguments are often additive. That is to say that arguments can be stacked within a single operation and they all apply, and the sum effect of each argument can augment the others. In fact, the more intimately one becomes involved with a system, the more often arguments naturally stack onto each other during each interaction.

Moreover, instructions and their associated arguments can feed into other operation/argument sets and the sum effect can be unbelievably powerful. Many IT professionals have noted that these combinations of operations and arguments can execute faster and have more far-reaching effects than products that have more sophisticated packaging but significantly less sophistication

My final point is to remind the reader that one must be especially careful with arguments that have a recursive or iterative aspect, such as those which delve into a nested historical system. If one is not both careful and concientious these interactions can easily spin out of control, consuming all the resources a system has and ultimately bringing it crashing down upon itself.

So there you have it, my entirely technical view of the word "argument". While I know that arguments of the interpersonal kind are important as well, that is out of the realm of my expertise so you may need to look elsewhere for insight in that regard.

All I have to say adatole​ is /? ,-? ,-h or ,--help. [For those into PowerShell Get-Help -detailed]

About the Author
Thwack MVP! Points whore, crypto trader, tech enthusiast. NPM 11.5.2, SAM 6.2.1, NTA 4.1, WPM 2.2, IPAM 4.3, VNQM 4.2.3, NCM 7.4.1, QOE, ----------------new job below----------- NPM 12.1,VNQM 4.4.0, NCM 7.6, IPAM 4.5.1, NTA 4.2.2