Tag Archives: truth

Winning an Argument

It’s funny how you don’t really need to win an argument to win an argument. Most of the time if you are able to prove your opponent to be wrong, that might be all you need to win the argument. At other times you only need to distract from the argument itself and ever so slightly make the argument about something else.

I first noticed this in the movie “Thank you for Smoking“. There is a scene where Nick Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart) and his son Joey Naylor (played by Cameron Bright) and the conversation goes:

Joey Naylor: …so what happens when you’re wrong?
Nick Naylor: Whoa, Joey I’m never wrong.
Joey Naylor: But you can’t always be right…
Nick Naylor: Well, if it’s your job to be right, then you’re never wrong.
Joey Naylor: But what if you are wrong?
Nick Naylor: OK, let’s say that you’re defending chocolate, and I’m defending vanilla. Now if I were to say to you: ‘Vanilla is the best flavour ice-cream’, you’d say…
Joey Naylor: No, chocolate is.
Nick Naylor: Exactly, but you can’t win that argument… so, I’ll ask you: so you think chocolate is the end all and the all of ice-cream, do you?
Joey Naylor: It’s the best ice-cream, I wouldn’t order any other.
Nick Naylor: Oh! So it’s all chocolate for you is it?
Joey Naylor: Yes, chocolate is all I need.
Nick Naylor: Well, I need more than chocolate, and for that matter I need more than vanilla. I believe that we need freedom. And choice when it comes to our ice-cream, and that Joey Naylor, that is the defintion of liberty.
Joey Naylor: But that’s not what we’re talking about
Nick Naylor: Ah! But that’s what I’m talking about.
Joey Naylor: …but you didn’t prove that vanilla was the best…
Nick Naylor: I didn’t have to. I proved that you’re wrong, and if you’re wrong I’m right.

BTW, I copied the above from IMDb.

– manzoor



Aug 24th, ’16 – I don’t think we realize how often perceptions are down right wrong. Perceptions that we hold of others and perceptions that other’s hold of us. Even perceptions of our own selves that we hold have not a whole lot to do with the truth.

Nov 14th, ’20 – Yesterday I had to run some errands and on one of the drives I heard the tail end of the recent 2 Guys on Your Head Podcast – “Perception and Affordance”. I knew (or was fairly certain) that had very similar thoughts on the power of Perception that I must have had written (or had started to write) something on this topic. I finally had some time to look for it and VoilĂ , I found it.

– manzoor