Winning An Argument Quotes

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If you can't win by reason, go for volume.
Bill Watterson
You can't win an argument. You can't because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
I don't pretend to know everything; I just only speak on matters I know I'll win.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
Dave Barry
I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument— and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
I don't want lies between us, Alina." "How many lies have you told me, Sturmhond? How many secrets have you kept until you were ready to share them?" "Prince's prerogative?" "If a mere prince gets a pass, so does a living saint." "Are you going to make a habit of winning arguments? It's very unbecoming." "Was this an argument?" "Obviously not. I don't lose arguments.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
They were having an argument as old and comfortable as an armchair, the kind of argument that no one ever really wins or loses but which can go on forever, if both parties are willing.
Neil Gaiman (Coraline)
By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Suckers try to win arguments, nonsuckers try to win.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
I don't like your tone," was Violet's standard answer when one of her children was winning an argument.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
There's no winning arguments with your parents
Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped)
I didn't respond, because naked people never win arguments.
Kevin Hearne (Clan Rathskeller (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #0.5))
Your salary is not love and your word is not love. Your clothes are not love and holding hands is not love. Sex is not love and a kiss is not love. Long letters are not love and a text is not love. Flowers are not love and a box of chocolates is not love. Sunsets are not love and photographs are not love. The stars are not love and a beach under the moonlight is not love. The smell of someone else on your pillow is not love and the feeling of their skin touching your skin is not love. Heart-shaped candy is not love and an overseas holiday is not love. The truth is not love and winning an argument is not love. Warm coffee isn't love and cheap cards bought from stores are not love. Tears are not love and laughter is not love. A head on a shoulder is not love and messages written at the front of books given as gifts are not love. Apathy is not love and numbness is not love. A pain in your chest is not love and clenching your fist is not love. Rain is not love. Only you. Only you, are love.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You (I Wrote This For You #4))
A wise woman knows when to stay silent. However, a wiser woman of faith knows that sometimes words can win the battle, when all odds stand against her.
Shannon L. Alder
Very often in everyday life one sees that by losing one's temper with someone who has already lost his, one does not gain anything but only sets out upon the path of stupidity. He who has enough self-control to stand firm at the moment when the other person is in a temper, wins in the end. It is not he who has spoken a hundred words aloud who has won; it is he who has perhaps spoken only one word.
Hazrat Inayat Khan (Mastery Through Accomplishment)
His fingers tangle in my hair. “I fucking love your hair. If you ever want to bring me to my knees or win an argument, just let it down. I’ll get the point.
Rebecca Yarros (Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, #1))
It's a no-win argument - that business of what we're born with and what our environment does to us. And it's a boring argument, because it simplifies the mysteries that attend both our birth and our growth.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
By all means, avoid words—threats, complaints, justification, narratives, reframing, attempts to win arguments, supplications; avoid words!
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin.
G.K. Chesterton (Eugenics and Other Evils : An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State)
You do not want to win an argument. You want to win.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life)
Twelve-year-olds are eager to turn everything into arguments but don't have the cognitive skills to win them.
Linda Perlstein
Buddha said: ‘Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love,’ and a misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
You’ve given some pretty convincing arguments, but you’re still a long way from winning me over.” “I haven’t even really tried,” he said, in a rare moment of arrogance. “When I want to, I can be very persuasive.” “Yeah? Prove it.” His lips moved toward mine. “I was hoping you’d say that.
Richelle Mead (Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction)
Ronald Reagan was not a god. He himself would have said that. Don’t follow people. Follow principle.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
They are not trying to win arguments of right or wrong. They are trying to understand each other.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
I am not winning any arguments because I know how to hurt someone. How does that prove that you're right? How does being stronger or more vicious prove anything, except that all this talk about honor is stupid? Where's the honor in being better at hurting somebody? Telling me I have to do this is insulting, as if I can't win any other way. As if I can't win in a better way.
Sarah Rees Brennan (In Other Lands)
You are so ugly that when your mom dropped you off at school, she got a ticket for littering.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
LAW 9 WIN THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS, NEVER THROUGH ARGUMENT JUDGMENT Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
When someone calls you a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe because you happen to disagree with them about tax policy or same-sex marriage or abortion, that’s bullying. When someone slanders you because you happen to disagree with them about global warming or the government shutdown, that’s bullying. When someone labels you a bad human being because they disagree with you, they are bullying you. They are attacking your character without justification. That’s nasty. In fact, it makes them nasty.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
The left no longer makes arguments about policies’ effectiveness. Their only argument is character assassination.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
In general, the men of lower intelligence won out. Afraid of their own shortcomings and of the intelligence of their opponents, so that they would not lose out in reasoned argument or be taken by surprise by their quick-witted opponents, they boldly moved into action. Their enemies,on the contrary, contemptuous and confident in their ability to anticipate, thought there was no need to take by action what they could win by their brains.
The ego is never satisfied. No matter how much stuff we buy, no matter how many arguments we win or delicious meals we consume, the ego never feels complete.
Dan Harris (10% Happier)
There will be no conversation in which you call me a racist, and I explain why I’m not a racist. That’s a conversation for idiots.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
To win an argument, rely on logic. To win in life, question logic. If you’re not willing to often take actions that don’t make much sense, having a mediocre life will make perfect sense.
Vizi Andrei (Economy of Truth: Practical Maxims and Reflections)
It's hard to win an argument with a smart person. It's damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.
Bill Murray
Please,” she whispered, sounding more frantic. “Don’t leave me down in these chasms alone.” He smiled wryly. “Is it really this hard for you to let me win one single argument?” “Yes!
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
If I said anything to offend you it was purely intentional.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
Winning or losing an argument, receiving an acceptance or rejection, is no proof of the validity or value of personal identity. One may be wrong, mistaken, or a poor craftsman, or just ignorant - but this is no indication of the true worth of one's total human identity: past, present and future!
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Are you going to win every argument?" He was pretty certain he'd asked her that once before. May be twice. "Only the important ones.
Christine Feehan (Ruthless Game (GhostWalkers, #9))
She hated his need to always win and he hated her coldness during their arguments.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
Good editorial writing has less to do with winning an argument, since the other side is mostly not listening, than with telling the guys on your side how they ought to sound when they're arguing.
Adam Gopnik
If I gave you a penny for your thoughts, I'd get change.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
You're dead," I repeated. "So why are you in my dream?" He raised the bill of his olive drab ball cap with one finger. " Good question. Morbid, isn't it?" "What?" "Dreaming about dead peolpe. Creepy. You ever see a therapist about that?" "I'm not -" Even in dreams, I couldn't win an argument. Even when he was dead.
Rachel Caine (Firestorm (Weather Warden, #5))
Look, Aerin, preparation is only half the challenge of winning a debate.” “And the other half?” He had her now. “You have to choose the right side.” “Your side, you mean.” She bristled. “No, the losing side.” “What?” “Always choose the weaker side.” “Why would I do that?” Doubt edged her voice, but now she was sitting erect, her feet flat on the floor. “Because then you have further to go to prove your case.” He eased the feet of his chair down. “In a debate, there are two sides. If both make a good argument, then the less popular side wins because that side had further to go to prove its point. Simple logistics.” “If you don’t care which side wins.” She frowned. “It’s a debate. It doesn’t matter which side wins.” “You mean it doesn’t matter to you.” The tone in her voice unsettled him. Or maybe it was the fact that that her criticism disturbed him at all. “It’s a class,” he said. “The point is to flesh out the different sides of an argument.” “And you don’t care if the truth gets lost in the shuffle. Don’t you believe in anything?!
Anne Osterlund (Academy 7)
I'm not offended by what you say. I'm just glad that you're stringing words into sentences now.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
To straddle the middle ground and win elections, we have to be in charge of the political agenda. This can only be done by not being beaten in the argument with our critics. They complain that I come down too hard on their arguments. But wrong ideas have to be challenged before they influence public opinion and make for problems. Those who try to be clever at the expense of the government should not complain if my replies are as sharp as their criticisms.
Lee Kuan Yew (From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000)
There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust. But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing is the right and best thing to do. We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead. This is the kind of passionate conviction that sparks romances, wins battles, and drives people to pursue dreams others wouldn’t dare. Belief in ourselves and in what is right catapults us over hurdles, and our lives unfold. “Life is a sum of all your choices,” wrote Albert Camus. Large or small, our actions forge our futures and hopefully inspire others along the way.
Howard Schultz (Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul)
If you had one more brain cell, it would be lonely.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
I don’t even pretend to believe I know everything; I just believe in arguments God told me I had a pretty good chance of winning, while I was traveling through hell.
Shannon L. Alder
I want the tigard. (Varyk) And I want you to leave. Guess who’s going to win this argument? And in case you’re even denser than you appear, it’s not you. (Dev)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter, #18; Were-Hunter, #4; Hellchaser, #2))
There’s no winning arguments with your parents, so why get all pumped up over them? It is way better to dive down and get out of the way than it is to get clobbered by some parental tidal wave.
Wendelin Van Draanen
Some communities don't permit open, honest inquiry about the things that matter most. Lots of people have voiced a concern, expressed a doubt, or raised a question, only to be told by their family, church, friends, or tribe: "We don't discuss those things here." I believe the discussion itself is divine. Abraham does his best to bargain with God, most of the book of Job consists of arguments by Job and his friends about the deepest questions of human suffering, God is practically on trial in the book of Lamentations, and Jesus responds to almost every question he's asked with...a question.
Rob Bell (Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived)
I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength. It was a strategy for winning arguments, respect for others, and eventually thought neither of us knew it at the time, chess games... Come from the South, blow from the wind -- poom!-- North will follow. Strongest wind cannot be seen.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
Someday you'll find yourself, and will you be disappointed.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
You look like something I'd draw with my left hand.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
As an outsider, what do you think of the human race?
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
The truth is that your opponent, who labels you a racist without evidence, is the actual racist: it is he who waters down the term racism until it is meaningless by labeling any argument with which he disagrees racist.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
Most people are not prepared to have their minds changed," he said. "And I think they know in their hearts that other people are just the same, and one of the reasons people become angry when they argue is that they realize just that, as they trot out their excuses." "Excuses, eh?" Well, if this ain't cynicism, what is?" Erens snorted. "Yes, excuses," he said, with what Erens thought might just have been a trace of bitterness. "I strongly suspect the things people believe in are usually just what they instinctively feel is right; the excuses, the justifications, the things you're supposed to argue about, come later. They're the least important part of the belief. That's why you can destroy them, win an argument, prove the other person wrong, and still they believe what they did in the first place." He looked at Erens. "You've attacked the wrong thing.
Iain M. Banks (Use of Weapons (Culture, #3))
Of course, winning is much better than losing. No argument there. But winning or losing doesn’t affect the weight and value of the time. It’s the same time, either way. A minute is a minute, an hour is an hour. We need to cherish it. We need to deftly reconcile ourselves with time, and leave behind as many precious memories as we can—that’s what’s the most valuable.
Haruki Murakami (First Person Singular: Stories)
If I throw a stick, will you go away?
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
If stupidity was painful, you'd be in agony.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
Anybody who told you to just be yourself couldn't have given you worse advice.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
She thinks she's a siren, but she looks more like a false alarm.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
I get so emotional when you're not around. That emotion is happiness.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
Don’t follow people. Follow principle.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
PRINCIPLE 1 The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. PRINCIPLE 2 Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.” PRINCIPLE 3 If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. PRINCIPLE 4 Begin in a friendly way. PRINCIPLE 5 Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately. PRINCIPLE 6 Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. PRINCIPLE 7 Let the other person feel that the idea
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
Differences of Opinion 1 HE TELLS HER He tells her that the earth is flat -- He knows the facts, and that is that. In altercations fierce and long She tries her best to prove him wrong, But he has learned to argue well. He calls her arguments unsound And often asks her not to yell. She cannot win. He stands his ground. The planet goes on being round.
Wendy Cope
Logan Matthews," I put my hand out to shake hers. She looked down at it, shook her head, laughed once, and then looked back up at me. "Definitely no." "What? Why? Give me one good reason," I spat out. I didn't know why it was getting to me, her not wanting me. But I was pissed off and I felt like I needed to win that argument, or whatever the fuck it was that was going on there. "Because." "That's not a reason." "Because I have a boyfriend." "No you don't." I shook my head and crossed my arms over my chest. "Because you're an asshole." "Valid, but not accepted. Next?
Jay McLean (More Than Her (More Than, #2))
I’m sure the ‘I wouldn’t fuck a murder conspirator’ argument wins over many an internal affairs review board. Bring him in. It’ll be in your favor.
Benjamin R. Smith (Atlas)
If you have something to say, raise your hand and place it over your mouth.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
You started at the bottom and it's been downhill ever since.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
I’d explain it to you, but I don’t have any crayons with me.
THE CLOWN FACTORY (INSULTS - The Best Insults Ever - Win at any verbal argument!)
How can even the idea of rebellion against corporate culture stay meaningful when Chrysler Inc. advertises trucks by invoking “The Dodge Rebellion”? How is one to be bona fide iconoclast when Burger King sells onion rings with “Sometimes You Gotta Break the Rules”? How can an Image-Fiction writer hope to make people more critical of televisual culture by parodying television as a self-serving commercial enterprise when Pepsi and Subaru and FedEx parodies of self-serving commercials are already doing big business? It’s almost a history lesson: I’m starting to see just why turn-of-the-century Americans’ biggest fear was of anarchist and anarchy. For if anarchy actually wins, if rulelessness become the rule, then protest and change become not just impossible but incoherent. It’d be like casting a ballot for Stalin: you are voting for an end to all voting.
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
To be liberated from the stigma of blackness by embracing it is to cease, forever, one's interior argument and collaboration with the authors of one's degradation. It abruptly reduces the white enemy to a contest merely physical, which he can win only physically.
James Baldwin (No Name in the Street)
A man I briefly dated tried to win arguments with me by telling me I was blinded by ideology. I couldn’t see the world objectively, he said, or rationally, because I was a feminist and I saw everything through feminist eyes. When I pointed out that this was true for him too (he identified as a libertarian) he demurred. No. That was just objective, common sense – de Beauvoir’s ‘absolute truth’. For him, the way he saw the world was universal, while feminism – seeing the world from a female perspective – was niche. Ideological.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
Seriously. There's no winning arguments with your parents, so why get all pumped up over them? It is way better to dive down and get out of the way than it is to get clobbered by some parental tidal wave.
Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped)
So you become numb to insults, particularly if you teach yourself to imagine that the person uttering them is a variant of a noisy ape with little personal control. Just keep your composure, smile, focus on analyzing the speaker not the message, and you’ll win the argument. An ad hominem attack against an intellectual, not against an idea, is highly flattering. It indicates that the person does not have anything intelligent to say about your message. The psychologist
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
Frances Catherine, I’m going to win this argument,” Judith announced. She nodded to her friend when she made that prediction. “Why?” “Because it’s my turn,” she explained. “You may win the next argument.” “Lord, you’re stubborn.
Julie Garwood (The Secret (Highlands' Lairds #1))
Alternatives to “Bae” The one who wins all of the arguments, the keeper of the remote, the girl who turns my stomach into a butterfly nest, the pink Starburst, the one I will always choose first no matter what else is in the pack, the red Kool-Aid, the right amount of sugar, the pulp, the part that makes the juice seem real.
Rudy Francisco (Helium (Button Poetry))
I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
Dave Barry
No wonder the left seeks to avoid political debate at all costs. Why bother? Members of the left are not interested in having a debate about policy. They are not interested in debating what is right or wrong for the country. They are interested in debating you personally. They are interested in castigating you as a nasty human being because you happen to disagree. This is what makes leftists leftists: an unearned sense of moral superiority over you. And if they can instill that sense of moral superiority in others by making you the bad guy, they will.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
He likes to use his wit and verbal finesse to confuse others and win arguments. Although he can argue successfully that white is black and straight is crooked, you walk away with the feeling that he's won the argument not because he is correct but because you can't outwit him.
Liezi (Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambhala Dragon Editions))
Maybe the critics are right. Maybe there's no escaping our great political divide, an endless clash of armies, and any attempts to alter the rules of engagement are futile. Or maybe the trivialization of politics has reached a point of no return, so that most people see it as just one more diversion, a sport, with politicians our paunch-bellied gladiators and those who bother to pay attention just fans on the sidelines: We paint our faces red or blue and cheer our side and boo their side, and if it takes a late hit or cheap shot to beat the other team, so be it, for winning is all that matters. But I don't think so. They are out there, I think to myself, those ordinary citizens who have grown up in the midst of all the political and cultural battles, but who have found a way-in their own lives, at least- to make peace with their neighbors, and themselves. ...I imagine they are waiting for a politics with the maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised, to admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have a point. They don't always understand the arguments between right and left, conservative and liberal, but they recognize the difference between dogma and common sense, responsibility and irresponsibility, between those things that last and those that are fleeting. They are out there, waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
There’s a moment in [Anne of Green Gables] where Anne Shirley (great character) […] is in the same classroom as Gilbert Blythe and she hit’s him over the head with a slate, which is their kind of writing tool, and I always say that moment for me was just, I was just absolutely mesmerised. I thought it was so romantic, though she hated his guts. I would always say that in every one of my novels there is a moment where my characters metaphorically hit their potential love interests over the head with a slate. It could be that winning an argument or getting the upper hand, an example in say The Piper’s Son could be here’s Tom thinking it will be easy, text messaging Tara saying ‘How’s it going, babe’ and her response, that for me is the hitting someone over the head with a slate. It happens in Saving Francesca when she kind of meets Will and Will’s such a bastard to her. So they’re moments I kind of adopted and I loved that particular one, so I would say [L.M. Montgomery] was a major influence.
Melina Marchetta
The stakes involved in Washington policy debates are often so high-- whether we send our young men and women to war; whether we allow stem cell research to go forward-- that even small differences in perspective are magnified. The demands of party loyalty, the imperative of campaigns, and the amplification of conflict by the media all contribute to an atmosphere of suspicion. Moreover, most people who serve in Washington have been trained either as lawyers or as political operatives-- professions that tend to place a premium on winning arguments rather than solving problems. I can see how, after a certain amount of time in the capital, it becomes tempting to assume that those who disagree with you have fundamentally different values-- indeed, that they are motivated by bad faith, and perhaps are bad people.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
Here was intellectual life, he thought, and here was beauty, warm and wonderful as he had never dreamed it could be. He forgot himself and stared at her with hungry eyes. Here was something to live for, to win to, to fight for—ay, and die for. The books were true. There were such women in the world. She was one of them. She lent wings to his imagination, and great, luminous canvases spread themselves before him whereon loomed vague, gigantic figures of love and romance, and of heroic deeds for woman’s sake—for a pale woman, a flower of gold. And through the swaying, palpitant vision, as through a fairy mirage, he stared at the real woman, sitting there and talking of literature and art. He listened as well, but he stared, unconscious of the fixity of his gaze or of the fact that all that was essentially masculine in his nature was shining in his eyes. But she, who knew little of the world of men, being a woman, was keenly aware of his burning eyes. She had never had men look at her in such fashion, and it embarrassed her. She stumbled and halted in her utterance. The thread of argument slipped from her. He frightened her, and at the same time it was strangely pleasant to be so looked upon. Her training warned her of peril and of wrong, subtle, mysterious, luring; while her instincts rang clarion-voiced through her being, impelling her to hurdle caste and place and gain to this traveller from another world, to this uncouth young fellow with lacerated hands and a line of raw red caused by the unaccustomed linen at his throat, who, all too evidently, was soiled and tainted by ungracious existence. She was clean, and her cleanness revolted; but she was woman, and she was just beginning to learn the paradox of woman.
Jack London (Martin Eden)
He was staring down another loss, and, though he had to be logical, though he knew her to be logical, he saw the stricken look of betrayal on her face, and all of those arguments threatened to fly away from him. What was history anyway but the lies of the winning few? Why was it worth protecting, when it forgot the starving child under siege, the slave woman on her deathbed, the man lost at sea? It was an imperfect record written by a biased hand, diluted to garner the most agreement from competing parties. He was tempted to see her point, to imagine that she could realign the past and present and future into something beautiful. God, if anyone was capable of it, it would be her.
Alexandra Bracken (Wayfarer (Passenger, #2))
But until this night, she had never once actually wet the bed. And now that she has, we just lie there in the accident, and the minutes of the clock keep changing, and the love I have for her keeps growing, and we both keep drawing breath. What was so horrible about it? Why had I always been so angry? What was my need to always be right? To win every argument with her? To out-stubborn a dog? And just like that, all the anger is gone. Released like the emptying of a bladder into soft cotton sheets as we lie in the wetness.
Steven Rowley (Lily and the Octopus)
The left is expert at framing debates. They have buzzwords they use to direct the debate toward unwinnable positions for you. They are tolerant, diverse, fighters for social justice; if you oppose them, by contrast, you are intolerant, xenophobic, and in favor of injustice. Now, all these terms are – to be polite – a crock, if considered as absolute moral values. The left is wildly intolerant of religious people and conservatives; that’s why they’re interested in forcing Christian bakers to cater to same-sex weddings. They are anti-intellectual diversity, particularly in areas of American life in which they predominate; that’s why they stifle conservatism on campus and in the media. And as for social justice, if social is supposed to be opposed to individual, then social justice is by definition unjust. The left’s use of magical buzzwords places you in a corner, against supposed universal values that aren’t universal or universally held.
Ben Shapiro (How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument)
The proposition here is that the human brain is, in large part, a machine for winning arguments, a machine for convincing others that its owner is in the right—and thus a machine for convincing its owner of the same thing. The brain is like a good lawyer: given any set of interests to defend, it sets about convincing the world of their moral and logical worth, regardless of whether they in fact have any of either. Like a lawyer, the human brain wants victory, not truth; and, like a lawyer, it is sometimes more admirable for skill than for virtue.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
He touched the sword he had taken from the ambush. "Aside from this and the trio of juggling stones, I've nothing but the clothes on my back." Well then, tomorrow we'll go-" "No. Prince Ryne told me to make sure you stay in the manor." "It's just into town to buy you a few things. Surely there won't be any danger at the market." I sensed a softening. "And we'll take along Saul or Odd." No. We'll send one of the caregivers with a shopping list," Flea said. "Hey, that's..." He waited. I huffed. "A good idea. But don't be so smug. You're not going to win every argument." "Oh, yes, I am." "Oh, no, you're not." Flea straightened to his full height. When did he get so tall? He rested his hands on his hips. "I am. Prince Ryne trusted me with the task of keeping you safe. And I'm not going to disappoint him." I crossed my arms. "You sound like Kerrick." "Thank you." Uh-huh. You do know I disobeyed almost all of his orders. Right?" I suppressed a grin. "I do. But I'm smarter than Kerrick." "You are?" Oh, yes. I know the magic word." "And what would that be?" "Please.
Maria V. Snyder (Scent of Magic (Healer, #2))
Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils. To this must be added the violent fanaticism which came into play once the struggle had broken out. Leaders of parties in the cities had programmes which appeared admirable – on one side political equality for the masses, on the other the safe and sound government of the aristocracy – but in professing to serve the public interest they were seeking to win the prizes for themselves. In their struggles for ascendancy nothing was barred; terrible indeed were the actions to which they committed themselves, and in taking revenge they went farther still. Here they were deterred neither by the claims of justice nor by the interests of the state; their one standard was the pleasure of their own party at that particular moment, and so, either by means of condemning their enemies on an illegal vote or by violently usurping power over them, they were always ready to satisfy the hatreds of the hour. Thus neither side had any use for conscientious motives; more interest was shown in those who could produce attractive arguments to justify some disgraceful action. As for the citizens who held moderate views, they were destroyed by both the extreme parties, either for not taking part in the struggle or in envy at the possibility that they might survive.
Thucydides (The History of the Peloponnesian War)
We could just chill if you want." Emma raises a brow at Rachel. Rachel shrugs her innocence. "Nuh-uh. Don't look at me. I didn't teach him that." "Picked it up all on my own," he says, retrieving his pencil from the floor. "Figures," Emma sneers. "Aww, don't hate on me, boo." "Okay, I'm drawing the line at 'boo.' And don't call me 'shorty' either," Emma says. He laughs. "That was next." "No doubt. So, did anyone explain how you chill?" Galen shrugs. "As far as I can tell, chillin' is the equivalent of being in a coma, only awake." "That's about right." "Yeah. Doesn't sound that appealing. Are all humans lazy?" "Don't push it, Highness." But she's smirking. "If I'm Highness, then you're 'boo.' Period." Emma growls, but it doesn't sound as fierce as she intends. In fact, it's adorable. "Jeez! I won't call you Majesty either. And you Will. Not. Ever Call me 'boo' again." His grin feels like it reaches all the way to his ears as he nods. "Did...did I just win an argument?" She rolls her eyes. "Don't be stupid. We tied." He laughs. "If you say I won, I'll let you open your present." She glances at the gift bag and bites her lip-also adorable. She looks back at him. "Maybe I don't care about the present." "Oh, you definitely care," he says, confident. "No. I definitely do NOT," she says, crossing her arms. He runs a hand through his hair. If she makes it any more difficult, he'll have to tell her where they're going. He gives his best nonchalant shrug. "That changes everything. I just figured since you like history...Anyway, just forget it. I won't bother you about it anymore." He stands and walks over to the bag, fingering the polka-dot tissue paper Rachel engorged it with. "Even if I say you win, it's still a lie, you know." Emma huffs. Galen won't take the bait. Not today. "Fine. It's a lie. I just want to hear you say it." With an expression mixing surprise and suspicion in equal parts, she says it. And it sounds so sweet coming from those lips. "You won.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The strident emotional belief that children made you happy, even when all the data pointed to misery. The high-amplitude fear of sharks and dark-skinned snipers who would never kill you; indifference to all the toxins and pesticides that could. The mind was so rotten with misrepresentation that in some cases it literally had to be damaged before it could make a truly rational decision—and should some brain-lesioned mother abandon her baby in a burning house in order to save two strangers from the same fire, the rest of the world would be more likely to call her a monster than laud the rationality of her lifeboat ethics. Hell, rationality itself—the exalted Human ability to reason—hadn’t evolved in the pursuit of truth but simply to win arguments, to gain control: to bend others, by means logical or sophistic, to your will. Truth had never been a priority. If believing a lie kept the genes proliferating, the system would believe that lie with all its heart. Fossil feelings. Better off without them, once you’d outgrown the savanna and decided that Truth mattered after all. But Humanity wasn’t defined by arms and legs and upright posture. Humanity had evolved at the synapse as well as at the opposable thumb—and those misleading gut feelings were the very groundwork on which the whole damn clade had been built. Capuchins felt empathy. Chimps had an innate sense of fair play. You could look into the eyes of any cat or dog and see a connection there, a legacy of common subroutines and shared emotions.
Peter Watts (Firefall (Firefall #1-2))
In the course of your life you will be continually encountering fools. There are simply too many to avoid. We can classify people as fools by the following rubric: when it comes to practical life, what should matter is getting long term results, and getting the work done in as efficient and creative a manner as possible. That should be the supreme value that guides people’s action. But fools carry with them a different scale of values. They place more importance on short-term matters – grabbing immediate money, getting attention from the public or media, and looking good. They are ruled by their ego and insecurities. They tend to enjoy drama and political intrigue for their own sake. When they criticize, they always emphasize matters that are irrelevant to the overall picture or argument. They are more interested in their career and position than in the truth. You can distinguish them by how little they get done, or by how hard they make it for others to get results. They lack a certain common sense, getting worked up about things that are not really important while ignoring problems that will spell doom in the long term. The natural tendency with fools is to lower yourself to their level. They annoy you, get under your skin, and draw you into a battle. In the process, you feel petty and confused. You lose a sense of what is really important. You can’t win an argument or get them to see your side or change their behavior, because rationality and results don’t matter to them. You simply waste valuable time and emotional energy. In dealing with fools you must adopt the following philosophy: they are simply a part of life, like rocks or furniture. All of us have foolish sides, moments in which we lose our heads and think more of our ego or short-term goals. It is human nature. Seeing this foolishness within you, you can then accept it in others. This will allow you to smile at their antics, to tolerate their presence as you would a silly child, and to avoid the madness of trying to change them. It is all part of the human comedy, and it is nothing to get upset or lose sleep over.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
With the best of intentions, the generation before mine worked diligently to prepare their children to make an intelligent case for Christianity. We were constantly reminded of the superiority of our own worldview and the shortcomings of all others. We learned that as Christians, we alone had access to absolute truth and could win any argument. The appropriate Bible verses were picked out for us, the opposing positions summarized for us, and the best responses articulated for us, so that we wouldn’t have to struggle through two thousand years of theological deliberations and debates but could get right to the bottom line on the important stuff: the deity of Christ, the nature of the Trinity, the role and interpretation of Scripture, and the fundamentals of Christianity. As a result, many of us entered the world with both an unparalleled level of conviction and a crippling lack of curiosity. So ready with the answers, we didn’t know what the questions were anymore. So prepared to defend the faith, we missed the thrill of discovering it for ourselves. So convinced we had God right, it never occurred to us that we might be wrong. In short, we never learned to doubt. Doubt is a difficult animal to master because it requires that we learn the difference between doubting God and doubting what we believe about God. The former has the potential to destroy faith; the latter has the power to enrich and refine it. The former is a vice; the latter a virtue. Where would we be if the apostle Peter had not doubted the necessity of food laws, or if Martin Luther had not doubted the notion that salvation can be purchased? What if Galileo had simply accepted church-instituted cosmology paradigms, or William Wilberforce the condition of slavery? We do an injustice to the intricacies and shadings of Christian history when we gloss over the struggles, when we read Paul’s epistles or Saint Augustine’s Confessions without acknowledging the difficult questions that these believers asked and the agony with which they often asked them. If I’ve learned anything over the past five years, it’s that doubt is the mechanism by which faith evolves. It helps us cast off false fundamentals so that we can recover what has been lost or embrace what is new. It is a refining fire, a hot flame that keeps our faith alive and moving and bubbling about, where certainty would only freeze it on the spot. I would argue that healthy doubt (questioning one’s beliefs) is perhaps the best defense against unhealthy doubt (questioning God). When we know how to make a distinction between our ideas about God and God himself, our faith remains safe when one of those ideas is seriously challenged. When we recognize that our theology is not the moon but rather a finger pointing at the moon, we enjoy the freedom of questioning it from time to time. We can say, as Tennyson said, Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be; They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they.15 I sometimes wonder if I might have spent fewer nights in angry, resentful prayer if only I’d known that my little systems — my theology, my presuppositions, my beliefs, even my fundamentals — were but broken lights of a holy, transcendent God. I wish I had known to question them, not him. What my generation is learning the hard way is that faith is not about defending conquered ground but about discovering new territory. Faith isn’t about being right, or settling down, or refusing to change. Faith is a journey, and every generation contributes its own sketches to the map. I’ve got miles and miles to go on this journey, but I think I can see Jesus up ahead.
Rachel Held Evans (Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions)
Women are like goats. It's like . . . Well, reasoning with a woman is like sitting down to a friendly game of dice. Only the woman refuses to acknowledge the basic bloody rules of the game. A man, he'll cheat you - but he'll do it honestly. He'll use loaded dice, so that you think you're losing by chance. And if you aren't clever enough to spot what he's doing, then maybe he deserves to take your coin. And that's that. A woman, though, she'll sit down to that same game and she'll smile, and act like she's going to play. Only when it's her turn to throw, she'll toss a pair of her own dice that are blank on all six sides. Not a single pip showing. She'll inspect the throw, then she'll look up at you and say, 'clearly I just won.' Now, you'll scratch your head and look at the dice. Then you'll look up at her, then down at the dice again 'But there aren't any pips on these dice' you'll say." 'Yes there are,' she'll say. 'And both dice rolled a one.' 'That's exactly the number you need to win,' you'll say. 'What a coincidence,' she'll reply, then begin to scoop up your coins. And you'll sit there, trying to wrap your head 'bout what just happened. And you'll realise something. A pair of ones isn't the winning throw! Not when you threw a six on your turn. That means she needed a pair of twos instead! Excitedly you'll explain what you've discovered. Only then do you know what she'll do?" "No idea, Mat." "Then she'll reach over and rub the blank faces of her dice. And then, with a perfectly straight face, she'll say, 'I'm sorry. There was a spot of dirt on the dice. Clearly you'll see they actually came up as twos!' And she'll believe it. She'll bloody believe it!" "Incredible." "Only that's not the end of it!" "I had presumed it wouldn't be Mat." "She scoops up all of your coins. And then every other wonam in the room will come over and congratulate her on throwing that pair of twos! The more you complain, the more those bloody women will join in the argument. You'll be outnumbered in a moment, and each of those women will explain to you how those dice clearly read twos, and how you really need to stop behaving like a child. Every single flaming one of them will see the twos! even the prudish woman who has hated your woman from birth - since your woman's granny stole the other woman's granny's honeycake recipe when they were both maids - that woman will side against you." "They're nefarious creatures indeed." "By the time they're done, you'll be left with no coin, several lists worth of errands to run and what clothing to wear and a splitting headache. You'll sit there and stare at the table and begin to wonder, just maybe, if those dice didn't read twos after all. If only to preserve what's left of your sanity. That's what it's like to reason with a woman, I tell you.
Robert Jordan