"While birds can fly, only humans can argue.
Argument is the affirmation of our being.
It is the principal instrument of human intercourse.
Without argument the species would perish.
As a subtle suggestion, it is the means by which we aid another.
As a warning, it steers us from danger.
As exposition, it teaches.
As an expression of creativity, it is the gift of ourselves.
As a protest, it struggles for justice.
As a reasoned dialogue, it resolves disputes.
As an assertion of self, it engenders respect.
As an entreaty of love, it expresses our devotion.
As a plea, it generates mercy.
As charismatic oration it moves multitudes and changes history.
We must argue -- to help, to warn, to lead, to love, to create,
to learn, to enjoy justice, to be."
Gerry Spence
Lawyer and author
from his book, How To Argue And Win Every Time
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    I refuse to be drawn into this argument.
     -- Synonymous, The Great White North     
  • 5
    I like the quote, but how'd you like to be married to this guy! ;-)
     -- Chicago     
  • 6
    I think that the opertive word should be discuss. Because the average person, including lawyers, don't bring enough to the table to support an argument, most only Parrot, the rhetoric, acquired during their formative years, As Leonardo DaVinci said, "Mankind's Greatest Deception, is his own Opinion," and what pray tell, is that based on?
     -- John F. Galbraith Jr., Mahopac, New York     
  • 6
    It has been said that "teachers teach what they want to learn" and maybe we also argue what we want to understand better. Correct, respectful argumentation sharpens us. I believe the bible coments on how personal contact between individuals sharpens and creates "better'" individuals sort of like you inferred yesterday Reston, without common vocabulary and argument we are just cave men. This logic then makes lawyers the most civilized among us, so heaven help us. Spence was always a little wordy so I give him a 3, but I loved his brown suede jacket and smooth north woods persona so make it 4.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 3
    Spoken from an individual proficient in the occupation of argument.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 6
    Argument is absolutely necessary for me to form my own opinions. If there is no one else around, I'll argue with myself and sometimes I even convince one side or the other that I'm right. The art of debate, logic and rhetoric, however, is terrible in this country. It is poorly done because it is poorly taught if it is taught at all, and as a result too many people cannot come to logical conclusions. Speaking of the art of debate, I read just last week that a debate coach dropped his pants during a debate. Now that's a "rebuttal." That's where the art of debate now stands.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 6
    Rhetoric and Civics are no longer taught in school (although the Jesuits still do), but they were integral subjects found in school curriculums prior to the 20th century. It's part of the dumbing down necessary to make us docile and obedient sheep, which was the trend started by the Industrial Revolution. Perhaps the 21st century will rekindle the art and spawn another Renaissance. One can hope.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    Debating societies were also a form of entertainment in the old days before "modern media". I communicate now through karaoke. "Anything can happen in a song." A song conveys poetry and meaning and sometimes with the right person it may even be melodic. Melody is an ineffable form of meaning.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 3
     -- AL, DC      
    Argumentation is a legacy bequeathed to us by the Fall.

    If it could reliably be relied upon to produce Light rather than heat, it would be, without question, an unalloyed Virtue.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
    Of course a lawyer would defend the "virtues" of Arguing. And chimpanzees and other animals have been known to "argue" so it is not something exclusive to humans as he suggests. I would humbly submit that LOVE is a much better affirmation to our being than argument. Greed and selfishness fueled argument is a big part of what is wrong with our society and country.
     -- IG, Oregon     
  • 2 1
    Very astute. Who is right, Yakach, bring forth your correction, refutation and proof. Let it be done with arguments ( towkachath, chastisement by words ), let your, debate, be ( riyb, a legal case as Eris, a quarrel of variance stressing upon rivalry. Through the suspension of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum many ills have been inflected upon the people, wrongs of indoctrination rather than the education of, and in defence of their Liberty, amparo de libertad. " The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." of which we are not in. Extreme neglect, contempt for our Constitution inflecting great stress/ upon loyal patriots by political powers, their ruinous debate, quarrel ( natsah, laid waste ) which shows forth the abuse of power by the superior and inferior courts within the states. Reign in the power, Prohibito. Mandamus.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
     -- Mary - MI      
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