The Best Arguments

Many people hold ideals that they long and strive to live up to, but fail to do so.  Their failure does not diminish their desire to live by the ideal, or the value of the ideal itself.

One of my chief ideals that I am rarely able to do justice to is this: to discover, understand, and make others aware of the best arguments on both/all sides of important issues.  It's not enough to just know the best argument in favor of a position you advocate; you need to know the best opposing argument as well.  Your ignorance on one or both sides of an issue leaves an opening for your opponent to sway people in the wrong direction.

Public advocacy or debate isn't the only area where this principle is valuable.  Living with integrity requires that we make a good-faith effort to choose the strongest positions, based on the broadest and deepest understanding of human nature we can gather.  But additionally, one of the hardest implementations of this ideal is in understanding your opponent's worldview.  What is the most emotionally compelling, intellectually satisfying reason to believe and advocate as they do?  What drives them to take positions that, left to yourself, you find disagreeable or even offensive?  The practice of seeking out the best arguments on both sides can help you "walk a mile" in their shoes, see their humanity more vividly, and treat them consistently with the love God has for them.