Monday, August 28, 2006

The "Abas" Arguement

Debates are meant as a means of winning your opponent over to your side, or at least have your opponent acknowledge your position on a particular issue without resorting to bashing each other's heads or twisting arms to make one submit. It is a tool of civilized society, in order to settle matters with the power of words, instead of weapons.

These verbal jousts are are tests to the skills of the participants and the soundness of their ideas. The weaker argument usually ends up in submission, with the proponent agreeing to the opponent.

BUt there are times when one side of the debate resorts to an argument that is impossible to tear down, even with the soundest logic, mastery of words and skill in delivery. Once confronted with this argument, one cannot help but simply give up in frustration and leave the debate empty handed.

This is known as the "Abas" Argument.

No, it is not named after some crafty debater who excelled in every forum he participated in. Neither is it some unique principle that could solve all the mysteries of life. It isn't a mystical power wielded by a debater which provided him the answers to all questions.

Simply, it is the "Abasta!" method of arguing.

I must admit my weakness in not knowing how to translate that in English. My best would be to liken it to the lingo of the youth when they use this retort in an exchange: "Whatever!"

You can never win against the Abas Argument....even if you present an idea backed up with facts, figures and the kitchen sink, the simple reply would be : "Abasta! I don't believe you and your idea is unacceptable!"

----"But the documentary evidence shows that you accepted the payment! It has your signature on it verified by handwriting experts!"

----"Abasta! That's not my signature!"

Many times in my work I have encountered the Abas Argument. The amazing thing about the Abas Argument is that even if technically, the user has lost the debate due to the inability to offer a logical and established argument, he simply just maintains that air of "I am right and I win" attitude and he comes out the winner.

You simply cannot win over the Abas Argument. You disagree?

Abasta! I am right, you are wrong!

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