Neil deGrasse Tyson shares that 57% of senate and 38% of the House cite law as their profession. He then explains why this is not the ideal foundation on which to build our laws and government.
"When you look at law, and what happens in the courtroom, it doesn't go to what's right, it goes to who argues best. The entire profession is founded on who the best arguers are. For example in debating teams, you know the subject but you don't even know which side of the argument you will be put on to argue.
"So the act of arguing, and not agreeing, seems to be fundamental to that profession, and congress is half that profession."
I completely agree. Winning an argument does not mean you are right. This is just one of many reasons why I dislike politics and feel our government comprises inappropriate representation. Tyson asks, "Where are the scientists? Where are the engineers? Where is the rest of life represented?"
Unfortunately, this widely accepted premise that the winner of an argument is right, has often caused me personal grief. I'm horrible at arguing my point, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. Many of my friends are very good at arguing, especially my little brother. What's most frustrating is that hours later I see the flaws and limitations of their arguments and realize that their success was largely due to their strong personality and ability to instill doubt with carefully crafted words. But that doesn't make them right.
Often, I am equally as impassioned and full of conviction, though I don't have the skill of convincing others of my ideas with argument. All too frequently, this is also the case with the people behind movements of great importance, and truth.
How do we differentiate between what is right and true, rather than what is only temporarily convincing?
How can we encourage rational thinking and examination of fact over emotion?
Or do those of us with poor argument skills simply need to learn to play the game?