Argument

If men would wound you with injuries, meet them with patience: hasty words rankle the wound, soft language, dresses it, forgiveness cures it, and oblivion takes away the scar. It is more noble by silence to avoid an injury than by argument to overcome it.

If men wound you with injuries, meet them with patience; hasty words rankle the wound, soft language dresses it, forgiveness cures it, and oblivion takes away the scar. It is more noble by silence to avoid an injury; than by argument to overcome it.

The greatest danger in any argument is that real issues are often clouded by superficial ones, that momentary passions may obscure permanent realities.

Anger is seldom without argument but seldom with a good one.

For... what liberty is; there can no other proof be offered but every man’s own experience, by reflection on himself, and remembering what he useth in his mind, that is, what he himself meaneth when he saith an action... is free. Now he that reflecteth so on himself, cannot but be satisfied... that a free agent is he that can do if he will, and forbear if he will; and that liberty is the absence of external impediments. But to those that out of custom speak not what they conceive, but what they heard, and are not able, or will not take the pains to consider what they think when they hear such words, no argument can be sufficient, because experience and matter of fact are not verified by other men’s arguments, but by every man’s own sense and memory.

The greater part of mankind are naturally apt to be affirmative and dogmatical in their opinions; and while they see objects only on one side, and have no idea of any counterpoising argument, they throw themselves precipitately into the principles, to which they are inclined; nor have they any indulgence for those who entertain opposite sentiments. To hesitate or balance perplexes their understanding, checks their passion, and suspends their action.

I [have] often said that the best argument I knew for an immortal life was the existence of a man who deserved one.

He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that reason is weak.

Obstinacy and heat in argument are surest proofs of folly. Is there anything so stubborn, obstinate, disdainful, contemplative, grave, or serious, as an ass?

Truth is congenial to man. Moral truth is then most consummate when, like beauty, it commends itself without argument. The righteous not only does right, but loves to do right.

In a heated argument we lose sight of the truth.

It is only when we haggle with conscience that we have recourse to the subtleties of argument.

The fundamental argument for freedom of opinion is the doubtfulness of all our beliefs. If we certainly knew the truth, there would be something to be said for teaching it. But in that case it could be taught without invoking authority, by means of its inherent reasonableness.

Faith is an excitement and an enthusiasm: it is a condition of intellectual magnificence to which we must cling as to a treasure and not squander [in]... priggish argument.

Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that never miss the opportunity to give encouragement.

Tolerance of opinions which are thought to be innocuous is as easy, as acts of charity that entail no sacrifice. But the test of a free society is its tolerance of what is deplored or despised by a majority of its members. The argument for such tolerance must be made on the ground that it is useful to the society... that free societies are better fitted to survive than closed societies.

The bigot for the most part clings to opinions adopted without investigation, and defended without argument, while he is intolerant of the opinions of others.

What is prejudice? An opinion, which is not based upon reason; a judgment, without having heard the argument; a feeling, without being able to trace from whence it came.

Neither irony nor sarcasm is argument.

Prejudices are rarely overcome by argument; not being founded in reason they cannot be destroyed by logic.