Communication: Agreeing to Disagree


©2008, 2014  by Raymond Alexander Kukkee


Where is Forever?

Where is Forever?

 “Opposing facts may, in fact, have merit and we smile knowingly; some of them might even be true.”

Agreeing to Disagree: When you’re Right, but they’re not Wrong


Have you solved a problem by agreeing to disagree today? Join the human race. Eternal disharmony. There is instant and momentary disagreement between otherwise passionate lovers, the falling out of long-time friends, fragmentation of families, rivalry of siblings, collision of  ideologies and the birth of extremism.  Nations go to war and kill because of disagreements and failure to accommodate and agree. The comforting act of lying to accommodate.  Does agreeing to disagree have merit?  A new trend?  Disagreement with accommodation is a fact of life, but is it right? You decide.

Disagreements have plagued relationships since the beginning of recorded history. Differences of opinion and irreconcilable statements can be expressed from completely different, unrelated, incomprehensible, baseless and morally unacceptable positions offered stubbornly  in the  absence of reason or logic. Such differences are officially offered and maintained to “save face”,  a desperate attempt to preserve sensitive, egotistical minds that may lack social skills and do not easily accept failure. Personal potential benefits in being right regardless of fact come into play.

The Catch-22

“Knowing you are right but they are not necessarily wrong” does happen. Opposing facts may, in fact, have merit and we smile knowingly; some of them might even be true.

Is it simpler, and even wiser then, to agree to disagree and just get on with life otherwise? How do you correlate the inevitable contradictions? Is it ever morally right to knowingly practice “agreeing to disagree?” What is to be achieved?  Other aspects of the question must be considered. The fact of the matter is, like it or not, absolute truth enters the picture. Must the process become an issue of morals? You decide.

In overview, an argumentative, staid position is either right or wrong at any given time based upon an instantaneous and singular set of data, facts, and conditions. If all of the basic facts used in the foundation of the argument are sound, correct, and are true, the conclusion is right.

If questionable, “gray”, “personal opinion” , mere perception, or blatant untruths and distortions are included in a stubbornly-held position,  logic concludes that argument can only be partially supported, questionable and unfounded.  Wrong comes to mind.

Agreeing to Disagree: A Problematic Foundation?

The most problematic aspect of any disagreement is the basis, the foundation of the argument, not the relationship itself, personalities involved, opinion, or seemingly irreconcilable positions held.  The outcome achieved, which may be to “agree to disagree” being collective and arbitrary, may not necessarily be the correct or optimal conclusion. Even if truth is revealed, and acknowledged during a discussion but conveniently  put aside in a “compromise” agreement to disagree, the outcome may only be a temporary truce,  eventually proving to be unacceptable.  Embers will inevitably be fanned to re-ignite the conflict.  Why?  Because of untruths included in agreeing to disagree, the temporary peace can not withstand scrutiny when revisited.   It seems so simple.

In fairness, combatants may argue the veracity of individual facts, and propose their derivative opinion solely upon those facts. Subsequently, both wisdom and common sense dictate that if all relevant fact is ultimately considered, irrational contradiction surfaces.  Curiously, that reality is ignored with individuals choosing to “agree to disagree”. It is offered as fashionable to do so.

Hard Truth or Social Deception?

Fashionable? Why is the practice of agreeing to disagree considered socially acceptable? Little white lies, shades of gray, distorted truth half-truths. How about hard truth?
Hard truth?  Yes, the  hard truth.  The concept of “perceived truth” and “your truth, my truth” are  social deceptions perpetrated  to bring into doubt personal, social, and traditional values and morals. Is the truth too hard to swallow?
Social deception? Is the process is designed specifically to allow the bountiful decay of ethics and morality of society to enable and further the distasteful alternative agenda of various fractions of society including extremist religion, commerce, and promoters of political ideology? Do manipulators,  designers of questionable social process  encourage the concept and use of “little lies” and “gray truths” in all aspects of our lives to encourage us to “agree to disagree” and benefit by furthering their agenda?  Is the blatant contamination of the once-civilized concept of ‘compromise’,  agreeing to disagree and winking  now brazenly offered as an trendy example of  the new distorted civility,  political correctness but in reality a disservice to humanity?

How about Pragmatic Civility?

Perhaps there is pragmatic civility inherent in agreeing to disagree if only because they’re not totally wrong“, but  is pragmatic acceptance of anything the ultimate “civilized” solution? Shall we accept lies and half-truths for convenience? Let’s not rock the boat, it’s ‘cool’.

Civilization, —out of fear and comparable to the proverbial flock of sheep, is encouraged to assign higher values of worth to individual ego, materialism, arbitrary, arrogant thought process, and personal opinion, than those assigned to absolute truth. Distortion of the truth and shameless acceptance of lesser values is popular. It’s easy. It’s convenient.

The Argument: Rabbit-Hole Reality

It may be thereby argued  that apples are oranges. Lies are made to look like truths.Half-truths are offered as fact.  Comparative data used in any argument or discussion must be equivalent and truthful;  all facts in play must be comparative, considered and assigned equal and relevant weight. How much are you willing to compromise to win that argument?  A friendly discussion or an out and out battle for truth? Shall we save face and preserve the ego? Let someone down dishonestly, but gently to let them ‘feel good’ ?
The fact is, apples are not oranges – no matter how truth is distorted, or no matter how eloquently one argues otherwise . The opposition smiles. “They” may not be entirely wrong, since they have also stated that apples, like oranges, also grow on trees and are fruit. Common ground is stressed, absolutes are ignored.  With that information now included in their presentation, should you  allow yourself to “agree to disagree“, and have Alice happily make believe they are one and the same thing?  Or perhaps just peaches and pineapples instead? You decide.

As with absolute truth, when and if all of the facts are revealed, any question of contradiction will become self-evident. Genuine agreement can be achieved. The relationship can be preserved.  You may indeed “keep the peace” and practice  “agreeing to disagree” if “they are not wrong”, but open the box first and see for yourself; the truth is always ultimately revealed.



Is that Incoming I hear?

Tags #communication,  #relationships,   #agreeingToDisagree   #truth  #harmonyInRelationships #rightAndWrong   #Rabbit-HoleReality


 3 total views,  1 views today


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.