I am the least convinced by this concept of ‘agreeing to disagree’. Why agree if you disagree? I mean if you disagree, wouldn’t it be pointless to try and agree that you disagree. Just say you don’t want to agree. People usually say, “Let’s agree to disagree,” when they are tired of arguing. But it comes from a place of surrender rather than conviction. I never agree to disagree because that’s the vaguest way of ending an argument. I get it in terms of language but I don’t get it in a deeper sense. Not to say there is no grey and everything is black and white, but you can’t say let’s agree that there is black and white. That’s not an agreement that’s a fact you haven’t done anything about.
I believe that two people have already agreed to disagree when they enter an argument. The reason why they’re arguing is that that they agree that they disagree. So when you end an argument on agreeing to disagree, you basically say let’s go back to square one and pretend like we never had this argument. It annoys me when I am making a very valid point and the person in front of me doesn’t have a better response so they say, “Let’s agree to disagree.” Come on, you’re better than that! If I thought our argument would not be going anywhere I wouldn’t have gotten into one with you. The whole reason why I began the argument was that I thought we could agree instead of disagreeing.
I confess, there have been times when I have said the phrase, and for the same reasons. I couldn’t come up with a good response so I said that to pretend like I am the bigger person and we should let it go while my head came up with childish comebacks like, “Whatever.” If I say, “Whatever,” I will inevitably sound petulant so I’d rather say something that sounds profound but is actually rubbish. It comforts my hurt ego. But see? I have the guts to admit it.
The reason why I am broaching this topic is that I’ve been thinking about some arguments and conversations I have had with people in the past. I fundamentally disagreed with the other person and those arguments ended with this beautiful, poetic line. I remember being frustrated and annoyed. But people still subscribe to this sentence and use it so often.
Agreeing to disagree I guess is the basis of democracy, but it’s a weird form of anarchy because you’re essentially saying that you do what you want I will do what I want and let’s agree you’ll keep doing it no matter what I say and vice versa. It is the basis of democracy, look at any country today. But like I said it’s the starting point of an argument it cannot be the end and it should not. If it’s the end then you’ll end up with World War 3 (looking at the current politics in the world I think a World War isn’t far away). If a politician says to a citizen, “Let’s agree to disagree that you believe nobody should go hungry and I believe I shouldn’t go hungry,” would you say s/he’s right or make a move to punch him/her (the current gender ratio in politics makes ‘him/her’ an aspiration here)?
Some people would say here, things like morals and principles shouldn’t be debated because if someone is morally in the wrong then there’s no scope to agree to disagree. But how do you know morals don’t differ from person to person? The whole reason that we all have a set of morals and principles that we collectively agree are good is because somebody refused to agree to disagree with somebody else that certain things were ok, such as- murder, theft, being greedy, hurting someone, or being rude for that matter. Morals are results of thoughts so are principles. You ascribe to your principles because rationally it makes sense to you.
So then why are we agreeing to disagree? Maybe you’d say that continuing to disagree would lead to war. How about we look at it the other way? If we disagree, argue, resolve it and then reach an agreement? Instead of leaving things unresolved why not reach a point of agreement where you understand what the other person means? I’ve also been told many times there are just some topics on which two people can never see eye to eye. My response to that is that they are being adamant and after some pushing and pulling when they run out of arguments they will finally start listening to each other. They are not trying hard enough they just want to be heard they don’t want to listen
This is why we have a ‘right’ and ‘left’ in the world and the people from these two sides call the people in the ‘centre’ cowards or confused. But, if you come to the centre you might see that we are just people who agree, we don’t agree to disagree and we’re not running away from either side we are just sitting there waiting for the left and right to stop agreeing to disagree. It’s like there are two teams who have played a match, the result is tied and instead of having a tie-breaker they are agreeing that both teams lost and won. Neither wants to believe they’ve lost but neither wants to accept the other as the winner. Is that coexistence or stupidity? You tell me.
I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this and I’m honestly ok with that but I refuse to agree to disagree.