Don’t argue with fools

Published 9:04 pm Friday, August 15, 2014

By Chris Surber

I have found that the less sound a man’s argument is, the more noise he makes. We are living in an age where not only does everyone think he is entitled to an opinion but everyone thinks they are entitled to a right opinion.

It is not true that everyone has a right to a right opinion. In fact, I do not even believe everyone even has a right to an opinion on every subject. Allow me to explain.

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I am a pastor. I have spent years cultivating knowledge and experience of the Bible, mattes of faith and matters of human spirituality. I spend a lot of time interacting with people who are grieving, struggling in their marriages, about to be married, hurting or asking deep questions about life and the life to come. I deal with matters of the human heart as it relates to human emotion and the soul. I have some degree of qualification to speak to matters of the heart.

However, I have neither knowledge of nor experience in studying or examining the contents of the human heart on an operating table. I have not been to medical school or premedical school. In fact, I barely squeaked out a B in the one biology class required of Bible majors at Liberty University.

I am not qualified even to an opinion of what is best for the health of the human heart that beats inside my chest. I surely have no right to a right opinion about heart surgery. In what way am I qualified to opine on such a thing?

Yet today we live in an age when men will argue vehemently upon all manner of subjects about which they have neither studied formally nor read about informally and with which they have no experience. Further, they will argue not only as to the validity of their ill-gotten opinion but also as to their inherent right to be right on the subject.

I have found that to argue with such men goes well beyond a foolish venture. We are living in an age not only of fools but also of arrogant fools who refuse to give in to good logic and will argue in the face of a learned man as to the folly of his position with no justification at all.

It is far better to silence your tongue than insist you are right in a matter about which you know nothing. “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28 NLT)

I have found that the arguments of many men hold no more water than the dog I had as a boy, aptly named “Puddles.”

As a dear friend of mine recently reminded me, I don’t need you to know that I am right to be right. Don’t argue with fools. If they wanted to learn they would listen more than they talk.

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at