Take Away Their Argument

Have you ever started a conversation about life and philosophy and it becomes apparent the other person is not listening? They seem to "talk through" or "talk around" your ideas, rather than thoughtfully considering them? I'm sure you have. The good news is, there are fantastic ways to steer a conversation back to the original topic.

Take away their argument.

Stimulating The Thought Process

We have described techniques such as staying on topic, setting the premise, asking questions, and others that are available for review at ITCZ 101. We use these techniques for clarity and to keep ourselves thinking through a complex conversion. Equally important, we are helping others to engage their thinking and remain thoughtful as well.

Another technique to add to our arsenal is to take away their argument. So, what does that mean? The idea is to grant the other person a point that is true, yet it is irrelevant to the point you are making.

In philosophical discussions we can quickly find ourselves down rabbit trails that may shed some light on what we want to express. Unfortunately, many times we get so far down those rabbit trails we are clearly off point. Let's head that off before we get there.

The Purpose

The purpose of taking away someone's argument is to take the focus off of what is irrelevant, so that the conversation can move forward with that which IS relevant. It is to reduce confusion. It is also extremely helpful for staying on topic and helping everyone involved remain thinking, rather than reacting.

He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. - Proverbs 18:13 NKJV

It's difficult to predict when you will be able to use this technique. Just being aware of the technique could prove to be helpful. You will certainly find it valuable when delivering the Gospel.

He who is wise wins souls. - Proverbs 11:30 NASB

Note that all of the In The Cool Zone techniques work powerfully to help us remain focused on the subject at hand. They are extremely helpful for developing a robust thinking process.

Adding technique to your presentation has other fantastic side effects as well. It can strengthen a calm and cool demeanor, to maintain a sincere, patient and peaceful disposition in stressful situations, i.e. keeping you In The Cool Zone. :-)

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, - 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV

Please read the follow up article, "Throwing Ice Is Irrelevant" for a demonstration of taking away arguments. It's fun and powerful! 

Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. - Colossians 4:4-6 NLT

Take Action!

Remind me again, how do I recognize when I can take away someone's argument? 
It takes a little practice, so be patient with this one. It is a powerful technique for helping everyone in the conversation to maintaining a quality thinking process.
Identify when someone makes a good point but is irrelevant to the conversation. The best way to deal with this is agree with it! But then quickly share how it is irrelevant to the point that is being discussed. Then get agreement with the other person that it is irrelevant.
Once you do that you have taken their argument away! If it comes up later in the conversation, it's easy to dismiss as you have taken that argument off the table.
Agreeing on the irrelevant topic and setting it aside as true but off topic keeps things focused. Rather than trying to integrate an irrelevant talking point, get it out of the conversation all together. This will reduce confusion and keep things focused on that which is relevant.
Be sure to review part 2  "Throwing Ice Is Irrelevant" at the link below. It is a fantastic demonstration on taking away arguments and staying on topic. 

Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.


Concept >>> “Take Away Their Argument”
Next >>> "Throwing Ice Is Irrelevant"

In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks.


  1. Hi, That doggie is so cute! Clicking away and can't get to the article "Throwing ice is irrelevant" Great post! CM

    1. He is cute! The article "Throwing Ice is Irrelevant" is coming up soon so stay tuned. :-) Thank you for the shout.
      - Rob


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