"...but there are two sides to the argument!"

Another deflection tactic that people employ when they have lost discussions is uttering the phrase similar to "there are two sides of every story," "well, it's just a different perspective/that's how I see it," or something similar.

Just because there are two (or more than two sides) to an argument does not entail that both sides are somehow valid. We can gather evidence to support each side of an issue and discover a resolution to many issues.

Earlier today, I had a discussion about abortion.
I was called a person who supports killing babies and I asked how he arrived at this conclusion.

"You like abortions."

"Well, no, I don't like abortions, I said, but I support the rights of women who want to have abortions...and I'm pro-choice...that's much different than liking abortions.

I then asked, "What about women who get abortions early before there is any consciousness or fetus and the life is cellular... is that "killing a baby? That's killing cells and a potential human being."

He said, "Well, it's still a baby, that's how I see it."

"No," I said, that's not a baby."

I asked how it's a baby.... and he claimed "Well, that's just how I see it. There are two sides to the argument." I asked for clarification and the conversation about abortion ceased with "I don't want to talk about it."

Other times I hear the "It's my view/there are two sides" objection is in discussion about an objective reality. People make claims such as "Everything in existence is so complex that it needs a designer and everything shows some sort of design." When asked about this claim, people will use the objection and cease conversation.

We can't just make claims about objective reality and assume that they are true just because you believe them to be true. Facts need to be backed up with argument, evidence, and reason. Truthiness just doesn't fly.

After the abortion discussion, there was a short discussion about miracles in which I said that I already debunked his previous claim (from months ago) that Padre Pio was a miracle worker when I linked him information from the internet.

9/11 somehow came up and the person asked me if I were a "9/11 truther." I replied that I wasn't and he said, "Well, there are people on the internet who say that 9/11 was an inside job by the government - two sides to every story."

"Great," I said, "But just because the information is out there doesn't mean that the position is valid. Anyone can come up with information, but what matters is the evidence and argument that is put forth."

"Well, these people are on the internet," he said, "and they give the information just like you did."

"No," I replied, "Their claims are not reputable, but my information is. Anyway, the burden of proof is on the person claiming a miracle happened and they haven't produced the evidence."

This position of "Well, that's the way I see it" or "There are two sides" fails if you use this as the justification for your position. It's not even answering the question of "Why do you hold this position" because you're essentially just saying "I believe this just because I believe this."

If you make a claim about reality, you ought to defend the claim when you're asked to give reasons for your position. Even if my "opponent" were to say something like, "Well, I believe in souls and souls are part of a human being..." I would certainly ask for proof of souls, but at least at this point we're getting somewhere other than a "I believe it is true, so it is true and I won't defend it" position.

It's quite telling when people start discussions by provoking me into discussions and then they don't want to defend their own claims. I suppose the situation might be different if I started the conversation with people and they simply didn't want to chat, but backing down with stupid excuses when you started the discussion is dishonest.

For more discussion of a similar claim, "I have the right to my own opinion," read my post here.