Basically, the main point of law number 9 is that in proving a point, it is always better to convince your audience (especially if that someone is in a higher position than you) by demonstrating your idea, rather than arguing or trying to sway them with words.
According to the book, words can be weak and troublesome; “words are never neutral…” and we can never be sure just how our words, regardless of how wisely chosen, are going to come across to the person we’re conversing with.
It doesn’t matter if you’re right or not. Most of the time, especially when arguing, people can be stubborn, and we ALL think that we’re right. The harder you argue, the more you offend the person and their intellect, and the harder they resist.
However, if you chose to demonstrate your ideas instead, the easier they’ll accept you and your point, because how can anybody argue with “demonstrated proof?” They will able to see what you mean, right in front of them, and they won’t be able to contest you. It takes a little bit more than tact to pull this off, but when you do fine the right move, you’ll be able to communicate your point most effectively. It’s a win-win situation: “…no one is offended, and your point is proven.”
To finish off, an example from the book: Soderini was Florence’s mayor, and he had commissioned Michaelangelo to make a sculpture. At one point, Soderini commented that he thought the nose was “too big.” But Michaelangelo knew that Soderini was just seeing the statue from the wrong perspective, and he didn’t want to ruin the statue or offend Soderini. So, he asked Soderini to stand beside him (to get a proper perspective) while he PRETENDED to fix the figure’s nose. Once Soderini saw the “finished product,” he said it was perfect. Here, Michaelangelo found an indirect way of proving his point. He “saved” the statue, while still making Soderini think that he had agreed with his critique.
Do you agree with what this law states? Is it always better to demonstrate rather than argue, or can you cite some instances where a well-thought-out argument can get the same result?
-Jessica Amanda Bauza