UnDebate:Shouldn't we discuss this like adults?

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Background information

Sir, please come down off the roof. It won't solve anything! SMASH! Now really, those china plates are probably quite expensive. SPLAT! Where did you even find that? We can sort all of this out if you just come down and we discuss the problem sensibly, like adults.

Ambiguity: Is "discussing a problem sensibly, like adults" vague and potentially misleading? If so, is another phrase more appropriate?

Yes

The phrase is misleading and demeaning, the use of the word "adults" suggests immaturity. To discuss a problem, two people must converse about it in a sensible manner, nothing more, nothing less. In this case, you officer, are stood on the ground and I am sitting on the roof. We are talking, albeit at a slightly louder volume than we would were we sat at my kitchen table, and we are both aged 18 or over. We are both considered adults. The use of the term "adults" in your introductory address to me suggests that you feel this is not an adult discussion, where I have just demonstrated that it absolutely is.

Is, is, is.

What you mean by the term is can we discuss this matter under your terms, I reject this assertion and propose that your opening statement be rephrased to "If you just come down we can discuss the problem". I also feel that any discussion where one of us is holding a firearm is always going to irrevocably tainted by its presence and the fear of imminent death and should hereafter be referred to as an interrogation.

No

The meaning of the phrase is self-evident and no further clarification is necessary. Mr. Smith, while I accept that we are both adults and that we are presently speaking, I reject your assertion that we are having an adult discussion. Adult, in this sense refers to a level of maturity and decorum, a meaning that is commonly understood and accepted as such all over the world, even in the housing estate on which we presently find ourselves. I feel that the criteria of "decorum" is not being met at present; I am crouching behind my car, you are up on the roof of your house throwing crockery and tiles at me. Were we sat at your kitchen table, perhaps enjoying a beverage of some kind, we might sort this out in a more adult manner than this.

SMASH!

We do, however, find some common ground. I agree that a discussion involving a firearm is no sort of discussion at all, therefore I implore you Mr. Smith, to throw it away.

If we do not discuss this situation "like adults" we will reach a more satisfying conclusion.

Yes

The context and manner of a debate is wholly unimportant when compared to its content. Despite your wholly unsatisfactory response to my initial comments I am prepared to accept your premise, on this occasion, to address, this, a much more important question. The whole purpose of any sort of discussion is to reach a satisfying conclusion, whether that conclusion is reached by, as you suggest, drinking a beverage and speaking at a normal volume, or by me refusing to come down from my roof unless you leave is entirely inconsequential. Ultimately what you have to say and not where and how you say it is all important, we could have this discussion on a beach in the tropics, with you hiding under a parasol and me up a palm tree and it would remain the same.

As an adult I am equipped with significant mental faculties and those faculties have advised me that the roof as opposed to the kitchen is the best venue for our discussion, they have also advised me that discussing this like an adult won't get me anywhere. I've tried discussing things sensibly with my nephew and all that happens is that I get covered in jam and he gets what he wants.

I refuse to act like an adult because that would draw me into your world and I'm far too intelligent for that. Now if you don't leave I'm going to hold my breath until you do.

No

An adult discussion demands a certain context and form of address... please stop holding your breath. I will make this explanation as quick as I can, Mr. Smith as you are turning a rather alarming shade of blue. A shouted discussion from street level to a person who is presently attempting to sit comfortably on a weather vane means that no matter what we say the discussion cannot be mature since it's an entirely ludicrous scenario.

SMASH!

The addition of roof tiles to this debate, whilst neatly separating my points and giving your driveway a delightful pebble-dashed look, is somewhat deleterious overall. The content of what is said is of course crucial, but where and how it is said are equally important. A discussion cannot be described as "adult" if one of the participants is on a roof and is removing his trousers.

SPLAT!

Mr. Smith please, we're having a scene here.

SMASH!

You surely can't expect to stay up there forever Mr. Smith?

You can't stay up there forever.

Yes

I can stay up here forever. I am the legal owner of this property and I am wholly entitled to be up on my roof for as long and as often as I wish to be. Why only the other week I climbed up here to install this delightful weather vane, that was around the time those men from the hospital were outside.

The concept of forever is an abstract one, of course it is not possible in practice for me to remain here forever, I would be foolish to assert that it was! Ninety years from now I will probably be dead and all that will be left is my skeleton draped rather forlornly round this weather vane. However, as with many of the great debates of our time, the principle is all. I am a person, of sound mind and body! My rights are protected by the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

It's not so bad up here anyway. I might nip back inside and bring my gramophone back, I can see it becoming very homey once there's a bit of Genesis playing and I put out a few scatter cushions.

Incidentally what is it that those men in body armour are unloading from that van?

No

You really can't stay up there forever. I was going to ask you to be reasonable Mr. Smith but-

SMASH!

Current evidence suggests that that might be a bit of a waste of time. Your rights would indeed be protected by the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence if we were in America. As it is we are unfortunate enough to be in a housing estate in the south of England, some 4,500 miles from America. Beyond this you will need to eat and exercise, something you will find very difficult perched up on that weather vane.

I would go into detail about your sanitary needs also, but I'm rather concerned about what the next object you throw at me will be if I do.

SPLAT!

Well quite.

As to the object being unloaded from that van, it is of little importance; it's going to help you to get down.

You won't shoot me with that!

Tazer-x12

You just won't

Rooftopfall

Oh yes we will!

Verdict

The Old Bailey, London. The Right Honourable Lord Justice Hague presiding.

Please stand Mr. Smith.

We have heard all the evidence placed before us and the jury has returned unanimous guilty verdicts on seven separate firearms offences, eight offences of assaulting a police officer and one count of criminal damage.

These are very serious offences, worsened by the appalling and grotesque application of logic described by the attending officers in their statements to this court. It is an aberration of common sense that has not been seen in a British court since Monty Python sketches stopped being set within them.

It is the sentence of this court that you be detained-

SPLAT!

Good grief.

Conclusion

Shouldn't we discuss things like adults?
 
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The poll was created at 17:06 on May 6, 2014, and so far 113 people voted.

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