devil’s advocate

I completely agree with everything you’re saying. I’m just playing “devil’s advocate.”

You and I, we’re basically soldiers in the army of light and truth. But let’s just say the Father of Lies was in here with us and he wouldn’t shut up about some apparent flaw in your reasoning. What would you say to him?

Even if you don’t believe in all that fire and brimstone stuff, the hypothetical devil can be an excellent ally in an argument.

Maybe you agree with the person you’re talking to and you’re looking for tips on how to win future arguments with less enlightened people. Or maybe your opponent has a fragile ego. You can flatter her by saying, “You’re so great that only the embodiment of pure evil would ever consider disagreeing with you.”

But by far the best thing the devil can do for you — if someone is willing to speak up on his behalf — is to help you see things from another point of view. Think about your opinions as if they were crazy, your arguments as if they were full of holes. Some of them probably are.

I mean, the devil might say they are. Not me. I think you’re brilliant.