A devil’s advocate is someone who, when given a certain line of argument, adopts the role of the opposition, merely for the sake of argument. I recently confessed to being a devil’s advocate, devoid of a salary, but always at work.
However I disagree with the title for two reasons;
- The devil isn’t known for doing society many favours, and by testing the strength of people’s arguments and challenging them to defend their viewpoint, I believe, I am doing a social service. not the devil’s work.
- Despite rebutting statements for the sake of argument, in all reality, I do not wish to divulge my views and opinions on matters to most people.
Nevertheless, even if we remain with the infamous title, then let’s consider the advantages of being a devil’s advocate.
Too often, people have the tendency to adopt viewpoints that are neither the product of original thought, nor the result of a comprehensive understanding. While you could question what reason I have for questioning someone else’s view or opinion, the answer is; in doing so, you expose the frauds from the intelligent and outspoken. If someone cannot defend their standpoint on a claim they have made, then their claim is irrelevant.
It’s not just my reasoning, but also the reasoning adopted by a certain place called the Catholic Church. It is there that the devil’s advocate (ironically) was conceived in order to point out gaps in the argument of the promoter of the cause.
But in challenging someone’s misconceptions or challenging their frail views, we advocate’s of faith, invariably become the devil’s unpaid employees. Do not frown upon the devil’s advocates, for we, just like the Grammar Nazis, are noble people with negative stigmas.