Why does it bother me that I tried not to participate in an irrational argument but someone ended up the loser? At first I thought it was bitterness, having assumed that I knew the extent to which the co-arguer would take any given debate. But I'm not bitter. Then I thought it was contempt, having assumed that the co-arguer thought of me as his equal and not an invalid to be talked down at. But it turns out to be not bitterness or contempt but some of the heaviest disappointment I've ever felt. Two ways: 1) Disappointment in someone that I considered to be a rational colleague, a person with whom I could safely express myself and have a non-confrontational debate, a person with whom I share a lot of values. And 2) that I can be such a horrible judge of character--both his and my own.
"When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit." - from "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
I want this to be true more than ever.