I have asked this question many times and it always elicits a chuckle. Clearly if you choose one over the other, you end up dead. And if your body decided that this ongoing struggle between inhaling and exhaling was a problem to solved, you would end up dead. Breathing is not a problem to be solved. It is a polarity to be managed.
Polarity management has a much wider application then biology. It applies to a wide range of features in human systems. Economist John McMillian (Stanford) wrote an insightful book called, “Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets.” McMillian makes the case that the never-ending struggle in political economy has been to find the right mix of centralization and decentralization. If power becomes too centralized, then it will become oppressive and destructive. Yet, without centralized power, local tyrants emerge, injustice proliferates, and warring factions square off, sending society into chaos. In this sense, political economy is a polarity to be managed, not a problem to be solved.
Writing in the Atlantic, Eric Liu makes an important observation (emphasis mine):
"We don’t need fewer arguments today; we need less stupid ones.
The arguments in American politics today are stupid in many ways: They’re stuck in a decaying two-party institutional framework; they fail to challenge foundational assumptions about capitalism or government; they center on symbolic proxy skirmishes instead of naming the underlying change; they focus excessively on style and surface.
Americans can do better. Remember: America doesn’t just have arguments; America is an argument—between Federalist and Anti-Federalist world views, strong national government and local control, liberty and equality, individual rights and collective responsibility, color-blindness and color-consciousness, Pluribus and Unum.
The point of civic life in this country is not to avoid such tensions. Nor is it for one side to achieve “final” victory. It is for us all to wrestle perpetually with these differences, to fashion hybrid solutions that work for the times until they don’t, and then to start again.
"America is an Argument." Bingo! I think you will find the same is true in all human structures, including church and family. Part of what facilitates better discussion and arguments is appreciating that we are often wrestling more with polarities and less with virtue and vice.