Monday, December 5

Fun and Easy No Work Argumentation

I didn't invent these tactics, but I have observed them in practice.
  1. Declare that that the viewpoint you are arguing against is contradictory. Don't worry about needing to show the contradiction. Just claiming that it's there is enough.
  2. Kick and scream and cry that the person you are arguing against is meaner than you are, therefore you are right. (Okay, I know kicking and screaming is hard work, but at least it's not brain work. And it's certainly good fun.)
  3. If someone actually engages some of your argument point by point, dismiss it as a diatribe.
  4. If the person you are arguing against makes a statement that has the word but or however in it, ignore anything following those words. An unqualified statement is much easier to refute than a qualified one. Why make more work for yourself by considering any qualifications?
  5. Allege that person disagreeing with you only believes as they do because they were brought up in a rich (or poor or middle class or educated or Baptist or Presbyterian or lutefisk-eating) family.
  6. This one is a variation of no. 5. Learn to use this phrase: "Your view is, of course, the traditional [insert name of group here (Christian, Baptist, conservative, lutefisk-eating, etc.)] one." That doesn't seem like enough? What you don't know is that this phrase really means "You only believe that way because all good sheep everywhere/the hopelessly old-fashioned always have."
  7. If you've tried suggestions 1-6, yet your opponent is still trying to engage you in the discussion and/or it looks like you are losing the argument, play the unity card. You know: "I could win this argument with my hands tied behind my back, but let's not divide the country/the church/the party/the Sons of Norway over it."
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