Thursday, July 1, 2010

How to argue like a champion

In my experience with internet and blogospheric debate, I have picked up some rather useful advice in constructing a coherent and convincing argument. I hope you will receive these tips of wisdom in the manner that I humbly present them.

1. Always share with others your personal stories and preferences, they don't even have to relate to the specific case you are making, because everyone is so interested in what you happen to think about the matter. You define reality, not observe it.

2. To add on to that, do make sure that you provide personal anecdotes in lieu of actual statistical data. Because a micro exception always trumps the macro rule.

3. Once you have demonstrated that a certain authority is in accordance with your views, openly declare the debate to be settled because the authorities are never, ever, wrong. Their pratfall performance regarding the issues of global warming, Socialism, Keynesianism, and String theory notwithstanding.

4. When examining the arguments of your opponent, the best way to refute him is by looking at his motives. If there are any signs that he may have any biases, promptly proclaim that his arguments don't merit discussion because he is [insert derogatory term here]

5. Openly declare that you will present a rebuttal to a certain book/article/speech before you actually dive into it and know what it actually says. You know, because you're so open-minded that regardless of what happens to be in those articles of information, you won't change your mind.

6. Regard any accusation of racism or sexism as an immediate victory on your part. Because any view conflicting with the egalitarian aspects of mankind is evil of the worst sort.

7. If somebody makes a factual inaccuracy that is only tangentially related to the argument and not the foundation of it, concentrate solely on that inaccuracy while completely ignoring the larger and more important part of the argument that is actually relevant to its validity. Example: "Our national debt is 12 trillion, we need to stop government spending." Rebuttal: "No! Our national debt is 11 trillion, therefore we need to keep spending!"

There you go. With those precious gems of wisdom, you will forever be an unbeatable debate champion.

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