Sunday, March 26, 2017

Stop at their Worst Argument

If you're like me, your are prone to argue, and maybe just a little aspy. So it's very tempting to push arguments to their logical conclusion. Ideally it should go something like this.
  1. You make a claim
  2. They make a claim
  3. You provide evidence
  4. They provide evidence
  5. You demonstrate how their claims are faulty
  6. You dismantle their arguments that your claims are faulty
  7. They concede your claims are the valid ones
This like, NEVER happens. It really doesn't. Even if they believe you're correct they'll never say so. Logical arguments ignore the very real effect of the human ego. Your approach should be to sow seeds of doubt, and to leave your opponent looking weak.

If you're effectively dismantling their arguments, they will normally start to throw anything they can at you: primarily illogical and emotional assertions. The natural instinct is to go for the kill. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. As we use to say when I was a kid

Finally you can rip your opponent's head off!! Refuse the temptation to do so. You have already won. It won't get any better for you; you will only get into the mud and risk looking petty, obsessive, and cruel. Remember no one is going to change their mind in the middle of a debate. The best-case scenario is to let them say something particularly awful or stupid and leave it right there. That's what people will remember. That's what will linger. You don't want the last impression to be you autistically desconstructing arguments in a debate you've already won.

You're goal should be to force your opponent to say something absurd and end the argument right there. 

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