Schopenhauer and Nietzche, from this guy Pat
My favorite imaginary friend Lifehacker had an interesting link to ‘How to Win an Argument‘. The page is a list of tips from the philosopher Schopenhauer, and they’re very interesting. It’s interesting seeing what I like to use, and what other people are using on me. Many people that comment here (and anywhere) seem to rarely stray from #38. Some of my personal favorites are, ‘make your opponent angry’, ‘put their assertions in an odius category’ and ‘use your opponents beliefs against them’.
*1) Carry your opponent’s proposition beyond its natural limits; exaggerate it*. The more general your opponent’s statement becomes, the more objections you can find against it. The more restricted and narrow your own propositions remain, the easier they are to defend.
Why Morq tried to expand the Private Unis thing to Privatization in general, and why I didn’t want to
*5) Use your opponent’s beliefs against him*. If your opponent refuses to accept your premises, use his own premises to your advantage. Example, if the opponent is a member of an organization or a religious sect to which you do not belong, you may employ the declared opinions of this group against the opponent.
Why I like Marx. None of these self-proclaimed Marxists are, they just like having the posters at their totalitarian rallies. Not referring to Morquendi here, who generally dislikes the same groups I do.
*8) Make your opponent angry*. An angry person is less capable of using judgment or perceiving where his or her advantage lies.
*27) Should your opponent suprise you by becoming particularly angry at an argument, you must urge it with all the more zeal*. No only will this make your opponent angry, but it will appear that you have put your finger on the weak side of his case, and your opponent is more open to attack on this point than you expected.
*32) A quick way of getting rid of an opponent’s assertion, or of throwing suspicion on it, is by putting it into some odious category*. Example: You can say, “That is fascism” or “Atheism” or “Superstition.” In making an objection of this kind you take for granted
# That the assertion or question is identical with, or at least contained in, the category cited
# The system referred to has been entirely refuted by the current audience.
Communism is a favorite of mine. Also Nationalism. Terrorism is dropped so lightly nowadays that it’s pretty much useless.
And this is what I get,
*35) Instead of working on an opponent’s intellect or the rigor of his arguments, work on his motive*. If you success in making your opponent’s opinion, should it prove true, seem distinctly prejudicial to his own interest, he will drop it immediately.
Example: A clergyman is defending some philosophical dogma. You show him that his proposition contradicts a fundamental doctrine of his church. He will abandon the argument.
I get douchebags contributing nada except speculations on my personality. A special favorite is my merit as a Sri Lankan, often employed by people like Shanaka who are actually in the UK
*38) Become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand*. In becoming personal you leave the subject altogether, and turn your attack on the person by remarks of an offensive and spiteful character. This is a very popular technique, because it takes so little skill to put it into effect.
This is pretty much the standard. The amount of comments that could be distilled to ‘You suck. Shut up’ is probably about 50%.