Arguing Past One Another

Megan McArdle has posted her semi-annual essay explaining that, if you want to persuade people with your arguments, you should probably refrain from calling them names and starting from the premise that they are evil, stupid, or both.

Megan McArdle has posted her semi-annual essay explaining that, if you want to persuade people with your arguments, you should probably refrain from calling them names and starting from the premise that they are evil, stupid, or both. I’ve written a handful of those myself, at least once or twice building from one of Megan’s.

I predict, alas, that this one will have a similar impact on the debate.

FILED UNDER: General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Brian says:

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

  2. Michael says:

    I predict, alas, that this one will have a similar impact on the debate.

    Only because everybody who doesn’t listen is evil and stupid.

  3. rodney dill says:

    On a lot of posts I don’t see comments as true attempts to persuade others. At best they are usually attempts to clarify ones position, even tho’ others will probably never concur. At worst, they are onesupmanship in name calling and derogatory remarks.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    I’ve noticed using your real and full name helps maintain your own civility.

  5. Wayne says:

    There are many intentions behind post including expressing one’s feelings, receiving confirmation on one’s thought, to persuade or to enlighten. I will often argue as much against the process that someone uses to come up with a conclusion than their conclusion itself.

    That said I believe the intent of many in an argument is to persuade but they end up personalizing it so much that they end doing more harm then good. People tend to get more entrench when others insult them.

  6. G.A.Phillips says:

    Only because everybody who doesn’t listen is evil and stupid.

    No it’s cause your evil stupid and don’t listen.

    lol, really I think most of you are very smart but misguided but thats what you where expecting so…..