Eight Ways To Win Any Argument
1. Belittle your opponent’s intelligence. Underestimate his/her qualifications and educational background, especially if it relates to the topic at hand. Avoid epithets — these are too obvious. Instead, call into question his/her knowledge of the subject, particularly if it surpasses yours. When he/she responds by calling you uncivil and/or illogical, accuse him/her of making an ad hominem attack.
2. Anger your opponent. Make him/her appear to be uncivil and irrational, and yourself to be the cool, collected and clear-headed one. If you are unable to successfully arouse his/her passions, accuse him/her of being flippant about such a critical issue.
3. Anger your audience, and lead by example. Raise your voice — it makes you right.
4. Appeal to vague political ideals and labels. An appeal for “freedom” will win any argument. Those on the left wing should make liberal use of phrases such as “oppression” and “liberation,” while right-wingers will find “free-rider” and “anti-American” equally useful.
5. Take your opponent’s comments out of context. There is no quicker way of uniting a group of people against a common enemy than twisting that person’s words beyond that which was even conceivable. For example, if responding to a statement beginning with, “In all honesty,” quickly retort that because politics is not an honest business; his/her argument is invalid.
6. Take false assumptions as presupposed. Most people, particularly those on the internet, are not conscious of the distinction between assumptions and conclusions, so use this to your advantage. If your conclusion logically stems from your assumptions, no one will know the difference. Use as many false assumptions in as small a space as possible. No one will able to point them all out, and if your language is worded strongly enough, most people will probably assume they are true anyway. Beg the question (“x, therefore x”) whenever possible.
7. Use aphorisms and principles that are accepted as common sense, even and especially if they are completely irrelevant to the matter being discussed. Practically any argument about economics is winnable by using the term “supply and demand,” even moral arguments that have nothing to do with the ideal free-market value of an intangible item. Assume that “voting with your dollar” amounts to unlimited consumer control of industry and corporations. Assume that “white men” are responsible for all evil in the world.
And last but not least,
8. Do not EVER use hard evidence or logical validity in making your point. Evidence and logic can be disproved; an argument cannot. The one exception is unfalsifiable, circumstantial evidence, which is both extremely effective and extremely difficult to disprove. Remember: If it could be true, and we’d never know the difference, it must be true. Seeing is not believing — believing is believing.