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Monday, September 1, 2008

Destroying the argument

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One of the nicest way to illogically destroy a counter-argument and still sound sophisticated is to append the phrase "whatever that means". Now, surely there are acceptable uses of this gem, specifically when opponents labels you with some part made-up or uncommon phrase meaning of which is not unique in general parlance. However, even there, sneer is not far behind in this phrase and rational counter argument flies out of window for a moment. Yet, most of the time I've seen usages of this tactics even with phrases that are reasonably well known or meaning of which can be found out by minimal efforts, and that too by people who I generally admire otherwise. Don't you believe - whatever that means - me?

Another is inappropriate use of double quotes to imply that your intended meaning is different from commonly accepted one or one which your opponents will use. You know I am "right", ain't I?

A "light up" or "take it easy" can often be used to disparage serious discussion on a topic by terming opponent snobbish or uptight without noticing the logic of argument. Don't find my jokes on poor kids funny? Lighten up!

And one more is to bring Hitler into picture somehow or other. By the way, did you know "Godwin's law" regarding long drawn arguments?
As...discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.
PS: I am back!

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