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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Making Your Debate Opponent Look Stupid (or, well, someone, at least):

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Author Topic: Making Your Debate Opponent Look Stupid (or, well, someone, at least):
javelin
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By Scott Adams:

quote:
Results of Why I’m Stupid

A few days ago I invited the readers of my blog to tell me why I’m stupid. The results are in.

If you are new to the Internet, allow me to explain how to debate in this medium. When one person makes any kind of statement, all you need to do is apply one of these methods to make it sound stupid. Then go on the offensive.

1. Turn someone’s generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)

2. Turn someone’s factual statements into implied preferences. For example, if someone mentions that not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, accuse the person who said it of siding with pedophiles.

3. Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. For example, if someone says that Ghandi didn’t eat cows, accuse the person of stupidly implying that cows deserve equal billing with Gandhi.

4. Omit key words. For example, if someone says that people can’t eat rocks, accuse the person of being stupid for suggesting that people can’t eat. Bonus points for arguing that some people CAN eat pebbles if they try hard enough.

5. Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath that long.

6. Hallucinate entirely different points. For example, if someone says apples grow on trees, accuse him of saying snakes have arms and then point out how stupid that is.

7. Use the intellectual laziness card. For example, if someone says that ice is cold, recommend that he take graduate courses in chemistry and meteorology before jumping to stupid conclusions that display a complete ignorance of the complexity of ice.

Those are the basic tools that come to mind. If you think of some more, feel free to leave them in a comment.


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Matteo522
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quote:
5. Assume the dumbest interpretation. For example, if someone says that he can run a mile in 12 minutes, assume he means it happens underwater and argue that no one can hold his breath that long.
Awesome.

One of the funniest things I've read in a while. [Smile]

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TommySama
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"1. Turn someone’s generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)"

This is my favorite.

I actually (unconsciously) use this strategy to verbally abuse my friends (in a friendly way, of course [Smile] )

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0Megabyte
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*applause*

Yes, I've seen most of these thins far too often, and I'm not totally immune... but I don't think any of us here are.

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Loki
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0Megabyte, most of these thins? Do you have something against people with eating disorders? You cold hearted bastard, it's a disease, they need our help. You probably sided with the Nazi's like Ghandi did because he didn't eat red meat, you anti-semite.
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hobsen
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Very funny, and also true.

quote:
3. Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. For example, if someone says that Ghandi didn’t eat cows, accuse the person of stupidly implying that cows deserve equal billing with Gandhi.
Bonus points for spelling Gandhi two ways in the same sentence.

[ October 20, 2006, 08:48 AM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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javelin
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He has another blog entry on Ghandi Gandhi and silent H's - actually, I think he has several. Very funny stuff. And just true enough to hurt. Or is that uhrt?
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pickled shuttlecock
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quote:
Originally posted by Loki:
0Megabyte, most of these thins? Do you have something against people with eating disorders? You cold hearted bastard, it's a disease, they need our help. You probably sided with the Nazi's like Ghandi did because he didn't eat red meat, you anti-semite.

[LOL]
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kenmeer livermaile
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Gimme a P!!!!
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0Megabyte
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Loki, that was very funny.

*thing, not thin*

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