Mudcat Café message #1034031 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63595   Message #1034031
Posted By: John Hardly
12-Oct-03 - 06:07 AM
Thread Name: BS: Fighting fair in arguments
Subject: RE: BS: Fighting fair in arguments
By "attacking the weaker points", I took that to mean (at least in part) bringing up the things that do not matter to the arguement itself -- rather are just good fodder for a put-down. Happens all the time, such as...

1. pointing out bad spelling
2. pointing out bad grammar
3. I had someone who didn't like that I didn't argue points in the ORDER they thought I should.
4. I'm sure we can all think of those time when we came away from a discussion with a feeling of "of all my points why did they choose to argue with THAT one? It wasn't even important to the whole of the debate."

There's also a very good device, honed razor sharp by radio talk show hosts like Limbaugh and Combs...

Whenever a point is made (that is broadly seen as acceptable) require a source or example. Most people (not all, I understand) remember the concept impressed on them by an event or situation. Few remember details, like what day it was, where they were, where they read it, etc.

I'm not saying a good arguement shouldn't be well sourced. What I am talking about is a way of bogging down a debate on the details when the principle would remain unchanged anyway. (incidentally, this has become used less and less on the internet because now sources are but a few clicks away. Now it is replaced with a distrust of the sources cited, such as, "oh -- they're owned by the moonies, etc."