Five Helpful Tips for Arguments

In light of a recent discussion with a commentor, I feel I should provide a few tips to those who want to intelligently discuss issues with someone who disagrees with you.

1) Don’t start by insulting the person on whose blog you are commenting. It gets things off on the wrong foot.

2) Try to stay away from insults as much as possible. They prevent you from coming across as reasoned and thoughtful.

3) When your opponent agrees with you on something, acknowledge it.

4) When you make assertions, be prepared to back them up. In other words, do not expect other people to simply take your word for something. Making assertions without support is not, I repeat, is not a reasoned argument.

5) If your opponent’s source is flawed, be prepared to show how and/or why. When your opponent provides support from (an)other source(s) for his or her argument, no matter what your opinion of the source(s), simply dismissing the source(s) without addressing the argument is still only an ad hominem, which is a logical fallacy.

Hope that helps.

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