How to argue effectively

How to argue effectively

How to argue effectively is a skill few people possess. We are so obsessed with proving we are right that we don’t benefit at all from the argument. Well, right is wrong. Even if you are proven wrong, you have been saved from a false belief, which is a good and beneficial thing. I am dedicating so much attention to communication because the shortcut to success is mastering the art of persuasion. And persuasion is psychology plus communication.

If you haven’t done so already, check out my other article on arguing How to win an argument part 1. It’s the precursor to this one.

Mastering the Socratic method

The Socratic method aims not to bring victory to one side, but to benefit all arguing parties. Basically, when you want to say that someone is wrong, you don’t just say “I disagree with you because I don’t like your conclusion”, but offer a valid counter-argument based on facts and logic. Even if you are proven wrong, you should be grateful. You have been saved from a false belief. This method requires that you overcome your ego. You accept that the things you don’t know are infinite compared to the ones you do know.

How to argue effectively: What is Induction and Abduction

There are two ways to tell if an argument is likely to be true: Induction and Abduction.

They sound complicated but are easy to understand.

Induction is when you use your past experiences to tell if something is likely to be true.

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For example, you have a headache. You have taken Aspirin in the past and know it helps you. Therefore you conclude that this time Aspirin is likely to help you again. Of course, your headache may be due to something else, but you are making an educated guess.

The problem with Inductive reasoning is that the future doesn’t always resemble the past. The rules change.

Inductive reasoning is only likely to produce a valid conclusion.

Abduction or Sherlock Holmes’s method is the other way of telling if something is likely to be true.

When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains however unlikely must be the truth.

Sherlock Holmes

For example, you don’t see Nancy in physics class anymore.

You know she got bad grades in physics

You know she is not sick

She has been seen in sociology class which is at the same time as physics class

Therefore you conclude that Nancy has dropped physics because she is unlikely to pass and has enlisted in sociology.

Of course, you can’t know for sure, but again you are making an educated guess.

Post in the comments what you think is the best way how to argue effectively.

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