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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

A lesson in rhetoric

VOX DAY:   Dialectic is based on the construction of syllogisms, so it’s very obvious when one is lying. Rhetoric is “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.”

It’s not even strictly true to say one CAN lie rhetorically, since an enthymeme is not a true logical syllogism, all that matters is that the persuasion is achieved by proof or apparent proof.”

It might be easier to think in terms of “logically sound” and “not logically” sound than true and false. The point is that I can construct a logical syllogism that proves or a pseudo-logical enthymeme that apparently proves, but in either case, they point towards the relevant truth of the matter.

For example, if I say “SJWs occasionally lie” in response to your false statement, this is good dialectic but poor rhetoric that is likely to fail to persuade a rhetorical of the actual truth, namely, that you are lying in the present circumstance. The better rhetorical statement is “SJWs always lie”, which is not dialectically true, but persuades the rhetorical to believe the truth, which is that you are lying.

Hence the importance of knowing your audience. When you speak in rhetoric to a dialectical, it sounds very dishonest even when it is good rhetoric in line with the truth. But you can’t speak dialectic to a rhetorical for the obvious reason that they cannot be persuaded by it. They simply don’t have the capacity.

SETH GORDON: And yet, I remain unpersuaded. Either I am not “a rhetorical” or VD is not very competent at using rhetoric.
(That was a dialectical statement.)

"SJWs always lie. First, you all do care how I feel. That’s why you constantly twist and pervert and attack at every opportunity."

Because, of course, it has to be all about VD, the man more popular than John Scalzi, the man whose approval we all seek more than anything else in the world.

(That was a rhetorical statement.)


VOX DAY: You are unpersuaded, but your inability to be persuaded by a particular enthymeme does not mean you can be persuaded by a logical syllogism. The first horn of the dilemma is false.

You are unpersuaded, but your inability to be persuaded merely means that a single enthymeme failed to persuade a single individual. Since even rhetorical masters fail to universally persuade everyone at all times, this single failure of rhetoric on my part is insufficient to support the claim of rhetorical incompetence. The second horn of the dilemma is false.

You constructed a false syllogism, proposed a twice-false non-dilemma, and your assertion of incompetence was meant to resonate on the emotional level. Ergo your statement was not dialectic, but merely pseudo-dialectical rhetoric.

But yes, the rhetorical statement was rhetoric. One out of two isn't bad.


Will, on the other hand, sticks to pure rhetoric and does rather better with it.

"Come on down to Rhetoricalville: We have no idea what we’re talking about it, but somehow, we’re happy and free of rabies."

Labels: ,

124 Comments:

Blogger Daniel May 06, 2015 1:54 PM  

Hutch rabbits are the best rabbits.

Anonymous BigGaySteve May 06, 2015 1:54 PM  

"Come on down to Rhetoricalville: We have no idea what we’re talking about it, but somehow, we’re happy and free of rabies."

How would they know if they are free of rabies since they wouldn't point out such an affliction, incase the diseased felt bad about it?
#NoRabiesShaming.

Good riddance Charlie Hebo
Je Suis Pamela Geller

Blogger Daniel May 06, 2015 2:00 PM  

They are free of rabies in their hearts, BigGaySteve. They intend to have no rabies. They support vaccinations and may some day get one themselves. And, they foam at the mouth all the time, proving definitively that they couldn't possibly be rabid.

Blogger Danby May 06, 2015 2:11 PM  

"Come on down to Rhetoricalville: We have no idea what we’re talking about it, but somehow, we’re happy and free of rabies."

"How would they know if they are free of rabies ..."


SJWs always lie. Ergo, they are unhappy and do have rabies.

Blogger Daniel May 06, 2015 2:20 PM  

It as if being stubbornly unmoved by the facts is a virtue. Of course, for that to be so, the SJWs would have to believe in virtues...

Note to those who doubted that SJW was a fitting epithet: the SJWs all answer to the name, and happily speak truth to power or rhetoric to powder, whichever comes first. They concede Everything about SJWs In ways they never would were they called SJBs.

OpenID kbswift May 06, 2015 2:22 PM  

Vox, is there a link to this exchange? Thanks

Blogger darkdoc May 06, 2015 2:26 PM  

In a similar vein, the Bible is a book of Truth, but filled with hyperbole (the 144,000), metaphors, exageration (forgive 70 times 7), parables, and similar rhetorical tools ("Cretans are always liars"). These are all to make points in very characteristic Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic manners.

None of them decrease the validity and truth of the Bible.

0184

Blogger Rabbi B May 06, 2015 2:28 PM  

"But you can’t speak dialectic to a rhetorical for the obvious reason that they cannot be persuaded by it. They simply don’t have the capacity."

VD (and anyone else): Do you have any theories that may help explain why they "don't have the capacity"?

Blogger Zach May 06, 2015 2:34 PM  

They identify as rabies-free, you hater! What are you, trans-hydrophobic?

Blogger Aquila Aquilonis May 06, 2015 2:36 PM  

You are a man of great patience.

Anonymous wannabe antifragile May 06, 2015 2:38 PM  

Vox:

What is the difference between rhetoric and heuristic?

E.g. "SJWs always lie"...heuristic?

Blogger Super Snake (VFM #239) May 06, 2015 2:38 PM  

And to follow up on Rabbi B's question,

What is the method by which a rhetorically minded person changes to a dialectic? I assume it is a very long and painful process.

OpenID eidolon1109 May 06, 2015 2:42 PM  

They don't have the capacity because they've never been taught, and many don't have it naturally, I would say. Dialectic isn't native for many people. Nearly all women, for example, would probably have to be trained with difficulty in the basics of dialectic as they speak rhetoric by nature.

Modern colleges basically instill an instinctive trust of rhetoric when it comes from the right people and/or includes the right buzzwords and a distrust of anything that challenges the latest rhetoric they absorbed. Thus the ones who really absorb the liberal college atmosphere have little ability to challenge their assumptions or change them based on new information.

Most SJWs wouldn't be SJWs if they thought very hard about their assumptions or were able to consider them honestly and openly. Equalists take the equality (really sameness) of all people as an axiom, and reject all attempts to show them how incorrect it is, for example. Feminism has various absurd assumptions which must be swallowed and then protected at all costs or else you won't be able to hold to feminism anymore.

What's that quote about how if you want to be a sound atheist you can't be too careful about your reading list?

Blogger crazyivan498 May 06, 2015 2:43 PM  

Do you have any theories that may help explain why they "don't have the capacity"?

Narcissism for one. I am right because I am always right. Go me. An interesting disscussion from that is how does one develops nacissism.

Anonymous Stingray May 06, 2015 2:48 PM  

VD (and anyone else): Do you have any theories that may help explain why they "don't have the capacity"?

When you've been taught your whole life that "feelings really do matter" and "sticks and stones my break my bones but words can never hurt me" is inherently untrue, and all the rest of it, to switch to dialectic is terribly difficult. The motivation must be very high to do so.

I think there are other reasons, but this is a big one.

OpenID eidolon1109 May 06, 2015 2:49 PM  

I would also imagine that part of it is that once a person has been part of a group for a while, there's a desire to stay attached to that group.

Let's say you've been a SJW for a while, but someone offers to show you pretty compelling evidence that the cause you've been fighting for is wrong. If you change your mind on the issue you can't be part of this group anymore. Being one of the people who fights for X has become part of your identity; it would change who you are to see this evidence and change your mind based on it. This creates a powerful incentive not to see things that would, if seen, require one to change one's mind. Unless one has a strong desire for the truth and/or a lack of concern with staying part of a group, this can easily become an insurmountable obstacle.

Once you reject the evidence or even just avoid it, "out of sight out of mind" carries it off with the wind and it's no trouble to keep holding to your existing view.

Blogger Rabbi B May 06, 2015 2:57 PM  

" . . . many don't have it naturally . . . [n]arcissism for one . . . [w]hen you've been taught your whole life that "feelings really do matter . . . [u]nless one has a strong desire for the truth""

Interesting. A various combination of hard-wired and learned behavior patterns, perhaps.

Blogger Russell (#0106) May 06, 2015 3:01 PM  

Since even rhetorical masters fail to universally persuade everyone at all times, this single failure of rhetoric on my part is insufficient to support the claim of rhetorical incompetence.

Pericles had quite a few set backs in his political career, losing power, having enemies weaken his public image, despite being a master of rhetoric.

Did losing the command of the Athens armed forces constitute him being rhetorically incompetent, even after they all but trampled over themselves to reinstate him?

Rhetorical question, don't answer.

The sheer historical ignorance of these rabbits is mind boggling.

OpenID eidolon1109 May 06, 2015 3:03 PM  

It's definitely both. People are clearly emerging from colleges more impervious to logical argument and more easily swayed by shallow, foolish, emotional words than in the past. It's worse because the places that traditionally conditioned people to use and understand dialectic now flat out reject it and teach their students to reject it.

It's not just "I don't understand" but "I refuse to understand." See various critics of Vox who regard him more like radiation or a disease than a human with a differing opinion on various issues.

Blogger Rabbi B May 06, 2015 3:08 PM  

"It's not just "I don't understand" but "I refuse to understand." "

A cogent and incisive point which also highlights the gulf between humility and pride. Well said.

Blogger Stephen Ward May 06, 2015 3:10 PM  

@SuperSnake
"What is the method by which a rhetorically minded person changes to a dialectic? I assume it is a very long and painful process."

Change by stopping telling yourself and others untruth. State truth in the harshest, most socially unacceptable manner you can phrase it in. Excise any taint of an untruth from your statements.

Rhetoric is about how a statement makes you feel.
Dialectic only asks "is the statement true?" and it then undertakes to change your emotions to match the truth or falsity of the statement.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell May 06, 2015 3:10 PM  

Off topic, but they're scared: https://archive.is/CwNUN

Anonymous Jerome Horowitz May 06, 2015 3:11 PM  

Vox, entertainment at its finest.

Immediately reminded me of Battle of wits "Never get involved in a land war in Asia"

Anonymous Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings May 06, 2015 3:12 PM  


"Come on down to Rhetoricalville: We have no idea what we’re talking about it, but somehow, we’re happy and free of rabies."


Well, of course you have no ideas, because ideas might be hurtful to your feelings and since your feelings automatically are the most important things in your lives, they must rule. Of course you don't feel like you have rabies, because rabies would make you feel bad, and that's not good.

The elevation of feelings over everything else, including self preservation, leads to some curious situations that make the Stockholm Syndrome look almost normal. At least, that's how I feel about it, so it must be true for me.

Blogger bob k. mando May 06, 2015 3:20 PM  

Rabbi B May 06, 2015 2:57 PM
Interesting. A various combination of hard-wired and learned behavior patterns, perhaps.



i would say that there's a minimum IQ, below which it's useless to even attempt to train them in dialectic.

Seth, for instance, strikes me as a perfect example of this. he constructed what, to him, may well have appeared dialectical. only, it wasn't close to it.


i also like how Will implies that being free of rabies is a good thing. who is he to make this value judgment?

why does he hate Lyssavirii so? aren't they alive? don't they deserve to thrive just as much as human babies?

i'm reporting this sorry speciesist bastard to PETA.

Blogger Super Snake (VFM #239) May 06, 2015 3:24 PM  

@Stephen Ward

I assume you are speaking about the middle of the process, but how does it begin?

Do they just wake up one day and go: "Oh, I'm tired of being driven by emotion and untruth. I am going to pursue a more logical believe system, based on truth."

Or are they finally confronted by someone who simply won't be defeated by their rhetoric? Perhaps someone who is more skilled in the art of rhetoric penetrates their frail little soul and causes them to rethink their life?

You see, I've never actually witnessed a conversion. In my experience, the rhetoricals always just retreat into their rabbit hole, shrieking, "I don't want to talk about it anymore!".

Blogger Daniel May 06, 2015 3:30 PM  

The rhetoric-bound are just born that way. It's genetic. Incurable. Society can devise ways to help them along, but one of those ways is to help those who are capable of the dialectic (even if not particularly adept) to avoid falling into the enablement trap.

It is very tempting to believe that it is most helpful to the SJW to believe that his disabled condition - being incurable - is somehow a virtue in and of itself, and not a handicap to be overcome with fortitude and help from others. Just as it is easier to give the alcoholic some whiskey, or the quadriplegic a medal for high jumping. It feels good - or at least it seems like it should feel good.

But it is actually an exercise in elitism and privilege to allow the SJW to not only suffer the emotional delusions of bad rhetoric, but to believe that those delusions are in any way changing the world. It is an insult to the SJW's character (if such a slivered remnant exists in the labyrinthine confines of his withered, dessicated and crumpled spirit) to allow his lies to go unremarked.

Reality is the only corrective for the SJW. Good rhetoric is the only guide for his crippled behavior. That, in combination with the dialectic, is sufficient for the neutral observer.

Blogger ajw308 (#98) May 06, 2015 3:32 PM  

...and free of rabies.
Might be a covert declaration of a puppy free zone.

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 3:32 PM  

If you don't understand the clash of the dialectical with the rhetorical, try explaining to a police officer why what you were doing, even if at first glance might look like a violation of the law, is actually no such thing in this special case, because of a chain of reasoning that involves points A, B and C. Keep hammering the chain of reasoning if the results seem unsatisfactory at first.

Anonymous Trad Catholic May 06, 2015 3:40 PM  

Vox:

What is the difference between rhetoric and heuristic?

E.g. "SJWs always lie"...heuristic?


Rhetoric is used to persuade other people. A heuristic is used to evaluate something (make a decision). Thus, if I say "SJW's always lie" in a forum, I'm trying to convince others of a truth (rhetoric). If I'm confronted with something said by an SJW and I need to evaluate it, I use "SJW's always lie" as a heuristic and assume the SJW is lying until proven otherwise.

Blogger Bard May 06, 2015 3:50 PM  

Damn Markku,
That was pretty good.

Blogger Cail Corishev May 06, 2015 3:52 PM  

I read somewhere about a study of people whose emotional capacity had been removed (by various types of brain damage, I think). These people were virtually unable to make any decisions -- from important decisions to things like what to have for lunch.

The takeaway was that we human beings make most of our decisions emotionally, and then we use the logical part of our brain to come up with reasons that support that emotional decision. That seems to be the standard mode: emotionally driven with after-the-fact rationalizations.

I don't know if that can truly be trained out of a person, or if training just makes it possible to override or delay the emotional decision to give time for logic to have a say. It does seem like some people are more logic-driven, but maybe they just seem that way because their brains work very well and their emotional center often makes good decisions, so those decisions can be backed up by logic.

A guy once asked me, "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?" My first thought was, "But being right makes me happy." (I got better.) Maybe the logical person's brain is such that his emotional center likes being right so it harnesses or defers to the logical center more than is typical.

Anonymous patrick kelly May 06, 2015 3:55 PM  

With me it was (and sometimes more than I like to admit still is) self deception, where I convince myself I am a purely dialectic, objective snowflake, when in fact I am wading in rhetoric...... superior rhetoric had to knock me down and startle me enough to re-consider.....

Blogger Cail Corishev May 06, 2015 4:04 PM  

In my experience, the rhetoricals always just retreat into their rabbit hole, shrieking, "I don't want to talk about it anymore!".

My favorite response was, "I can't argue with your points, but I just don't feel like you can be right."

OpenID eidolon1109 May 06, 2015 4:08 PM  

Do any of you folks feel like having an experience where you were forced to face how wrong you were and accept that your thought processes allowed you to believe things that were wrong helped you to be better able to process dialectic?

A while back I realized that I was what I think in Vox's terms is a gamma. My understanding of social relations was completely wrong, but I clung to it for some reason. When I finally learned to look at it objectively, I realized that if I thought about it for a moment the truth was always obvious -- of course women don't like nice guys and go for confident men; all I have to do is look at who they actually choose. Of course my playerish friend isn't mistreating these women by dating two or three at a time and somehow tricking them into liking him; they love how he treats them and can't get enough, etc.

Realizing that I could be so irrational despite being so certain really helped to show me that I need to really consider the evidence and not necessarily go with my feelings. It also demonstrates that the strength of my emotional response to an idea is unrelated to how likely it is to be true.

This may be one of the best things a classical education could do for a person -- force them to admit that they were wrong about something important. The first time is probably a lot harder than subsequent times and once you get over that hump you can probably change your mind do to new information more easily in the future.

Blogger Danby May 06, 2015 4:11 PM  

when I was child, in my voracious consumption of any and all reading materials, i ran across a slim volume entitled "The Science Of Correct thinking" by Celestine Bittle.It was my uncle's college text book and evidently the standard 2nd Semester philosophy course at American Catholic Colleges in the 1940s.

IIRC, it was a bit hard to shoulder through the early chapters. Whether that was because I was 9 or because it was tough slogging, I have no idea at this point.

i would highly recommend it to anyone who needs a course in logic.

Anonymous Tom May 06, 2015 4:11 PM  

I believe most if not all humans are capable of being dialectical thinkers, but refuse to because it is harder or they don't know how to accept difficult truths.

Some one said that it was because they were all narcissists. I don't know if you can go completely that direction, but the irrational overconfidence to the point of delusion.

It is interesting because the Alpha and the Gamma are both irrationally overconfident. But, it seems that Alphas are more grounded in reality despite their irrationality. Gammas are just delusional.

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 4:16 PM  

If you didn't quite catch the difference from the first experiment, then here is a second experiment to try

OpenID eidolon1109 May 06, 2015 4:16 PM  

One fascinating thing is that I was able to maintain an unrealistic and incorrect understanding of social relations while being an engineer. You'd think the fact that if code doesn't work it is necessarily incorrect would work its way into other parts of my thinking, but somehow I was able to hold a model of social interaction that reliably failed to work without ever thinking about whether the model itself might be wrong.

Blogger Rabbi B May 06, 2015 4:18 PM  

"That seems to be the standard mode: emotionally driven with after-the-fact rationalizations."

I think you're on to something with this. I observed this phenomenon when studying the ascendancy of Reform Judaism in Europe in the 1840's. The reformers frenetically busied themselves with various reforms, and only attempted to justify them theologically after after the reforms were implemented. Their obsessive determination to escape and throw off the constraints of Orthodox Judaism, Torah-observance, and responsibility to G-d, mattered much more than any dialectical justification for doing so. Reform first, justify later. Once the reforms are in place though, they are almost impossible to dial back with any dialectic since the reforms were established rhetorically.

It's like building a house in your neighborhood without first inquiring about the covenants and building codes. Once the house is built, they are counting on the probability that no one has the fortitude or the wherewithal to make them tear it down and start over.

Kind of like the Affordable Healthcare Act: Pass it first, and then we'll read what's in it and try to justify it to the American people. Shamelessly dishonest.

An astute observation, Cail Corishev.

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 4:19 PM  

You were too invested in the wrong model. Let's say that you are 95% done with a project. How likely are you to seriously entertain the possibility that you made a fundamental error in the architechture in the beginning, and your only solution will be to throw all your code away and start from scratch?

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 06, 2015 4:23 PM  

>I believe most if not all humans are capable of being dialectical thinkers, but refuse to because it is harder or they don't know how to accept difficult truths.

Average IQ for unmixed homo sapiens is around 75-80.

Blogger Rabbi B May 06, 2015 4:26 PM  

"You were too invested in the wrong model."

I must concede that your example elucidated the point much better. Thank you.

Blogger Russell (#0106) May 06, 2015 4:32 PM  

@Rabbi B

Once the reforms are in place though, they are almost impossible to dial back with any dialectic since the reforms were established rhetorically.

It's not just Obama Care, it's almost the entirety of Federal laws and statutes at this point.

@Markku
Let's say that you are 95% done with a project. How likely are you to seriously entertain the possibility that you made a fundamental error in the architechture in the beginning, and your only solution will be to throw all your code away and start from scratch?

I'm a precious snowflake. I've done that several times over the course of my career.

The first time is always the hardest. It gets easier.

Anonymous BigGaySteve May 06, 2015 4:32 PM  

"VD (and anyone else): Do you have any theories that may help explain why they "don't have the capacity"?"

They see what happened when leftist love for tranny Bruce Jenner turned to hate when he came out as a republican. Even if they act on reality they will refuse to admit reality. I had an ex that I slept with for over 8 months before he said he didn't believe in guns. I asked what he thought the thing on the nightstand was. I then pointed out that he actually did believe in guns because the guard at the gate of his gated community had a gun and stood between him and the nearest non-Asian minority. Of course he wouldn't even talk to me after that.

The sheer historical ignorance of these rabbits is mind boggling.

In Common Core history everyone important was gay or vibrant. Blacks had airplanes and electricity when whites still lived in caves( actually taught as afrocentrism in hopes that it will make blacks want to study by lying to them about black achievement when reality would make them feel better for understanding anything beyond how to make a mud hut). A history book in France gave a single page about Napoleon, pictured on a toilet ,but 20 for a black chief. http://www.eutimes.net/2011/10/french-history-erased-in-new-wave-of-revisionism/

"I assume it is a very long and painful process."

I used to buy into equality but never wanted to be a victim. I had worked with a black doctor that malpracticed himself to death,& a black military nursing supervisor that couldn't understand simple cause and effect(military nurses that fail their state boards 3x get transferred to another state to try again). The nursing supervisor wanted the charge nurse to change the acuity numbers because the day shift had 30% of the appropriate staffing with several codes(called when people are dying), she couldn't figure out that the multiple codes made the acuity numbers higher, that by faking the numbers BAMC would get less nurses assigned to it, & the smart thing to do was use those numbers to justify requisitioning more military nurses be assigned there. The question to ask is "have you ever meet a black in real life as smart AS SEEN ON TV?"

There is a point of course that a minimum IQ is needed for abstract thought. The PC version of this is talking about how only Asians and whites have future time orientation. It has been postulated elsewhere that a democracy can only function in areas with a min average IQ of 90.

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 4:38 PM  

I'm a precious snowflake. I've done that several times over the course of my career.

Do you get paid by the hour?

...no reason.

Anonymous RedJack #22 May 06, 2015 4:41 PM  

I have had that happen twice. The first time, once my team figured out what happened, we all left. Including the boss. The project was nearing completion, and the owners wouldn't listen anyway.

The second time, the line from the plant manager was "Well, you proved it was wrong. However I want to spend the money so it is going forward!" He later left the company.

Blogger Russell (#0106) May 06, 2015 4:47 PM  

@Markku

Do you get paid by the hour?

Precious. Snowflake.

Er, no, but I work for a really big company. They habitually make decisions that would destroy smaller businesses. Getting a project delayed to do a rewrite is mostly a political challenge, not monetary.

Anonymous jack May 06, 2015 4:49 PM  

It's getting deep here. I may have to get one of those waders that has a tie string for over the head and a stop valve breathing setup. And, a drain valve in the boot area.

Anonymous BGS May 06, 2015 4:54 PM  

I'm a precious snowflake. I've done that several times over the course of my career. Do you get paid by the hour?

I am not sure if people getting paid by the hour would really want non Asian minority die verse city, because its no fun spending your time fixing easily avoidable mistakes made by NAMs even if it gave you more hours.

Blogger maniacprovost May 06, 2015 5:03 PM  

Fixing mistakes made by Asians sucks too.

Blogger Marissa May 06, 2015 5:06 PM  

I read somewhere about a study of people whose emotional capacity had been removed (by various types of brain damage, I think). These people were virtually unable to make any decisions -- from important decisions to things like what to have for lunch.

The takeaway was that we human beings make most of our decisions emotionally, and then we use the logical part of our brain to come up with reasons that support that emotional decision. That seems to be the standard mode: emotionally driven with after-the-fact rationalizations.I read somewhere about a study of people whose emotional capacity had been removed (by various types of brain damage, I think). These people were virtually unable to make any decisions -- from important decisions to things like what to have for lunch.

The takeaway was that we human beings make most of our decisions emotionally, and then we use the logical part of our brain to come up with reasons that support that emotional decision. That seems to be the standard mode: emotionally driven with after-the-fact rationalizations.


Reminds me of a book I read a long time ago called Descartes' Error. I might be incorrectly paraphrasing one of the ideas in the book, but from what I remember, emotions (or gut instinct/intuition) act as a sort of essential survival shortcut for the slower, logical processes. I'm not even sure if the book was accurate or still well-regarded, but your post strongly reminded me of one of the author's conclusions, as best as I can remember.

Blogger Marissa May 06, 2015 5:11 PM  

Hmm, I should have sat on the post a bit...because after a little reflection, the r-types/rabbits who act like threats to survival are imminent seem to engage in almost exclusively trusting their emotional shortcuts over a longer deliberation via logical thought.

It would appear that the K-types still experience these emotional leaps, but are more likely to mull over whether such leaps were correct or not, as they are not in "threat control" mode. I really need to read Anonymous Conservative to understand more about this r/K thing, as I'm only familiar with what I've read on this blog, so corrections are welcome.

Anonymous Blaster May 06, 2015 5:12 PM  

VD: It might be easier to think in terms of “logically sound” and “not logically” sound than true and false.

For what it's worth, when it comes to rhetoric I tend to think in terms of "honest" vs "dishonest" or "misleading."

"Honest" rhetoric respects truth in an attempt to be persuasive. In cases where an otherwise honest, rational opponent, and detached opponent is mislead by rhetoric, it is usually a simple affair to drop the rhetoric, state a clarification, and proceed with discussion. Disingenous opponents will play "gotcha" with trivialities while ignoring substantial points or even allowing clarification.

"Dishonest" or "Misleading" rhetoric seeks to be persuasive on a particular point at all costs, without respect to underlying truth. A generalization made to actively encourage prejudice and hatred, for example, will be deliberately misleading. The truth of the generalization may even be largely irrelevant, since the whole point is to provoke negative feelings.

Blogger McChuck May 06, 2015 5:32 PM  

How does the journey from relying on emotions to using logic begin? Pain. Lots of pain. Some people have a higher tolerance to pain, and never seem to catch on. Some people lead sheltered lives and don't experience sufficient pain. Some people are surrounded by others who punish deviations from approved rhetoric, so the level of pain necessary to trigger the transition is unbearably high.

Economists like to say that people act in their logical self interest. This is incorrect. People act in their emotional self interest. Logic has very little to do with most human behavior.

OpenID peoplegrowing May 06, 2015 5:34 PM  

Something that I don't believe anyone else has mentioned is that, while some people are stubbornly refusing to see reason, I think there are at least some (hard to guess amounts) for whom the problem is information overflow.

That is, in the course of a dialectical argument, one may provide evidence in support of one's case. But in our high context, information-overflow society, it may be comparatively easy to brush off evidence that a person doesn't like - "oh, you cherry-picked, that goes against the scientific consensus, that study was biased, your interpretation of the raw facts is wrong, etc." Given that we often point out how biased many public institutions are, I think at least some of this resistance is credible (although an honest individual might at least become curious).

Add to that the fact that the SJW have most of the media and general public perception still on their side, so that, for any google search to confirm details, "facts" spun in their favor will most likely happen to be top results, and they don't even think (don't even know) they are cherry picking.

Oh, and then there's also plain laziness. Too lazy to fact check, too lazy to do the legwork, too lazy to change. I confess to being guilty of this.

Blogger Rabbi B May 06, 2015 5:42 PM  

"Logic has very little to do with most human behavior."

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished. (Prov. 22)

Blogger rumpole5 May 06, 2015 5:47 PM  

I am concerned about your negative characterization of rhetoric itself. Aristotle, while admitting that rhetoric could be misused, never the less presented it as a valuable tool to arrive at truth:

"There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions-that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited."

You will notice that Aristotle included the ability to reason logically as a component of rhetoric itself. That is why rhetoric is the last phase of the Trivium in Classical instruction. Without mastery of dialectic, Rhetoric is inherently flawed, and incomplete.



Blogger Douglas Wardell May 06, 2015 5:50 PM  

Any advice for approaching rhetoric from the dialectically-minded side? When I'm confronted with rhetoric, I tend to either respond with dialectic or disengage as it strikes me as either dishonest or slipshod, plus I'm not even sure how to form a strong, rhetorical argument. Would you just start with Aristotle?

Blogger valiance. May 06, 2015 5:52 PM  

Hence the importance of knowing your audience. When you speak in rhetoric to a dialectical, it sounds very dishonest even when it is good rhetoric in line with the truth.

This post and the bi-discoursiality post--especially the bit quoted above--have clarified for me why some of Vox's posts seemed so dishonest in the past.

OpenID eidolon1109 May 06, 2015 6:00 PM  

"from what I remember, emotions (or gut instinct/intuition) act as a sort of essential survival shortcut for the slower, logical processes"

C.S. Lewis phrased this as "the head rules the heart through the chest." Essentially by encouraging "ordinate loves" (i.e. feeling love for what was lovely and hate or disgust for what was ugly) we create a pathway for doing what's right and having a correct response to situations.

You could think of it as painstakingly digging an irrigation channel and filling in the areas which would lead the water away. When the emotions come like a flood, they will be channeled in a useful and correct way due to careful effort which was put in ahead of time. When the rain comes you probably won't be able to stop it and decide where it should go -- it will follow whatever channels are already there.

Blogger Danby May 06, 2015 6:03 PM  

@Owen
Shut up Tad.

Blogger Cuca Culpa May 06, 2015 6:17 PM  

From the 770 entry via ghazi:

Puppysplaining?

Now I'm positive they're just barking mad.

One of the first clues about the rhetorical vs. dialectical divide, for me (back in 2012) was attempting to explain why ‘mansplaining' is the same DISQUALIFY as 'blacksplaining' or 'jewsplaining.' They just unfollowed, blocked me, and then started babbling about soggy knees because I called them out.

Blogger Marissa May 06, 2015 6:19 PM  

Let me earn my own negative reputation

You already have with your constant and pathetic attacks against the blog owners. I'm not sure why you try unless you want to entertain us all with your spectacular failures.

Anonymous LES May 06, 2015 6:24 PM  

SJW’s Can’t Help It

Blogger Danby May 06, 2015 6:24 PM  

@Owen
"Shut up Tad" is blog shorthand for "No-one is going to engage, you narccissitic homosexual attention whore"
So Shut up Tad

Blogger automatthew 0062 May 06, 2015 6:29 PM  


"Shut up Tad" is blog shorthand for "No-one is going to engage, you narccissitic homosexual attention whore"

So Shut up Tad


Righteous.

Owen T. Misspelled Tolkien Reference is probably not a previously known troll. He is as annoying as a Scoobius/Tad hybrid, but that's not surprising coming from a Gamma who thinks we care about his opinion.

Blogger Russell (#0106) May 06, 2015 6:32 PM  

Danby, you win one internets for that comment.

Blogger Cail Corishev May 06, 2015 6:33 PM  

"Shut up Tad" is blog shorthand for

Really? I thought it meant, "Shut up, Tad."

Anonymous Harsh May 06, 2015 6:33 PM  

But please... accept the fact that I am truthful, and that I'm not another user.

No one is going to accept that you're truthful when you've previously shown a propensity for dishonesty and evasion. Your reputation is all that matters on this blog and frankly yours is pretty poor.

Blogger automatthew 0062 May 06, 2015 6:33 PM  

And Owen ... we know you are a liar. You are not fooling any one worth fooling here.

What you should consider is ... if the regulars keep thinking you must be a banned troll under a different name ... perhaps your precious precious thoughts are commonplace.

Blogger automatthew 0062 May 06, 2015 6:33 PM  

Cail: Really? I thought it meant, "Shut up, Tad."

Aspie.

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 6:34 PM  

Really? I thought it meant, "Shut up, Tad."

It used to, but then slowly, Tad became this mythical figure, sort of like the legends from ancient Greek epics. Homosexuality incarnate.

Blogger automatthew 0062 May 06, 2015 6:35 PM  

Tad : VP trolls :: Robert Paulson : Project Mayhem

Blogger A Martian Warlord May 06, 2015 6:35 PM  

Rabbi B,
VD (and anyone else): Do you have any theories that may help explain why they "don't have the capacity"?

I am convinced it is simply due to a lack of physical consequences to lying and avoiding reality. I have met many who have this SJW rhetoric-addiction to delusion to some degree or other who came training with us.

No rhetoric survives repeated impacts to the face.
There were only two outcomes:

1) rhetoric is discarded in preference to reality, objective truth and the dialectic thinking that gets you to avoid the next punch to the head.

2) the individual leaves and never comes back to our dojo again.

An amusing thing that happened more than once or twice is when anyone ranging from ex-special forces to previously trained persons in some other discipline end up saying something like "but in Aikido...(or whatever)...we do it this other way". My approach was very simple. You do it your way and I'll do it my way. Let's see what works better.
In some instances, one I distinctly recall was an Akidoka who complained that the way we taught how to fall, hit the ground, take least damage from a throw was "not correct" and was "dangerous" I said, ok, I don't know Aikido. Go ahead and throw me whichever way you like and I'll do what I do. Then after two or three throws I'll throw you and you do your Aikido thing and let's see what works better.

His reply?
"Well, this is a wooden floor, you can't do that here safely" (notice that we had been falling and throwing each other on it all evening prior to this)
When I pointed out the whole point of a martial art was to be effective and that an attacker was unlikely to lay out a mat for you to break fall on, he still didn't seem to grasp the absurdity of his position. Never saw him again after that lesson. Truth was interfering with his own mystic ninja self-image.

Giuseppe (hate the google captcha with images so falling back on a blogger profile from..2004? who knows)

Blogger Danby May 06, 2015 6:35 PM  

Cail
I fail to see the difference in the two sentences. They translate pretty readily from one to the other.

Anonymous patrick kelly May 06, 2015 6:43 PM  

Scoobius got banned?

I really just can't keep up......

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 6:46 PM  

Then, eventually in walks the real Tad and goes "hey, guys, I'm just this average gay guy..."

Shut up Tad! You're Tad the Flamboyant! Perverter of nations. Wherever you go, they turn into abomi-nations.

Blogger Cuca Culpa May 06, 2015 6:49 PM  

...emotionally driven with after-the-fact rationalizations.


In other words, policy-based evidence-making.

Blogger Blume May 06, 2015 6:56 PM  

True, my girlfriend can not abandon feminism. I fight with her about it all the time and no matter how often she loses she still calls her self a feminist. She had adopted the title first wave feminist so she can distance herself from jezabells and tumblrinas.

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 7:00 PM  

In other news, when a woman tells you "you never buy me anything nice!" it doesn't help to point out to that one time two years ago when you bought her something that could very reasonably be described as nice.

"Never" is a rhetorical word in a rhetorical context. It means "so rarely that as far as my feelings are concerned, it might as well be never". "Always" works conversely.

Blogger Cuca Culpa May 06, 2015 7:00 PM  

I'd like to offer up a statement and use rhetoric as its justification.

Vox is a racist.


Rally, NASCAR or F1? I don't think Vox ever stated a preference.

(Oooooh, you mean in the Trotskyist sense. Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.)

Blogger Daniel May 06, 2015 7:01 PM  

Scoobius, Tad and Owen walk into a bar.

Scoobius says, "Were I not such a mystical rogue, that would have hurt!"

Tad says, "If only I had been walking backwards!"

Owen says, "Really? A literal bar?"

Anonymous Harsh May 06, 2015 7:08 PM  

Daniel nailed it.

Blogger VD May 06, 2015 7:16 PM  

I'd like to offer up a statement and use rhetoric as its justification.

That's nice. You're banned permanently under all your names, Owen/Scoobius.

Anonymous zen0 May 06, 2015 7:31 PM  

@ BigGaySteve:

The question to ask is "have you ever meet a black in real life as smart AS SEEN ON TV?"

They have writers and teleprompters, like the POTUS.
The street guys just have improv.

For instance, from a recent video of a police shooting in LA:

"You shot dat man. You shot dat man, nigger. You shot dat man.
Dey shot im. Dey shot dat man. Day shot im.
Dey jus shot dat man. Shot im ded. Shot im ded. Jus shot dat man. Shot im."

Blogger Cee May 06, 2015 7:43 PM  

The takeaway was that we human beings make most of our decisions emotionally, and then we use the logical part of our brain to come up with reasons that support that emotional decision. That seems to be the standard mode: emotionally driven with after-the-fact rationalizations.
Buy on emotion, justify on facts.

The critical difference seems to be in the waiting period to allow for justification of the initial emotional instinct. Purely rhetorical people seem not to have one.

Blogger rcocean May 06, 2015 8:05 PM  

I loved the SJW attempt to disqualify Aristotle by pointing out he's a DWM and owned Slaves (or supported Slavery)!

Blogger rcocean May 06, 2015 8:06 PM  

"...rather than a maudlin celebration of monothink."

Every troll says that - even Tad.

Blogger VD May 06, 2015 8:10 PM  

Yes, because every single person who visits or comments here agrees with everything I write. Except for the late, lamented Owen, which of course is why I had to destroy him.

Have a femur, #288. A jawbone for you #62.

Anonymous ticticboom May 06, 2015 8:27 PM  

@Derrick Bonsell

Off topic, but they're scared: https://archive.is/CwNUN

********

Dafuq I just read?

Blogger Derrick Bonsell May 06, 2015 8:37 PM  

"Dafuq I just read?"

A fine example of what Udolpho called Near-Future Authoritarian Paranoia. Basically fevered imaginings that some action taking place today is the harbinger of a totalitarian state. The public is tricked while a few "enlightened folks" are kept in line by fear.

Look for a protagonist who's only role is to point out the nature this future state will take. 1984 is a famous take on this sort of story.

Blogger Rabbi B May 06, 2015 8:49 PM  

"I'd like to offer up a statement and use rhetoric as its justification."

Oy. And I'd like to see your lobotomy scar.

" . . .we create a pathway for doing what's right and having a correct response to situations."

Precisely. More are interested in adopting ideologies that conform to their practices than in adopting practices that conform to their ideologies. Our is an age, perhaps more than any other, where morality determines philosophy.

Nothing short of a transformation is the remedy, a simple and straightforward directive that tells us to stop being conformed to the patterns of this world and be ye transformed by the renewal of your minds. Nothing renews and transforms the mind like the truth, spoken again and again and again with our last dying breath.



Blogger bob k. mando May 06, 2015 8:52 PM  

VD May 06, 2015 7:16 PM
That's nice. You're banned permanently under all your names, Owen/Scoobius.



Owen T. was Scooby?

well, that settles Tommy Hass' hash.

if that was Scoobs, that was definitely acting out for Narcissistic Suppy and NOT in any way a "cognitive failure of intellect".

Blogger Stephen Ward May 06, 2015 9:05 PM  

@Super Snake

How does it start? I've seen cases that involved a serious religious conversion. I have an untested and unverified theory that hitting rock-bottom in their personal life as a result of the lie might also work. Charles Manson's existence weighs against that theory, but then, he is a psychopath.

the other thing to keep in mind is that all of us lie either more or less, even if it's the white lies that grease society's wheels.

Anonymous x May 06, 2015 9:07 PM  

I was at the used bookstore the other day and found a book Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover.

Thought to myself: "Shit, Matthew Stover, isn't that the guy who challenged Vox to a streetfight?"

Am I remembering this right?

Blogger automatthew 0062 May 06, 2015 10:16 PM  

"That's nice. You're banned permanently under all your names, Owen/Scoobius."

D'y'all remember when Scoobius first showed up, and he was all angry about the Jews? How many roles has that nut played here?

Blogger automatthew 0062 May 06, 2015 10:18 PM  

BOB K MANDO: "definitely acting out for Narcissistic Supply"

Yes, that does appear to be what was wrong with scoobius.

Blogger automatthew 0062 May 06, 2015 10:18 PM  

He actually claimed to like James Joyce. Case closed.

Anonymous Scintan May 06, 2015 10:22 PM  

I read somewhere about a study of people whose emotional capacity had been removed (by various types of brain damage, I think). These people were virtually unable to make any decisions -- from important decisions to things like what to have for lunch.

This quote may be familiar to you. I think it works here:

"Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal."


After living my current number of years on this planet, I believe that the truth likely lies somewhere between Aristotle and Heinlein.

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 06, 2015 10:22 PM  

"Reform first, justify later."

That looks an awfull lot like pragmatism.

Blogger rumpole5 May 06, 2015 10:41 PM  

There are any number of structural designs that will keep the rain, cold, and heat out, but those utilizing the "golden ratio" (1 to 1.618) are much more appealing. I am not sure that there is a logical basis for why that is so. Likewise, if you choose an appealing rhetorical style for your sound factual structure you might attract a few more occupants. But then, I know -- "we don't care". As a confirmed curmudgeonly misanthrope, I sympathize.

Blogger Markku May 06, 2015 10:51 PM  

Oy. And I'd like to see your lobotomy scar.

In reality, there was nothing wrong with Babby's First Rhetoric per se. It just failed for the obvious reason that nobody's emotions were stirred.

Anonymous Legatus May 06, 2015 10:55 PM  

Part one:
So, why are rightists and leftists different?

Well, some people looked into that, to see if there was anything different. The one thing they could see, actual evidence, was that rightists spanked their children, and leftists did not.

So, how would spanking change how you think? Well, spanking teaches you something, actions have consequences. The repeated use of spanking drums this into your head (through another part of your body).

So, actions have consequences, or if A, then B (A== do it, B= get spanked), a basic syllogism, the basis of logic. Having had that drummed into your, uh, head, it becomes habit, so the part of your brain that does logic will get more exercise, you will grow up with a somewhat different brain than someone who never learned logic. It's like a muscle, exercise it, it will get stronger, in this case, the connections (specific patterns of neurons) for logical thought will be in more areas of the brain, more numerous, and thus more likely to be used. Use it or lose it. So, if we see differences in the brains of rightists and leftists, we must ask, is this because they constantly used it one way or the other in their both mental and physical periods of plasticity while growing up? One would expect detectable differences in the brain in that case, and one may attribute it to genetics when it is this instead.

In addition, you want to do something, emotion, but you decide not to, logic, because you will get spanked later if you do, you are gaining a sense of time, of future actions. You are learning “delayed gratification”, if A, then B. Thus, looking into the future and planning for it may be learned behavior in whole or in part, but always at least in part, rather than genetics. Meanwhile, having learned delayed gratification, and having parents that are able to say no and make it stick, you learn that if you want something, you have to work for it, you do, and you do get what you want, reinforcing this habit.

Anonymous Legatus May 06, 2015 10:56 PM  

Part two:
Conversely, no spanking, and what you learn is that you can get anything you want if you just scream loud enough, literally. You will grow up with a tendency to want big, socialist government that you can scream at and it will give you stuff like your parent(s) did, government as mommy/daddy. You never had to worry about future consequences, so you do only what feels good now, emotion based thinking. Then, when you grow up, you sleep around, rather than marry and stick with a mate and raise children, thus your children learn do unto others, then split, reinforcing this habit of not thinking about the future. A few generations of that and thinking about the future is gone. Example, inner city children were taught a new concept, thinking ahead, by teaching them chess, the noticeable thing about that was that they had never in their life learned to think ahead, it was a totally new concept to them (they actually said so, note, this included black children and white). This is further reinforced because if you get into business or politics or anything, you will rip people off, lie, cheat, steal, grab for power, whatever you have to to get what you immediately want NOW, and lots of people doing that will reinforce it, get yours before they get yours. In addition, your habit of not thinking logically will be reinforced by television and such, shows like logic versus “go with your heart” always choose heart, for one reason, because that is how advertisers want you to think, makes you a much easier mark (the advertisers also grew up as spoiled children, so it is what they know).

In addition, when a new society emerges, it is young and strong, but later, it falls, why does it not go on forever? Well, parents work to make life better for their children. After generations of that, they succeed. Those children then grow up NOT having to work hard for the better life, they become spoiled, and expect it to always be like this, without work, not knowing that it took generations of hard work to reach this. So, they are more likely to become socialists, to expect that mommy and daddy government will just give them stuff, because that is what happened when they grew up. In older days, it did not happen that way, because mommy and daddy simply could not provide the child with everything they wanted, they did not have it. You want it, you have to earn it kid. This seems to be a pattern, a new, young, strong, hard working society emerges, but later, when it is successful, at the height of it's success, it is overrun with spoiled children who tear it apart.

So it seems to me, the reason why some use logic and others rhetoric/emotion is simple, if you use deductive reasoning based on the one thing we KNOW is different from rightists and leftists, spanking.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 06, 2015 11:46 PM  

I am convinced it is simply due to a lack of physical consequences to lying and avoiding reality. I have met many who have this SJW rhetoric-addiction to delusion to some degree or other who came training with us.

No rhetoric survives repeated impacts to the face.


Yep, that's it. Or, as Legatus said, spankings. There have to be consequences.

They don't have to be physical, but they do have to be there and they have to clearly connected to the event, or the person never learns that lying to themselves will ultimately hurt far worse than accepting a truth they don't like.

Anonymous 141 May 06, 2015 11:48 PM  

To me the rhetorical person is someone who already has their mind made up, or who makes decisions based more on context rather than text (which i think i've read on one of these right wing hate group blogs was the difference between male and female communication.) The rhetorical looks for cues such as lab coats, credentials, tone of voice, social standing, sexual attractiveness, confidence, height, etc. when determining who to believe, whereas the dialectical person analyzes the data/text of the message.

Also, if you compare the two approaches, the dialectical is truth oriented, neutral, and peaceful, and the rhetorical is selfish and aggressive. This is why you must meet rhetoric with rhetoric. The first rhetoric message is like a shot, and a dialectic response looks like a white flag.

I'd guess rhetorical thinking is like an umbrella of self preservation, under which you find things like energy preservation(contextual shortcuts), reputation preservation(siding with the consensus), ego preservation, etc.

Anonymous BGS May 07, 2015 1:39 AM  

Legatus what are your thoughts on adults who desire to be spanked?

Well I might concede white privilege is giving your kid a name that will help them succeed in life. I kept thinking people where joking when they said his name since its even worse than LaTrina & La-a.
http://herald-review.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/shitavious-cook-gets-years-in-shooting-pleas/article_280e78cd-3b32-510b-a980-6ea4f33b9a49.html

Anonymous Scintan May 07, 2015 1:47 AM  

What is the method by which a rhetorically minded person changes to a dialectic? I assume it is a very long and painful process.

Education and application

Anonymous Theta Otter May 07, 2015 1:51 AM  

Why not "SJWs will always lie?" by spending a tiny bit of rhetoric, you buy a lot of dialectic.

Blogger Shimshon May 07, 2015 2:36 AM  

MPAI does seem to imply that the masses are indeed largely or wholly rhetorical.

From a young age, I had an interest in how things work. I can see how this later turned became a sort of skepticism on all things progressive. I remember wanting to support the policies because they appealed to a certain...feeling. I guess they rhetorically felt good. But I could never get all that enthusiastic. What these archaeo-SJWs were pushing in my youth was just lipstick on a pig. To really be that enthusiastic about something that false...well...then you're a true believer, and thus only moved by rhetoric.

Blogger Shimshon May 07, 2015 2:44 AM  

Also, from personal observation, just because you are intelligent, doesn't mean you are dialectical or even capable of it, at least regarding the SJW issues du jour.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2015 2:50 AM  

I am not sure that there is a logical basis for why that is so.

Efficiency.

Blogger IM2L844 May 07, 2015 2:56 AM  

As a confirmed curmudgeonly misanthrope, I sympathize.

Don't settle. Aspire to become an incorrigible recalcitrant misanthrope.

Anonymous rho May 07, 2015 3:41 AM  

To me the rhetorical person is someone who already has their mind made up, or who makes decisions based more on context rather than text (which i think i've read on one of these right wing hate group blogs was the difference between male and female communication.) The rhetorical looks for cues such as lab coats, credentials, tone of voice, social standing, sexual attractiveness, confidence, height, etc. when determining who to believe, whereas the dialectical person analyzes the data/text of the message.

It's a matter of pattern recognition.

Truth is determined by the patterns which adhere most to your preconceptions--as determined by your historical patterns.

Brains are pattern recognition organs. Affix your patterns, and you know your allegiance.

(By the way, the dipshit I'm-not-a-robot captcha cuts off the "choose the sandwich" image challenge so it's unsolvable in Chrome.)

Anonymous zen0 May 07, 2015 4:10 AM  

> (By the way, the dipshit I'm-not-a-robot captcha cuts off the "choose the sandwich" image challenge so it's unsolvable in Chrome.)

I had that problem with Pale Moon. Try using the tab key to get to the blocked area.

Anonymous rho May 07, 2015 4:50 AM  

Why.

Anonymous Bēvar-Asp May 07, 2015 10:16 AM  

What about the inverse?

How does one who is naturally dialectically-minded use rhetoric for fun and profit?

Blogger Student in Blue (#21) May 07, 2015 10:33 AM  

I'll be honest, I'm still trying to make myself slog through Aristotle's Rhetoric. It's not my cup of tea though.

At the moment I'm mentally equating "rhetoric" with "the art of persuasion", and I'm not sure how far off the mark I am. There might be a subtle difference between the "faculty of observing in any given case the available means of" and "the art of"... but I'm not quite grokking it yet.

Blogger Markku May 07, 2015 11:06 AM  

At a quick glance at the relevant part, it appears to me that "art" had a narrower definition at the time. Art was "concerned
with a special or definite class of subjects". So, with the modern usage that somewhat looser, I don't think there is anything wrong with "the art of persuasion".

Rhetoric is the art of persuading someone who is unable to follow a chain of reasoning, by speaking the language of his emotions.

Blogger Markku May 07, 2015 11:10 AM  

Which is why "never" is superior to "almost never" or "very rarely", even if the latter two may be more accurate. Emotions speak simpler language.

"It fucking NEVER compiles on the first try!" is what the C-programmers internal monologue will say. Even if it did a few times during the last month.

Blogger Markku May 07, 2015 11:17 AM  

Here is the most hilarious real life Rhetoric Fail: The Atheist Bus Campaign.

"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Let me rephrase that. You probably will not suffer everlasting torments in hellfire. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life. Sure, that accurately represents their belief. But you put THAT in an ad? The one place where you should amp up the rhetoric to eleven? Can't they understand that it's better to say nothing at all, than to put "probably" in that sentence?

OpenID sethg-prime May 07, 2015 9:42 PM  

I cheerfully concede that Will’s riposte was better than my own.

I do notice, however, that if I do a Google search for '"SJWs always lie" site:voxday.blogspot.co.uk', the phrase is used nine times on this very blog. A search for "* always lie" brings up a few more hits, including one posting here with the headline “When I said ‘always’, I meant ‘always’” and the body text “in re SJWs”. Is this blog directed primarily towards and audience of “rhetoricals”, then?

Anonymous Avalanche June 06, 2016 6:06 PM  

@53 Marissa, I highly recommend reading Anonymous Conservative's book on r/K; but for a quick intro: Bill Whittle has a great YouTube vid describing it. Then he and Stephan Molyneux have one discussing it. It's well worth the read, but the vids can get you both started, and even more interested in reading it! Great stuff! Really made me feel better about just how STUPID libs can be (and 'choose' to be!).

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