reply to post by Esoteric Teacher
Insult your opponent shamelessly until they feel compelled to defend themselves, at which point you point out how they're not even addressing the
issues. If they accuse you of insulting them, ridicule them for being too sensitive. If they insult you back, cry foul and demand a moderator put them
in line. Either way, whatever time they spend fighting is less time they're spending focusing on the issue. This benefits you.
Constantly demand proof. This will distract them and waste their time. If they provide sources, don't waste your time reading them. Instead just
accuse your opponent of misunderstanding or misquoting them. Nobody else will read them either.
Appeal to the emotions of the audience. Remember that you're not trying to convince your opponent. You're trying to convince the audience. Fact,
reason and logic don't sway people. Emotion does. Encourage your opponent to give logical reasons for things, and when they do, accuse them of being
a cold-hearted, selfish monster who cares nothing for the children. Not only will the audience see him as clearly the bad guy, it will throw him off
his game so his future arguments will be less coherent.
Creatively use pronouns to create a sense of rapport with your audience, and identify your opponent as an outsider who cannot be trusted. "We" all
know that I'm right. But "he" just doesn't get it. People will usually agree with people they identify with, because they don't like to feel
wrong themselves. If they identify with you, and you're wrong, they they must be wrong too. So clearly you must be right.
Always put the burden of proof on your opponent. Insist that you are right by default. If you are asserting that something is true, demand that they
prove that it isn't. If you are asserting that something is not true, demand that they prove that it is.
Tell people in no uncertain terms what they should believe. Repeat yourself often. Don't waste your time giving reasons for this. People don't think
in reasons, but if they hear something enough times it will tend to stick with them.
If you do decide to give reasons, be vague about it. Dismiss them as so obvious that there's no need to go into detail. Your audience will be
hesitant to question you, since they don't want to feel like idiots who don't understand. It's easier for them to simply accept your position. If
your opponent asks for you to explain, remind the audience that he can't even understand your argument. And since they do, they get to feel smart.
People prefer to feel smart than to feel like they don't understand something. They will find it easier to side with you so they get to feel smart
than to side with your opponent and feel like they don't understand.
Draw attention to the weakest portion of your opponents argument. If they make ten statements and nine of them make a lot of sense, ignore those and
draw attention to the one that dosen't.
Focus on exceptions and special cases. If an opponent lists 3 examples that are generally relevant to most situations, and one that is only relevant
under rare circumstances, ignore the general examples and focus on the example that only applies to rare circumstances. Point out that it only applies
to rare circumstances, and therefore your opponent is wrong because he's ignoring most cases.
Tell lies that will make your side look stronger. If your opponent points out that you're lying, accuse them of resorting to personal attacks.
Accuse your opponent of logical fallacies, and cite the latin names for those fallacies. Don't bother looking for fallacies, just make the
accusation. Most audiences won't know the difference, and will simply assume you know what you're talking about. If your opponents points out that
you don't, accuse him of not understanding. Since you've quoted obscure latin phrases, obviously you're an expert and know what you're talking
about better than he does.
Make a point of accusing your opponent of strawman arguments at least once. Like latin, most people don't know what this means, but if you can
convince the audience to dismiss one argument for no good reason, it will be easier to get them to dismiss more in the future.
No matter how little you have to say, never admit defeat. Keep the debate going as long as possible. Sooner or later your opponent will get bored or
frustrated and give up, allowing you to win by default.