Rules For Winning Arguments: Rule #3

July 17, 2006

3.  Use meaningless but weighty-sounding words and phrases

Memorize this list:

1. “Let me put it this way”

2. “In terms of”

3.  “Vis-a-vis”

4.  “Per se”

5.  “As it were”

6.  “Qua”

7.  “So to speak”

8.  “Well, anyhow”

You should also memorize some Latin abbreviations such as “Q.E.D.,” “e.g.,” and “i.e.”  These are all short for “I speak Latin and you do not.”  Here’s how to use these words and phrases.  Suppose you want to say:

“Peruvians would like to order appetizers more often, but they don’t have enough money.”

You will never win arguments talking like that.  But you WILL win if you say:

“Let me put it this way.  In terms of appetizers vis-avis Peruvians qua Peruvians, they would like to order them more often, so to speak, but they do not have enough money per se, as it were.  Q.E.D”

Only a fool would challenge that statement.

From http://www.mindspring.com/~mfpatton/argue.htm

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Yet More Causes of Death of the Great Philosophers!

July 17, 2006

Anselm: That than which non deadlier can be concieved

Aristotle: Excessive moderation

Augustine: Hippo

Ayer: Unverifiable

Berkeley: Divine Neglect

Heidegger: Not being in time

Heraclitus: Fell in the same river twice

Locke: No idea

McTaggart: Untimely causes

Nietzsche: Overpowered himself

Plato: Caved in

Zeno: Ran over by tortoise

From http://people.pwf.cam.ac.uk/dhm11/DeathIndex.html


Os Guinness on Fundamentalism

July 17, 2006

“It is ironic that, although fundamentalists are implacably opposed to liberalism, their extreme reaction shows the same weakness. They, too, stress the leap of faith and make irrationality almost a principle, dismissing the serious questions of seeking modern men as intellectual smoke-screens or diversions to conceal deeper personal problems. All this masks a desperate intellectual insecurity, barely disguised by the surrounding hedge of taboos to preserve purity. The strident intolerance of much guilt-driven evangelism betrays the same insecurity. In these circles, much that is taught has to be unlearned in the wider school of life, and it is not surprising that universities are littered with dropouts from such groups. Their non-rational, subjective faith is cruelly punctured by varsity-level questions, and many manage to survive only by resorting to a severely schizophrenic faith which they hold to be true religiously but not intellectually, historically, or scientifically.”