How to Win an Argument
Arguments are based on words, keep an eye out for dictionary violations.These people just love to violate the dictionary. They will use words in the most twisted ways. Many times you can easily win right at the beginning by quoting good old Webster. One of the best references it the 1913 edition of Webster which has the real meanings of words in it. It was published before these people could take over the dictionary business, so it's reliable. If you catch them in a dictionary violation, that alone invalidates their argument. There is no defense against this. Just keep repeating it. Eventually, they will argue with you about the meaning, but you have Webster on your side.
Demand proof for everything.These guys just love to say things without showing proof. An easy win is to demand proof for every claim. Don't worry about whether the claim is reasonable, or commonplace, or whether its truth would validate the argument. Don't get confused about why you are demanding proof. It's not to show that the thing isn't true! The purpose is to show that it might not be true. This being the case, you just need to discredit the proof they provide. Sometimes it's easy as pie. If they link to Wikipedia, just say, "Wikipedia is not a reliable source". Everyone knows this. If they link to some partisan website, well, how can that be trusted?! If they link to a blog, heck, that's worse than Wikipedia! If they manage to find a source not so easily impeached, don't panic. All you have to do is say that the source does not say what they claim it does. Remember, if you can make the argument about the sources instead of their point, they've lost.
Become morally outraged.This is a great one because it goes right to the heart of things. I mean, they are morally corrupt, after all. Look for anything that is just not morally acceptable and make it the issue. It will show everyone else just how bad this person is, and why it doesn't matter what they say. Anyone so reprehensible can't have anything worthwhile to say. You will probably find others who agree, and help to chastise your opponent. Keep in mind that the issue over which you become exercised needn't be something you are normally concerned about, nor something very important. It just has to be something that appears to violate the ethos of the group, or at least of your own supporters. This will allow you to dismiss anything the person says as coming from a "poisoned well". Cool, eh?
Ignore context, take each thing as if it stands alone.One of the ways these people confuse things is by tying together a bunch of facts and ideas. If you take each of the points they raise as separate, you have a lot better chance of derailing their argument. Keep the bits isolated, don't argue about two at once, just focus on disproving a part and the whole will collapse. This is a general principle to apply to all of the above. Well, there are many other techniques you might employ, but they are generally variations or specifications of what I have taught you here. As you practice, you will get better at it. But always keep in mind, winning an argument is about appearance. The winner is the one left standing, not the one who is "right". We already know that you are right, arguments aren't going to prove anything about that, they just confuse the onlookers. So, focus on winning and help to keep things on the right track for everyone. —
1. Weltanschauung is German for a particular philosophy or view of life; the worldview of an individual or group.