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Thursday, May 3, 2007

For every one of your opponent's arguments, make three counter-arguments

In high school debate club, I mastered a technique called a spread. Do you know what that is? For every one of your opponent's arguments, make three counter-arguments. It doesn't matter if your arguments have merit or not. He or she will be so lost and simply unable to keep up with you that they will have to drop arguments. When you make your next rebuttal speech, you avoid all the arguments that the debater touched upon OR you respond with two counter-rebuttals for every one of your opponents, and then you extend all the dropped arguments and magnify them.
It's an endless loop, brought to a close in debate class only by strictly enforced time limits and the flexibility and range of a debater's vocal chords (to talk really, really, really fast).Life is short. I've done my share of debating. Today, in my wanderings through the blogosphere, I'm content to make my views known, and the general rationale for those beliefs. I'm not interested in a proliferation of rebuttal and counterrebuttal. Once I start down that road, is there ever an end? There is certainly rarely agreement.
Often minor disagreements are traced to core worldviews and basic presuppositions about human nature. Those core beliefs are not likely to change as the result of an hour or two of conversation. I can plant a few seeds, but then I need to move on to areas where I can be productive.
I say this so readers will know there is no disrespect intended when I choose not to pursue the arguments of their comments any further than I do. I teach my ego how I can appear to "lose" a few debates by bowing out, and the world doesn't come crashing down around me. I will attempt to point readers in the direction I think they need to move to outgrow their current worldview, as best I can tell, and then it's out of my hands. Save to del.icio.usSphere: Related Content posted by Joe Perez at 5/02/2007

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