THE CRANKY OLD MAN
Random thoughts and stuff from a cranky old man. Humor (maybe), satire, and some politics, mostly stuff from a confused head.
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Friday, August 23, 2013
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that
aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers that attempt to inform,
persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.*
I recently posted a Cranky Saturday Opinion post where I
thought my position was well constructed, cogent and convincing.My argument included anticipated retorts and
responded to them in kind.
I was convinced as I pressed publish that even the most
staunch dissenters would agree with my point of view or at least would be unable
to dispute it.
What I did not count on was a counterpoint which refers
to an argument as just “so much rhetoric.” A particular commenter, one for whom I have much respect, started his rebuttal
with, “Despite your rhetoric…”
Isn’t it funny how Rhetoric, an art of persuasion, has
become a word to simply dismiss and trivialize an argument for which you have
no real logical come back.
“Despite your rhetoric…”
“Interesting, but this is just so much rhetoric…”
“This is terrific rhetoric, but…”
All these retorts really mean is, “I have no reasonable
response to the argument as you have presented it, but despite the clear
persuasiveness of you position I will never waver from my stance, and I choose to
ignore everything you say. I cannot respond, but here are my tired old talking
points anyway.If you respond with more
well thought out statements which make my position seem ridiculous it will just
be more of the same old rhetoric.”
This use or of the word rhetoric is like waving the flag of ignorance.I will not attempt to put a wedge into a
closed mind that can so easily dodge logical discourse.
How can you not
agree? (That was a rhetorical question.)