Friday, April 11, 2008

Always Win an Argument - wikiHow

Always Win an Argument - wikiHow

How to Always Win an Argument

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Want to get your way? Read on and you'll learn how to win every argument you enter.


  1. The First, and most important point is to attempt to pick the strongest side of the argument. Having the strength of advocacy on your side is by far the easiest way to win an argument. While most arguments have an easily identifiable winner and loser, some arguments are not so clear. Try to identify these arguments and either stay away, or be very careful about getting into it.
  2. Think about the possible arguments for and against your side, and the opposite side. If there is any major weakness in your argument, you must fill it before coming to a confrontation with the opposition, or risk losing the argument. Also try to take each argument to its logical conclusion, and identify any major pitfalls your opponent can step into. A gentle nudge here and there to get them to make some sort of statement that allows you to close the beartrap is psychologically damaging and can win an argument on the spot.
  3. When in the argument, keep calm, and present your side of the argument in a logical manner. When the opposite side brings up a point, always counter this point with something relevant supporting you.
  4. Always take full advantage of any illogicality or fallacy in your opponent's argument. Return any illogical points with as many relevant logical facts as possible, to completely quash their point. If this is not possible, take their point and use it in your favor logically. (e.g, when males grow their hair long in western society, 'its not natural' is a common argument for those opposed to it. However, it is more natural than cutting it as hair grows when it is left. Long hair, by using their argument against them, is completely natural for both genders.)
  5. If you point out a mistake that your opponent made, and declare it a logical fallacy, don't under any circumstances make the same mistake. Your opponent gets a free pass because he or she didn't know it was a mistake, you on the other hand are guilty of knowing what's right and what's wrong. It's a quick way to assasinate your own Ethos.
  6. It's always possible to lose an argument, these tips will greatly reduce the chance of losing. However, arguments do sometimes come to standoffs, where no side is stronger than the other and nobody wins or loses. when this happens, learn to leave the argument as nothing can be gained by continuing to confront your opponent. When this happens, don't lose control or get desperate.


  • Religion is not a valid basis for views in a confrontation. Remember: The devil himself could quote the bible for his own purposes.
  • Don't make the mistake of trying to use logical tactics to argue an opinion, a theory, or something that has no basic in logic. For example, "Men are superior to women" is an opinion; "superior" is a subjective judgment.
  • Similarly, it is counterproductive to try to argue about emotions ("You shouldn't feel that way"). Trying to talk people out of their feelings isn't logical; it's controlling and insensitive.
  • If you can't shake the wish to argue something that is just your opinion, ask yourself why. Remember you can choose to keep your opinion to yourself, or take positive action towards a social or political cause, rather than merely talking yourself blue in the face. Don't draw everyone you know into endless debates over your pet theory in the hopes that they will deliver a logical fallacy for you to knock down. This is in itself a complex form of the "straw man" fallacy. Besides, if you go around arguing all the time, people will avoid you and there will be no one left to argue with.
  • Using 'childish' tactics, such as shouting "Shut Up," will only decrease the credibility of your argument. This will certainly detriment your cause.
  • Keep control of yourself. Appear calm, even in a heated argument. Don't use harsh language, or succumb to your anger. This will muddle your thinking and hinder your argument.
  • If you succeed in making the other person angry, it doesn't mean you've won the argument.
  • Think constantly. By not thinking something through entirely before you say or do it often jeopardizes your argument. Do not do anything in the absence of thought.
  • Never use the word "should." It denotes a subjective obligation.


  • This approach may annoy those who cannot stand to lose, and they often become violent.
  • Never lose control of yourself.
  • This is often very difficult for many people. Don't try it if you'll break down halfway through.
  • Pick your battles wisely!
  • If there is no-one there to judge the argument, or declare a winner, don't hold on to hope the other guy may see your view. Move on after the argument is made, you can go back later and review the argument and decide whether you won or lost, and modify from there.

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