Knowing how to logically argue a point is the modern day equivalent of owning a razor-sharp sabre.
Interestingly enough, the way you construct a good logical argument is almost exactly the same as the process of good storytelling.
The formula is:
Premise 1 + Premise 2 = Logical conclusion [repeat]
If…. + and… = then…
The creators of Southpark, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, outline their storytelling secret here:
My studying journey this year has reminded me of the value of a logically presented train of thought, and here are a couple of points about the art of arguing that I’ve learnt over the years:
1. Do your homework: Presenting a good argument is based on first doing some research for good points to use to build your overall idea. If your base points are faulty, your whole argument will be flawed.
2. Argue with yourself first: Find faults in your own argument beforehand. If you can identify the weak areas of your argument before your opponent gets to pick them apart, you’re better prepared to defend them when the crunch eventually comes.
3. Don’t fall in love with your conclusion: Great debaters can defend an argument they don’t believe in. Feeling too much emotion for your point of view limits your ability to clinically get your evidence across.
4. Practise: Debating and constructing arguments is a skill that takes practise.
5. Play the game, not the player: Keep your arguing clean as much as possible and don’t attack your opponent personally, it renders the entire thing pointless.
A debate is just a process of sharing opinions. It should result in some kind of progress by the end of it, not tears.