How To Win Every Argument (3B06)

How To Win Every Argument, written by Madsen Pirie is undoubtedly worth reading, especially for those who love debating. From the title, we might predict what it is about and some of you may even assume that it is boring. However, I’m sure that you can learn how to use evidence and construct convincing arguments.  These are related to our day-to day learning in Liberal Studies and English. 

Let me give you a more detailed example. If you and your friend are arguing about whether to close down some universities and instead spend the money on road safety and health services, you, representing the affirmative side, can say ’It’s definitely worth it if it saves lives’. I’m sure your friend will be shocked almost in to silence immediately. Be careful with the logic. Would the closing down of universities bring weaken the competitiveness of Hong Kong in the long run?

The second way to win an argument is ‘omitting the benefits’. You may now wonder we shouldn’t describe as many benefits as possible to successfully to convince others.  Why should we omit them?

If you and your friend are arguing about whether we should put life-jackets on ships. It’s easy for most of you to think of some points to support the argument of putting them on a ship, right? However, what would you say if you are on the opposition side? The only way to win the argument is to list out as many disadvantages as possible and avoid mentioning the benefits. Saying something like ’It’s bulky and awkward to wear’ or even a more extreme argument, like ’What if the life-jacket saves the life of a future murderer?’ You just cannot mention that it may save a hundred people’s lives in case of an accident. I promise you that you’ll definitely gain an audience’s attention and a round of applause if you are delivering that speech.

So now, I hope you’ve changed your mind and you no longer think this might be a boring book, so, borrow it from the public library and become the next talented ‘speaker’ or ‘opponent’ to convince others and triumph in your future debates.