AAMC 013 Rules of Rhetoric

Rules of Rhetoric or How to Win an Argument Without Even Trying

Every day we evaluate claims to decide which we believe and which we do not. It’s fundamentally the same process when we are engaged in dialogue online. We Christians, as followers of the truth, should be better at reasoned dialogue than anyone:

In this episode we cover:

  • Affirmative
  • Negative
  • Assessing Arguments
  • Fallacies

I. Affirmative
     a) Definitions
     b) Ground (proposition, topic, thesis, criteria)
     c) Burden of Proof
     d) Model of Persuasive Communication (Toulmin)
           1. Claim: Your proposition
           2. Warrant: Logical link
           3. Evidence: Data
           4. Example:  Trinity
                    Claim: God is triune. One God, three persons.
                    Evidence: Is. 43, Jn 1, 8, Acts 5, Mt. 3, Gen 1.
                    Warrant: Scripture is not contradictory.

II. Negative
     a) Reasonable doubt
     b) Poke holes
     c) Muddy the waters
      Example: Trinity Counter
                    Claim: Modalism
                    Warrant: Scripture is incorrect
                    Evidence: Verses mean something else

III. Assessing Arguments
     a) Criteria: Preponderance of Evidence, Cost Benefit
     b) Non-Unique: Applies to both sides
     c) Impact: Effects
     d) What’s Your Alternative?

IV. Fallacies: 4 of the Most Common
      a) Ad Hominem (to the man), Poisoning the Well
      b) Hasty Generalization
      c) Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
      d) Straw Man

Example: The Euro has Failed.

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Owen grew up in Los Angeles and moved overseas after college. After a brief stint in political campaigns, Owen returned overseas as a missionary in Russia & Bulgaria with his wife and son.