My thoughts about argumentation and debating

I know a lot of people like to say that reason isn't how you change people's minds and that this entire section of my site is therefore wrong-headed and in vain. I'm aware that reason isn't by itself going to convince most people of anything meaningful, but I'm also aware that it plays at least *some* role for most people. And most of these articles aren't actually about how to reason validly. Persuading people through debate is largely a contest of personality and charisma and manipulation of psychological biases, so that's what a lot of my articles here are about.

I should also point out against such a criticism that there is a strong correlation between how willing someone is to change their beliefs when they're wrong and how much of a role logic plays in doing so. That is to say, while most people won't be convinced to change their core beliefs by reasoning with them, most of the people who won't are the ones who won't be convinced by *anything*. The more willing a person is to change at all, the more likely it is that reason is how you can change them, and also the more likely that they're a good person, and are thus worth more to convince (since they're more devoted to their beliefs and make a better friend).

Also note that in this section of the site I often talk about "good people" and "bad people" under the assumption that whoever is arguing for something irrational or evil is a bad person and vice versa. This is not *always* true, but it's usually true, and "bad person" is shorter than "person arguing for something bad".


The misrepresentation and underappreciation of philosophy

Polymorphic Values

Know when to give up on people

"Open-mindedness" means nothing.

Propaganda words and phrases that don't merit their own articles

Hypocritical Objectivism

The experience calculation problem

The Facts Don't Matter

Why I won't read a book

Yujiri's First Law

Yujiri's Second Law

Preconditions of argument

Steps of alliance


Statistics are not the trump card you think

Citation fallacies

Tu Quoque - (often) not a fallacy

Things that are not Ad Hominem

The Correlated Trait Fallacy

Defining by reference

What If Everyone Thought That Way is one big fallacy

Disputed premise, not circular reasoning

The Missing Comparison fallacy



Dirty tactics

Inflammatory techniques: How to provoke your opponent

Observations on Linguistic Connotations

Why I don't debate in chat


Conversational Terrorism (external)

Politics and the English Language, by George Orwell (external)

Specific arguments

Screenshots Prove Nothing

A Critique of The Field of Evolutionary Psychology

IQ is a Superstition

Don't amoralize your moral arguments

Worrying is not irrational

There is no history of philosophy

There's no such thing as national debt

Trying to change a living language

Languages are not easier to learn as a kid

Punishment and reward are not alternatives

Communist/Capitalist FAQ

The common error behind leftist economics

Base 6 is the optimal number system (external)

You're wrong to focus on privilege and oppression

Stop taking tests

Fucking anti-moralists


Yes, Tyler Curtis, The Bystander Effect Exists

Rebuttal to Kurzgesagt's "The Origin of Consciousness"

Rebuttal to Insula Qui's "The Ethical Notions Of Personhood And Savagery"

First Round Capital Is Sexist

Rebuttal to Shane Killian's "Ustupidtarianism in 4 Stupids"

Heimdal Security lies hysterically about the dark web

Art Carden demonstrates vulgar libertarianism


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