Relationships: Truth&Argument, Ethics&Persuasion

In class, Dr. MMC brought up the questions of whether there are relationships between truth and argument, and persuasion and ethics. I believe that there should be some degree of truth to an argument (considering you can’t really present an argument without facts). However, if you look at some arguments, the truth is all in the way it is presented. Someone’s actions can be taken completely out of context and used against him or her in a way that may not be completely true. Additionally, not everybody may see the same truths all the time. People believe what they want to believe and will argue vehemently against their opposition, even if they are not necessarily right. This, to a certain degree, can be considered manipulation – presenting an argument in a way that benefits you- however, if the presenter is giving the subject all of the information they need to make an informed decision, there is really not an argument to be made.

Additionally, the relationship between persuasion and ethics can go both ways. You don’t need to necessarily be ethical to persuade someone of something (for example, Al Capone was persuasive but he did this through coercion, which is not ethical.) As stated above, there can be a certain degree of manipulation involved if you don’t present all the facts or you create a lie of omission. If you are looking at ethical persuasion, however, if you state your viewpoint, listen to the opposition’s viewpoint, and then come to a mutual agreement then that would be an ethical form of persuasion.


One thought on “Relationships: Truth&Argument, Ethics&Persuasion

  1. I also think that there needs to be truth in an argument; i also agree that people will believe what they want to believe. Through my communication courses I have learned that people see their own truths and hold beliefs according to what they already know to be true – therefore, persuasion is very difficult to accomplish in many situations. However, arguments should not be presented in such a way that only benefits the speaker. Like you said, the argument should be presented and one should be open to hear both sides of the argument, consider the oppositions and continue the debate in an ethical way. I believe that sometimes being ethical can be more persuasive, showing someone that you are doing the right thing may influence them to do it as well.

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