Author Topic: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good  (Read 2135 times)

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2012, 12:00:46 PM »
Thank you all for your responses.  Sorry about the Simple Layman thing.  I don't want to steal from anyone.   

Dadoo's assertion was made with a certain irony.
 
I do have some concerns about the Affordable Health Act debate.  No need for me to state what these considerations are.  I would encourage whomever would do so, to do a CSI kind of analysis on the arguments used.

On the contrary. There is every need for you to back up your allegations that there are improperly made arguments by actually listing some, and for you to demonstrate what you mean by "quality of arguments" by actually providing some "quality arguments" of your own. Otherwise, you have no credibility. You become nothing but a clanging gong or a banging cymbal.
 
There it is.     Let's get started.

You start.

Dadoo

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3054
    • View Profile
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 08:32:56 AM »
Thank you all for your responses.  Sorry about the Simple Layman thing.  I don't want to steal from anyone.   

I do have some concerns about the Affordable Health Act debate.  No need for me to state what these considerations are.  I would encourage whomever would do so, to do a CSI kind of analysis on the arguments used.

Years ago I read a significant book by Richard Weaver titled The Ethics of Rhetoric.  I seem to have lost my copy but I have done some digging.  Readers who don't have access to this book might find a summary by Roger Gilles from 1966 titled   Richard Weaver Revisited:  Rhetoric, Left, Right, and Middle.

A few essentials here to get started.   Weaver says that there are four essential arguments.  1) argument from definition   2)  argument from similitude, or analogy   3)  arguments from consequence,  and 4) argument from .
circumstance   

There it is.     Let's get started.

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Weaver's books are still in print. 60 years after his death. You might find a source here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ethics-Rhetoric-Richard-Weaver/dp/0961180021

I know he was a hero of the old time conservatives like Buckley but, I note, that the steamer to Post Modernity has left the dock and we are all on it, having made the dockside transfer at Modernity, some of us willingly, some kicking and screaming, Weaver's followers being of the latter.

I leave it to those who are taking community college classes in classic rhetoric to do the analyzing of language and form used in the various speeches made in the month of February in the HHS debate. It is fairly boring. I also note that post modernity does not rely on persuasion or Socratic dialog and logic. It relies more on mob and manipulation. Maybe one can read some Nietzsche to understand the debate, if it can actually be called that, better.

Rhetoric, Norman, relies on something that is not evident in the HHS debate, Listening. Maybe it is better to say listening with the openness to be convinced. Along with that goes the conviction that convincing another is an intellectual task that is worth while doing, fruitful, or even possible. I see in the debate closed systems of thought that engage, not in the arena of ideas, but in the arena of political supremacy. 

I know, Ideas Have Consequences is a perennial favorite for conservatives. It is even a favorite phrase in conservative circles. Today's political, and even ecclesial, debate is not about the discovery of precious and eternal ideas. It is about the assertion of supremacy of ideas settled on by one's community of interpretation. The conservatives who would use the phrase really do not use it as a clarion call to convince the other side by Platonic dialog. They use it to assert that the other side has ideas that are half baked. In other words, they use it as a derogatory comment in the political battle. In that they are very, very post modern. The strategy is exemplified on ALPB often: Ask a question, get a substantial answer, reply by raising a matter of borderline minutia, show how the substantial answer fails in that respect, dismiss the answer as insufficient. Brian Stoffregen is the best practitioner of this on ALPB. I think you can find translations of Derrida who is the philosopher du jour on post modern "non philosophy" philosophy.

I admire your zeal to dig in the classics. I note that Socrates never had Brian Stoffregen sit before him in one of his "dialogues." I guarantee you that they would have taken a very different path if that had been the case. The two come from different times and Socrates' time is up, so to speak. We embraced Aristotle and Archimedes, science, technology, instead, much to Weaver's chagrin. Why have superior philosophy, culture, or rhetoric when you can have a cosmic ray gun? But that is the way it is and in these days we function.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Dadoo

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3054
    • View Profile
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2012, 08:51:47 AM »
Thank you all for your responses.  Sorry about the Simple Layman thing.  I don't want to steal from anyone.   

Dadoo's assertion was made with a certain irony.
 

I thought I had used personal, situational humor with a touch of sarcasm . . .   ;D
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

1Ptr5v67

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012, 09:14:59 AM »
I am interested in the general theory of the ethics of rhetoric.  How do people persuade, what methods do people use in their persuasive arguments?  What assumptions have been made about the intended audience and how have these assumptions determined  the content of the arguments in the two months since the matter became a main topic of consideration for many religious organizations.

I am indicating here a dissatisfaction with the techniques of persuasion used in the HHS debate.  I am suggesting that there has been a deficiency in the quality of the arguments used to advance the interests of a religious coalition made up of bishops,  evangelicals, and  conservative Lutherans against the Affordable Care Act. 

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod


How can you even think having a rational ethical discussion about this one sub-section of the Affordable Care Act,   without first considering whether a ration ethical discussion was ever allowed to happen when the entire Affordable Care Act was being "rammed" through congress?     Is there any one congressman who has ever admitted reading the act before voting on it?   Does any congressman admit to being able to comprehend the entire act?     Where is there evidence of committee reports being issued in a normal deliberative process,  with plenty of time for the citizens of the USA to evaluate and engage in an ethical rational basis for or against the Affordable Care Act in its entirety?    How can a rational ethical debate proceed over one part of the act,  when the entire act might be unconstitutional to its core?
fleur-de-lis

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 17478
    • View Profile
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2012, 11:18:13 AM »
Persuasion is difficult when certainty is considered arrogant or obnoxious. You can't say, "This is true," and then try to get others to agree because you'll be accused of offending against humility. Chesterton pointed out this moden problem already 100 years in Orthodoxy, when he said that one of the problems of modernism was that humility, which was meant as a check against ambition, is now used as a check against certainty. So persuasion becomes a new thing-- simply learning to tolerate each other's differences rather than seeking to change anyone's mind.

Team Hesse

  • Guest
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2012, 11:46:44 AM »
Persuasion is difficult when certainty is considered arrogant or obnoxious. You can't say, "This is true," and then try to get others to agree because you'll be accused of offending against humility. Chesterton pointed out this moden problem already 100 years in Orthodoxy, when he said that one of the problems of modernism was that humility, which was meant as a check against ambition, is now used as a check against certainty. So persuasion becomes a new thing-- simply learning to tolerate each other's differences rather than seeking to change anyone's mind.

The fine art of persuasion actually is in a different ballpark...It is our call to proclaim the truth in love, what the Holy Spirit does with that is not my concern. When I am attempting to persuade, I am actually invading the Holy Spirit's territory and am probably doing more harm than good. No one likes being accosted by those people in white shirts and ties intent on persuading people to their point of view.

We are called to be heralds not salesmen.

Lou

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43146
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2012, 12:25:25 PM »
I admire your zeal to dig in the classics. I note that Socrates never had Brian Stoffregen sit before him in one of his "dialogues." I guarantee you that they would have taken a very different path if that had been the case. The two come from different times and Socrates' time is up, so to speak. We embraced Aristotle and Archimedes, science, technology, instead, much to Weaver's chagrin. Why have superior philosophy, culture, or rhetoric when you can have a cosmic ray gun? But that is the way it is and in these days we function.


Way back in my college days, I did a paper for a class on persuasion. According to Aristotle, the most important aspect of persuasion (or, for this discussion rhetoric,) was the apparent trustworthiness of the speaker. How much of the political rhetoric we've heard and will hear much more of in the coming months is centered on the theme: "You can trust me, but you can't trust the other guy."
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43146
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2012, 12:45:14 PM »
I'm thinking that we should start with a discussion about the ethics of health care.


Is providing health care good or bad? In nature (would that be natural law?) the critters who are unable to survive on their own die. Thus, the most fit animals survive. When is it right (or ethical) to step in and stop or delay the natural consequences of a disease? (NOTE: I'm not saying that it is or is not right, but raising the ethical question. Most likely the ethics of health care have a sense of relativism about it; or centered more on the issue of WHEN is it right to stop or delay the natural consequences of a disease? When is it right to let the disease run its course and bring about a death? That will eventually happen to everyone.)


For a full disclosure, when my father was diagnosed with cancer and the options were laid out before him and mom, they decided to do nothing. He went on Hospice care to prepare for death.


A second question is about the ethics (or the right way) of paying for health care. One option is to do away with insurance and let people who can afford it pay for it. (Since I don't have any pets, is that the way it is with animal health care? Or, can owners get medical insurance for their dogs, cats, horses, hogs, etc.?)


With insurance plans, we've already entered a limited socialized type of program, the healthier people in a group help pay for those who are less healthy. Is that ethical?  If it's ethical for a group insurance plan, why not for a nationwide plan?


Is it right for states to require car owners to have at least a minimum amount of car insurance? If so, why can't the same be said about health insurance?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2012, 01:12:29 PM »
We are called to be heralds not salesmen.


As someone who is currently employed as a salesman, one of the most effective techniques for selling is to tell the truth about your product in an honest and yet entertaining fashion. If it is a good product, simply honestly demonstrating the benefits of the product without embellishment is usually all that is needed to make a sale. I fear salesmen get a bad reputation because of those who use dishonesty or guile in order to persuade people to buy products they otherwise wouldn't buy. The truth is that a good salesman is, in fact, a herald.
 

Norman Teigen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1667
  • I intend to persuade no one.
    • View Profile
Re: The Ethics of Persuasion in the HHS Debate - Good or Not So Good
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2012, 05:06:01 PM »
Thanks for the various responses.   I will try to do a CSI on the Indiana Seminary statement on the Affordable Health Care matter.   I feel that this must be a reasonable exposition of the topic.  I find this document on the CTSFW site.  I find nine, I think it is nine, paragraphs and I will do the CSI one paragraph at a time.   I think that some interesting comments should come out of this.

My approach is analysis rather than evaluation, at least in these initial stages.  I hope that the audience would also engage in analysis in comments.   I was an English teacher a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and that is how I approached these problems with my students.  Analyze before evaluation.

Norman Teigen