Tag: rhetoric

Rhetoric, Writing, Dialectic, Education

Overcome Writer’s Block: The Common Topics

Writer’s Block You’ve had it, I’ve had it. It’s not pleasant. As far as I can tell, there four reasons for writer’s block: Trying to sound profound (This is part of the game in fiction and poetry.) Poor research An inability to make an argument Nothing to actually say Bonus Reason Five: You’re just procrastinating. …

Rhetoric, Education, Philosophy, Politics

Laugh Tracks

I don’t watch the Big Bang Theory and I intentionally don’t watch shows with laugh tracks. BBT has a laugh track and I just decided to watch a bit of it without the laugh track: Very little to none of that is funny. But why are there laugh tracks? Well, they work. People laugh out …

Rhetoric, Writing, Dialectic, Education, Intellectual Virtues, Pedagogy, Philosophy

Rhetoric and Dialectic: The Difference and Why It Matters

Summary: Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, dialectic of verbal reasoning. Knowing the difference between the two will make you a better reader, listener, thinker, writer, and speaker. Introduction Sometimes a tool becomes so important to us, it’s impossible to imagine not having it. I tend to think of shoes, my pocket knife, and my …

Bible, Christianity

Christian Conflict Resolution

Like all people, Christians have conflict over ideas, practices, preferred traditions, and how to spend money. Conflict is good. It helps solve problems. But we frequently handle this conflict in ways that contradict the purpose of the church and the content of the gospel message! When we value a minor thing as though it were …

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Tips for Rhetoric from Hypnosis

When I was in high school, I found a little red book on hypnosis in my school library. I flipped through the pages, saw a section on inducing sleep states, and read it. When I was a kid I always struggled to sleep. The method in the book, though it was meant for trained psychiatrists …

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Jesus, Rhetoric, and Dialectic

In the past I’ve written pretty extensively about the difference between rhetoric and dialectic. The distinction between the two, I think, can be quite important for understanding Scripture. Here’s a short review: Dialectic is the art of using logic and facts in order to find what is true. In reference to discourse (written or spoken) it …

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Roles of Imagery in Our Worldview

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how rhetoric, advertising, and imagery in general can influence our view of the world. This got me to thinking about the nature of suggestibility and achievement as well as the relationship of false expectations to achievement. The research on these subjects is pretty vast, so you’ll just have to look it …

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What are people like? What I learned from Copywriting

Since I teach rhetoric, I’m always looking for ways to give my students an edge and this leads me down all sorts of great rabbit trails: books on hypnotism, psychology, watching speeches by famous politicians, ancient rhetorical manuals, books on family systems communication, and even books on marketing. Today I started Victor Schwab’s classic, How …

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Hell or Why I am a Christian: Pathos 1

My first emotional reason for being a Christian is the one that is often treated as the least worthy reason to care about Jesus. It’s the doctrine of hell. The doctrine of hell, some experience of post-mortem divine punishment for misdeeds in the present life is rejected by many intellectually and by even more practically. …

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Why I am a Christian

A few months ago I reevaluated this question from the angle of rhetorical appeal. I did this because as I’ve grown older I’ve had two somewhat opposite experiences: I’ve studied logic much more carefully. I’ve learned that, in general, while people are rational (their behavior has rationale), they are not reasonable. We do not operate solely …