A lesson in rhetoric

VOX DAY:   Dialectic is based on the construction of syllogisms, so it’s very
obvious when one is lying. Rhetoric is “the faculty of observing in any
given case the available means of persuasion.”

It’s not even strictly true to say one CAN lie rhetorically, since an
enthymeme is not a true logical syllogism, all that matters is that the
persuasion is achieved by proof or apparent proof.”

It might be easier to think in terms of “logically sound” and “not
logically” sound than true and false. The point is that I can construct a
logical syllogism that proves or a pseudo-logical enthymeme that
apparently proves, but in either case, they point towards the relevant
truth of the matter.

For example, if I say “SJWs occasionally lie” in response to your
false statement, this is good dialectic but poor rhetoric that is likely
to fail to persuade a rhetorical of the actual truth, namely, that you
are lying in the present circumstance. The better rhetorical statement
is “SJWs always lie”, which is not dialectically true, but persuades the
rhetorical to believe the truth, which is that you are lying.

Hence the importance of knowing your audience. When you speak in
rhetoric to a dialectical, it sounds very dishonest even when it is good
rhetoric in line with the truth. But you can’t speak dialectic to a
rhetorical for the obvious reason that they cannot be persuaded by it.
They simply don’t have the capacity.

SETH GORDON: And yet, I remain unpersuaded. Either I am not “a rhetorical” or VD is not very competent at using rhetoric.

(That was a dialectical statement.)

“SJWs always lie. First, you all do care how I feel. That’s why you constantly twist and pervert and attack at every opportunity.”

Because, of course, it has to be all about VD, the man more popular
than John Scalzi, the man whose approval we all seek more than anything
else in the world.

(That was a rhetorical statement.)

VOX DAY: You are unpersuaded, but your inability to be persuaded by a
particular enthymeme does not mean you can be persuaded by a logical
syllogism. The first horn of the dilemma is false.

You are unpersuaded, but your inability to be persuaded merely means
that a single enthymeme failed to persuade a single individual. Since even
rhetorical masters fail to universally persuade everyone at all times,
this single failure of rhetoric on my part is insufficient to support
the claim of rhetorical incompetence. The second horn of the dilemma is

You constructed a false syllogism, proposed a twice-false
non-dilemma, and your assertion of incompetence was meant to resonate on
the emotional level. Ergo your statement was not dialectic, but merely pseudo-dialectical rhetoric.

But yes, the rhetorical statement was rhetoric. One out of two isn’t bad.

Will, on the other hand, sticks to pure rhetoric and does rather better with it.

“Come on down to Rhetoricalville: We have no idea what we’re talking about it, but somehow, we’re happy and free of rabies.”