How to Think Outside the Persuasion Box


For the most part, debating is frustrating. If your objective is to change your opponent's mind, debating is a largely useless and futile exercise. If you're debating in public, that's a different story, because you can change the audiences' minds if you debate well. But one-on-one, debate is an impotent weapon in the war of ideas.

You know people who believe Islam is a religion of peace and that you are an Islamophobic bigot for thinking otherwise, and you would like to change their minds. If you try to do it with debate, if you try to do it by answering arguments with arguments, no matter how good you are at arguing, no matter how many facts are in your favor, no matter how articulately you put your message across, the odds are a hundred to one against you succeeding.

I'm sure you've already discovered the painful and frustrating truth of this. Back and forth, right and wrong, will not work. You cannot penetrate.

To have any real impact, you need more powerful weapons at your command. What am I talking about? I am talking about a way of influencing that you can add to the process of debating, such as dealing with presuppositions (the assumptions your listener started with), or working on small, incremental changes over time, or using Cialdini's principles of influence, or using NLP rapport techniques, or becoming more charismatic.

What we need is transformational dialog. Not mere debate. We need influence, not mere argument. We need to effectively persuade, not just get peoples' hackles up and let them dig themselves deeper into their position.

The following is a list of ideas you can use — ideas you can add to your attempts to educate people about Islam. You already have "argument" in your arsenal. Below are additional weapons you can use. We'll be adding more articles to this list in the near future, but we can start with these:

10. Preemptive Ideological Strike

11. The Enemy of Us All

12. Training Course for Citizen Warriors

13. Get Motivated to Think Outside the Persuasion Box by Watching "Freedom Writers"

14. Criticizing Islam Successfully to People Who Don't Want to Hear It (by Talking About Scientology)

15. More on Using Scientology to Criticize Islam

16. Getting Through to People: How to Get Listening Leverage

17. Compare Islam to Bushido.

18. Become less self-righteous.

19. Respond to resistance by asking a simple question.

20. Still More on Talking About Islam by Talking About Scientology.

21. Getting the Information to Slip Right Past Their Defenses.

22. Talk About Sociopathy First.

Let's not get stuck answering argument for argument in one-on-one debates. Presenting a logical, factual argument to answer an argument is a relatively weak tool because the other side of the debate often uses it equally well. We have more effective tools at our disposal, and we should learn to use them to our advantage. Failure is not an option. We must open the minds of our fellow non-Muslims and we must do it quickly.


Anonymous 1:43 PM  

Excellent post and definetely will fav' this. What a logical and rational approach to debating Islam without the tit for tat. Thank you

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Ive just been sent to your site by a friend.

This is a superb site. I recognise at once that many of the approaches I try to put to people are explained clearly here.I thought I was alone in using somne of these approaches on this issue.

Nearly all counter-jihad sites are rant-boxes for people who merely offer ammunition for our enemies to use against us. Yours is totally unlike that.

For a start, the style is that of a public-information site rather than a partisan platform.

Then you concentrate on the key point of departure...we the readers are all in agreement, no point going on about it, time to influence the by-standers.

I make images relating to counter-jihad. Im none to impressed by some of the blatantly hostile imagery I see which is only going to consolidate the stereotypes. I much prefer an oblique approach (though sometimes I too slide into "preaching to the converted", because a graphic vision takes over from strategy now and again). Ambiguity, ambivalence, lets be "slippery". At all costs we must, as you say, avoid anything that is racist or ethnocentric, the great Achilles heel of the resistance to Islamification.

Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.


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