Sunday, October 21, 2012
Exchanging rhetoric for facts (#1360)
The art of speaking has evolved since ancient times when rhetoric was an actual tool for understanding. Nowadays rhetoric has been manipulated into a tool for disinformation and confusion. Whenever I hear someone speak at me about a policy or an argument worthy of discussion, the first thing I listen for is whether the facts of the conversation are being expressed or whether analogies or metaphors are inserted to perform a simile caricature of a filtered viewpoint. I have been saying since I have had this forum, that the proper use of logic must be held accountable and when obfuscation is instead the replacement, we all may well succumb to the non-sequitur oratorical rhetoric of the speaker regardless of the facts. We are a society of demand with a true lack of patience when we consider our points of view on subjects we are not informed about. We would rather take on the perceptions of the familiar and peer invoked ideologues. Letting others think for us is a liberating thing especially since we don't have to do the work of thinking for ourselves. Of course that thinking for ourselves would require that we actually do some research and weigh analysis in order to arrive at an opinion. Why not listen to those with an intellectual flourish and accept their verdicts as our own. Not only do we short cut our time for more of it to do other things but we also can adopt their talking points as our own and therefore make ourselves out smarter and more informed than we actually are. The illusion of abrogating our thoughts to others who embellish their viewpoint through rhetoric is a masterful stroke by those who would control, yet it is an actual disservice to ourselves in that we become less free to know of the true facts, and more bound to the rhetoric-less facts.