Persuasive, But True?

Blur-Brain attempts to persuade us that the Obama Secret Service doesn’t trust the United States Marine Corp because the Marines marched in the inaugural parade with disabled rifles. It has been confirmed by the Examiner that the Marines did indeed have missing rifle bolts and additionally that it is quite probably a change from the 2009 inaugural parade where photos show an armed Navy.  But, whether this is a policy change by the Obama administration based on distrust, a change in USMC policy, or something else, isn’t proven here. Though an interesting development, and one you might want to watch, be aware that the point of persuasive writing is to form your conclusions for you.

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3 Responses to Persuasive, But True?

  1. joelisgreen says:

    Reading these articles made me ponder the question, “Is it persuasive if it simply confirms what I already want to think?” I’m wondering how good we are at judging the persuasive skills of a writer when we already agree with them. Now if someone can persuade me think something new or different or at least give me reason to question my thinking, wouldn’t that be a better indication of their persuasive powers?

    I think this would be a good conversation for us to have in class. It is so easy for all of us to seek out sources that back up what we want to think, but so hard to give credence to those who differ. Yet I would like to think that a good, well written piece should at least get me to consider an alternative point of view, even if I don’t change my mind.

    Thoughts?

    • DebbS says:

      One of the reasons that I chose this particular piece is because it was easy to see the holes in his logical argument. Often people believe an if…then…. statement even when it’s faulty logic, especially when it confirms their beliefs. For example, if you don’t like Obama, then this article might persuade you that his secret service doesn’t trust the military. Then you start seeing other things through that lens.
      Why this is important in a wider context(everybody, every topic) is that while you can bolster your own argument with these kinds of false conclusions, you may be right for the wrong reasons and become irrelevant.

    • DebbS says:

      “Yet I would like to think that a good, well written piece should at least get me to consider an alternative point of view, even if I don’t change my mind.”

      I completely agree. I don’t think this was a well written piece. And I do think it’s extremely important, to democracy actually, that we understand alternative points of view. Usually people and things are much more complicated than A or B.

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