Making a good case, or how to disagree

Paul Graham created a “disagreement hierarchy” that is an outline of arguing technique, from most base, to most complete. I’m hesitant to say “most effective” because as we’ve seen online – he or she with the most links can win an argument, no matter how ‘right’ or how ‘wrong’ – especially when the most fact filled refutation is considered opinion. Like Paul Graham, I’d love to see people consider it, because as he says, moving up the hierarchy makes people ‘less mean’. That’s because you move from making an argument about the person making the counter argument, to making your assertion stand on the weight of the facts you are presenting.

Sadly, anyone in any debate better be familiar with, and capable of using the first three rings of the ladder here, because an adversary most certainly will.

  1. DH0. Name-calling
  2. DH1. Ad Hominem
  3. DH3. Contradiction
  4. DH4. Counterargument.
  5. DH5. Refutation.
  6. DH6. Refuting the Central Point.

Read the whole thing: How to Disagree

The CreateDebateBlog drew up what amounts to a ‘reverse Maslow‘:

Disagreement Pyramid