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VagrantDreamer

VagrantDreamer

Daydreaming ...

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rhetoric, from dictionary.com is;
1.
1. The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.
2. A treatise or book discussing this art.

2. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.

3.
1. A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject: fiery political rhetoric.
2. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous: His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.

4. Verbal communication; discourse.

Rhetoric was praised by plato, scorned by his pupil, aristotle. Rhetoric has been used by many different types of leaders to make people do their bidding, examples of these people who use rhetoric to the greatest effect was Franklin Roosavelt in his speech after pearl harbor was attacked, winstin churchill in his speech of world war II, and finally adolf hitler, who, with his speeches, help bring about the murder of approximately 6 million jews.

So now on to my question, is rhetoric good or evil?

tell me your thoughts on whether or not rhetoric is essentially good or evil pleasE!!

and no, this isn't my essay final question for my english class which is due wednesday :D
and no i;m not using u guys as a easy way out of thinking too hard XD


lol no seriously i really do want to hear your thoughts as this is a really interesting question :D

okay okay, so what if the biggest reason i posted this thread was because it is my essay final question, at leaast oyu guys will have something to debate about XD

shinsengumi

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shinsengumi

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You mentioned Plato; if you're genuinely interested in the subject and not just trying to churn out the requisite number of words to fill a final paper, I would highly recommend that you take a close look at Plato's Phaedrus if you haven't already, as the merits of rhetoric are debated there ;)

Personally, I don't think that rhetoric can be either good or evil. Rather, it is a means through which ends may be executed, for better or worse.

s h i n s e n g u m i
Minitokyo Policy, Forum, Review, and Category Maintenance Moderator Emeritus

Do not expect to be applauded when you do the right thing, and do not expect to be forgiven when you err, but even your enemies will respect commitment, and a conscience at peace is worth a thousand tainted victories.

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Rhetoric is a tool. Like any tool, it can be used to further good or evil ends. However, in so doing, rhetoric itself is neither good nor evil; it lacks the nessecary qualities to be either.

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my teacher was talking about that a few weeks ago
and i forgot all about it x_X
well honestly it can be either (my views are very screwed so don't listen to me)
it depends on if the person uses it for good or evil
rhetoric can do alot of things
what depends on the peoson who uses them
so after all that blabing i think its both (i told u not to listen to me! XP)

EternalParadox

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EternalParadox

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Quote by shinsengumiPersonally, I don't think that rhetoric can be either good or evil.
Rather, it is a means through which ends may be executed, for better or
worse.

Agreed. Rhetoric is the way an argument is argued, not the argument itself. The use of rhetoric is to make a point more (or less) persuasive. The final result of any discourse come from the arguments and issues themselves, not from rhetoric, however much it may affect the perception of the alternatives presented and the outcomes arrived at.

EternalParadox
Previously the Forum, Vector Art, and Policy Moderator

  • May 16, 2005

melymay

melymay

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ummm.....*confused* i don't even get what the dictionary said...lol, too many words that i do not know the meaning of.

WWLAOS

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As has been stated numerous times by those before me, rhetoric itself lacks the requisite qualities to be either "good" or "evil." Most things are like that. It is only through their use that a moral standing can be inferred. A gun (or a tank, battleship, nuclear weapon, large artillery platform...) is neither good nor evil. It can be used to protect or to destroy. The internet can be used as an (evil) source of information or a (verrrry good) source of...ahem...entertainment. The Force can be used for good or for evil. Force Lightning is not inherently evil (despite what those blasted Jedi will tell you), it is only in how that power is used that it becomes labelled as such.

However, rhetoric has one further point that tilts the scales in the direction of, well, not good. Rhetoric very often contains mistruths (lies) and half-truths. Purposely divulging incorrect information is also not necessarily good or evil. I would argue that it is always wrong, even if it is "good," but that's an argument for another time. In this case the incorrect or incomplete information is fed to the recipients with the expressed intent of garnering their favor or support through that deception. I would call that a less-than-honorable approach, therefore it could be argued that rhetoric is, at least to some extent, "evil." Unfortunately, the word "rhetoric" applies to several different types of speach, and only one of them seeks to decieve it's audience; so you must be careful what part of rhetoric you are referring to.

If we limit ourselves to the deception-utilizing meaning of rhetoric, then personally, I don't like it, therefore I usually label it as "evil." Sadly, I myself have, on rare occasion, used it, so...take that as you will. Rhetoric is all about stimulating emotions as a motivator to do or think something. I suppose if you look at it from those terms (manipulation), than it certainly doesn't sound very nice, does it?

And yes, you can quote me on that. ;)

You see this kind of thing all the time...it invariably ends with eating people. - Dr. Dale L. Reuss

  • May 18, 2005

ultimate540

ultimate540

Innocence Fleeting

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Quote by melymayummm.....*confused* i don't even get what the dictionary said...lol, too many words that i do not know the meaning of.

lol. I think LordStyphon summed it up prettymuch.

  • May 18, 2005

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