ISSUE-140

Claim: In any situation, the best way to persuade other people is to present them with facts and statistics rather than with emotional arguments.

Reason: Facts are objective, so they are more persuasive than subjective appeals.


Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.


Persuading others is important in our lives and work. Some people believe that it is more effective to reason than to emote in any situation where they want to persuade someone. They believe that facts are objective and therefore deserve to be more convincing. In my view, although the above argument is reasinable, facts are not necessarily more persuasive in all cases.


First, I acknowledge that the facts are objective and therefore more persuasive. To explain this, we can look at the definition. The purpose of "persuasion" is to convince others of what you are saying, and when they cannot refute you, they have to believe what you are saying. A "fact", as opposed to an "objective", is something that cannot be disproved or refuted. For example, the results of experiments, data, observations, etc.. In contrast, other things are considered "subjective" because they are inherently open to refutation, such as reasoning, speculation, conjecture, etc. Subjective opinions have room for refutation, while objective facts have no room for refutation, so natural facts are more convincing than subjective ones. Also, "facts" are often unequivocal statements, while "subjective" is often vague or even emotional statements. For example, when you want to convince your employee not to be late, it is more effective to tell him "you are late ten times this month" than "why are you always late this month."


Therefore, in some cases, objective facts and figures are a better way to convince people than subjective reasoning. For example, in the academic field, especially in the natural sciences, speculation without solid evidence is often untenable, while facts and data obtained through experiments, once presented, others will naturally accept your conclusions. For instance, when the theory of relativity was first proposed, no matter how renowned Einstein was in the scientific community, no matter how sound the reasoning behind it was, because there was no experimental data to support it, there were always people who did not recognize the theory of relativity. However, in a subsequent total solar eclipse, the relativistic phenomenon was observed, and thus relativity was confirmed. Likewise, in the judicial field, especially in countries that have adopted the principle of "suspicion without guilt", as long as there is no objective evidence, no matter how sound the prosecution gives reasons, the suspect cannot be convicted. For example, in the famous O.J. Simpson case, no matter how strong the motive for the murder was, or even the evidence given by the prosecution, the suspect was acquitted simply because of the possibility of falsification of this evidence.


However, objective facts are not exactly the same as being able to convince others. This is because although the "facts" are objective and irrefutable, convincing others depends on their acceptance. If you present facts that are difficult to understand and beyond the other person's perception, then a simpler, more intuitive, more acceptable subjective inspiration is more convincing. For example, imagine you are trying to persuade your companion to leave a crowded place with you. If you say, "There are two people standing in this place per square meter," the other person may not know what you are trying to say. But if you directly say "this place is too crowded, let's go", your companion will be more easily persuaded by you.


So, not all situations are the best way to convince someone with facts and figures. In cases where facts and figures cannot be given, we obviously have to take a reasoned approach to convince others. For example, why should the country develop space exploration? The benefits of space exploration cannot be measured in terms of data, but the national pride that comes from successful space exploration and the emotional reasons that help foster a love of science among young people can directly persuade the public to accept the country's spending vast amounts of money on space exploration.


In summary, while facts are objective, they are not always more persuasive than subjective emotions.



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