These days, we are exposed to
persuasion daily, from the television advertising we see through
to the editorial comments in our newspapers.
Since the goal of any persuasion is
to move us, the readers or viewers, to action or to, at the least,
a change of our thinking, we must be careful in our evaluation.
To be effective, persuasion must be
supported by evidence, the facts and examples the reader expects
as support for an argument. In particular, for opinions that are
not widespread or common, persuasion must use strong, verifiable
If not, and particularly if the
writer or broadcaster presents persuasion without any
contrary views, then we name this propaganda (one-sided persuasion
that speaks to those who already agree).
Take a hard look whenever you are
asked to change your opinion. Have you been persuaded by evidence?
Or, have you had your own biases confirmed?