Rhetoric

Oct. 2003

What is your response to someone who is supposedly explaining a point and rather than delineating something informative, he cuts himself off to say, "—you know what I'm saying?" Perhaps the audience knows what the speaker is saying and that is why it isn't spoken, but when thoughts are so often relieved by this plea for understanding, isn't talking altogether undermined?

What of the academic who qualifies every adjective with either "kind of" or "sort of?" Academics should know which word to use and often the "sort of" precedes (or follows) the right word. So why would one regularly employ this useless qualifier? The effect might well be its intent, unfortunately. The effect is a departure from simple and direct communication, good rhetoric.

To comment on the state of rhetoric is not to place judgment on the method of speech in our modern culture. It would be wrong to say that people are less skillful at getting across what feelings they hope to convey in arguments or regular discussions. In fact, with the high literacy levels, especially in the West, it could be argued that we are able to communicate with more capacity than ever before that which we desire to impart. The concept is underscored when regarding the volume of communication, witness Times Square. The problem—and its solution—rather lies in what it is we look to communicate. The goal in conversation has been corrupted and from that corruption comes an unraveling of rhetoric that is most readily charged to method. To correct this misconception, my examination of rhetoric will thus pass through several malfunctions in the way people communicate before ultimately arriving at a skewed reason why people do so.

Consider the use of assumptions as an example of errors in method. To avoid all assumptions would be to endeavor in a never-ending etymological dissection, so we must use some assumptions. Acceptable assumptions would be that "going against one's country is treason" and that "conservatives desire smaller government." But when one makes the jump from these premises to the conclusion that conservatives are treasonous, an unacceptable assumption is made. Linking the desire for smaller government to going against one's country requires the notion that the bigger one wants something to be, the more they support it. The smaller one wants something, the less they support it.

While it is a common error to confuse big for good, it is still wrong. Big does not equal good. If a three-foot roach waddled into your living room, you would clearly understand. If something is bad, like the cockroach is, its size is actually disproportionate to its goodness. It is possible that a government be bad, or corrupted, in which case, the bigger it is, the worse it is for the sake that there is more corruption.

One might regard this truth and claim that the person who desires a smaller government is treasonous because that person must think that the government is bad. The faulty assumption persists. Just as great magnitude doesn't equal virtue, it doesn't necessarily imply corruption either. Some things should be large—a monument honoring great leaders or skyscrapers are examples.

What can be said without fallacy is that things have appropriate size or quantity. Some should be small, some should be big and some should be medium-sized. A thing's purpose determines what size it should be and since things have all kinds of different purposes, things should have all kinds of different sizes. Government has an appropriate size as well. The conservative doesn't necessarily look to decrease the size of government because he hates it altogether. Government has a purpose and therefore, a size to fit that purpose. According to the conservative, for a government to be effective, it must be smaller, less bureaucratic and more efficient than is the current American structure.

Most likely, incorrect assumptions made by the speaker like the one above go unchallenged by the argument's other parties. This is not because they agree with the incorrect logic or that they consider it unimportant. Whole arguments regularly rest on the conclusions made after these false assumptions and therefore are seen as quite dependent on them. The reason these assumptions go uncontested is that they are fortified on either side with statements that cannot possibly be challenged. With irrefutable truths on either side of the falsehood, the argument stands despite the bogus middle. To dispute the interior, one would have to first penetrate its shield. Since the shield is truthful, it is both difficult and undesirable to do this.

Faulty assumptions may be intentional or not. It is not always the goal of the speaker to employ what amounts to a lie in order to prove his point. Though, when he does realize that some link is missing he will likely pass up its correction since the veiled deceit apparently serves his argument.

On the other hand, the speaker might truly believe that there is nothing missing from his argument. That is, where the audience senses that an invalid assumption is being made, the speaker thinks that no assumption is needed at all. An example could be found in a misconception about sunburns. One observes that people get sunburned only when it's hot out and never when it's cold out and concludes that it is the heat that causes the sunburn. The hotter it is, the more burned one gets, the colder it is, the less so. Supporting his claim is the fact that people get burned when they touch very hot things like a stove. The kind of burn that occurs on the stove is the same kind that occurs outdoors with just a different intensity.
Countering this false conjecture, most people understand sunburns to be caused by overexposure of UV radiation on the skin, not heat. Although UV rays and heat go together as products of the sun, we can see with the use of sunscreen that one can be hot all day and not get sunburned. To the holders of this perspective, the notion that heat is the cause of sunburns requires the false assumption that UV radiation is caused by heat. But to the speaker, UV rays are not even a factor—heat directly causes skin to burn. To him, no assumption is present, valid or otherwise.

This error is characterized best not as employing false assumptions, but as misinterpreting and skewing the meaning of specific concepts. In the example, the speaker awarded the concept of heat with the properties of another concept, UV rays. Things that almost always come together like heat, UV rays and burns are extremely susceptible to an error like this. This kind of confusion is therefore very common and most likely a greater disruption to rhetoric than the use of assumption for reasons that will be evident below.

Regard judgment. A now common reaction to someone's criticizing someone else is "who are you to judge?" The question is "rhetorical" in that a nonjudgmental stance on life is the only one that is implicitly acceptable. What if the judge is wrong and the judged right? How can anyone presume highness to the extent that they replace what is obviously God's duty as the Final Judge? The idea of judgment is even more questionable in the absence of a religious perspective. At least religion asserts an absolute morality on which a judge can base his audacity. Without religion, there is no foundation to rest a judgment on, so such conclusion making must be based on the whims of a single person, one of 6 billion, equally ignorant.

The judge, to many, has made up his mind, not only on the matter at hand, but on everything there is to estimate. He is a bull-headed pragmatist that closes his mind to any new information available. He is a hater of knowledge and therefore is very likely ignorant. To judge is thus to make unfounded verdicts on people one doesn't know anything about. To judge is to prejudge, to be prejudiced. Bigoted, the judge is now responsible for the most offensive kind of prejudice, racism, and is therefore to blame for millennia of slavery and oppression.

The judge dangerous due to his ignorance, but for his violence. As everyone knows, the judge does not stop at judgment, but continues on and punishes those who do not meet his impossibly high standards. It would follow that he also divvies out rewards to those meeting his requisites, but one who judges is so negative as to disallow charity. He simply trudges through life coldheartedly issuing punishment on everyone with whom he disagrees.

Of course, punishment is nothing that is good or beneficial either. It is always unjust and always is it painful and violent. One who punishes is one who exterminates those wrongly sentenced in a quest that can only lead to genocide. The judge, to many, is nothing but a slave-beating, rampaging totalitarian.

Can judgment really be this terrible? The logic that leads to such a conclusion is questionable and no one would indict the average judgmental person of the terror described above, but it is all implied when the topic arises and someone asks, "who are you to judge?" Perhaps the judge is not Hitler, but the same mentality that led to the wicked dictator is seen as the same mentality held by all judges.

To begin, the claim that judgment is bad is a judgment itself. One cannot condemn judgment without automatically contradicting himself. To avoid all judgment would be to withhold assessment on judgment itself and therefore to accept judgmental people. Even then, the person would be making a judgment that judgment is potentially good. It would be best to simply accept judgment as necessary because otherwise, one would have to suspend all thought completely.

We judge as a consequence of our human nature and to neglect judgment would be to neglect that nature. Man is very perceptive and everything he comes into contact with is analyzed for its relevance, quality and worth. He interprets his environment and compares it to stored knowledge, searches for patterns and endeavors for understanding. It is nothing monopolized by tyrants, all have the instinct of judgment.

This is a good thing too. Judgment is beneficial in a number of ways and can be recognized as the main ingredient to the success in cultural development. It is man's ability to assess the world around him and employ that knowledge in later circumstances that offered him the advantage against rival animals who could not. He can create in times of urgency—such as when the leopard jumps out of the tree toward him. And he must judge correctly first to be able to invent later on.

While no one would be turned off by this description of judgment, to many, this is something like analysis or perception, not judgment. To judge is to place the label of either good or bad—mostly bad—on someone else's behavior and this moral judgment is what offends. The distinction is invalid. Assessing the leopard's ability and likelihood of attacking a man isn't void of the moral judgment referred to. In most cases, the leopard's power is judged bad especially when it is directed at ending the man's existence. It is a moral evaluation taking place based on the subject's standard of good and evil and this is what allows man to survive and progress.

Whether it is the wellbeing of man or some other standard, all judgments are based on some standard. From that standard, one can determine how other things relate. If something moves toward or promotes his standard, it is judged good. If it does not, it is judged bad. All judgments (perceptions, analyses) are moral judgments in this respect and no one is exempt from it.
What could be contested is the judgment standard used or if the standard should be the same for everyone or what to do after the judgment has been made. These are doubtless valid concerns when considering judgment and are often detected, but not fully understood. When this happens, they fuse into the idea of judgment and, just like with the sun/UV example, false characteristics are attached to the source.

Many assume that the judge holds man's wellbeing as a standard and that his standard is thought to be the universal standard and that once the judgment has been made, he will be the one to punish or reward. All of these assumptions are made based on a fair assessment that most judgmental people follow this pattern. Recently, however, scientific and social findings have made us rethink our stances on these concerns. What if the standard of judgment should be something other than man's wellbeing. Perhaps different standards apply to different people. Perhaps we don't have the authority to be the ones who punish or reward. This skepticism leads to a skepticism of judgment itself. After all, man knows a lot, but certainly not everything there is to know. Even if we did know everything, the worth of something involves so many variables that it would be foolish to think that we could take into account every one in preparation for sound judgment.

Granting the fact that we don't know everything, it is still more foolish to drop judgment than it would be to issue it. Even if we agree that we don't know everything, we should be able to agree that (1) we do know something and that (2) knowing everything or (at least) the most possible is preferable to knowing less or (at most) the least possible. If we do know something, we can use that knowledge to make judgments based on what we do know. Employing that judgment will lead us to new information, whether it is evidence confirming or denying the judgment. From there we can either continue or discontinue the judgment. Ultimately, it is judgment that progresses us toward more knowledge, perhaps knowing everything.

It is true that progress also requires some sort of residual action, some sort of action taken on oneself or others. While some punish and harm those who disagree with them, judgment's residual action doesn't have to be either punishment or harm. Indeed, to be truly progressive, one would have to encourage and cultivate rather than perform the injurious alternatives. This goes for oneself as well as others. To progress, we must understand our place in existence and judge whether things are good or bad, cultivating the good ones and rejecting the bad ones.

In this case, judgment is an integral component of a virtuous movement towards good for all, not the evil bigotry described above. If the latter illustration proves more legitimate, it would seem that the arraignment of judgment is dangerous and should be objectable, not the employment thereof.

The power that this logical error holds is based in the kind of concept misconstrued. Judgment can be understood to mean murderous tyranny, about as bad as anything could be, so the error may seem as bad as can be. It is not always so severe a misunderstanding. Any fairly complex thought that is well-known has the potential of being skewed, even to the extent of contradiction like in the case of judgment.

Whereas the misinterpretation of words like decadence, liberal and ideal are not as imminently dangerous as the skewing of judgment, they are common mistakes, annoying and troublesome if not dangerous. Words have meanings. They are indeed marvelous tools for what should be considered an art of communication. The ability to express and receive ideas depends on the precise use of words. When decadence is taken to mean hedonism, for example, we lose a great power in our quest to grasp those important concepts of life. Ultimately, this loss may prove dangerous if danger can be defined as threat to life. Is not life itself threatened when mankind cannot embrace the more important concepts therein?

Using decadence as an example, we can see how perversion of language foils man's volition. The word means a falling away or decay although many understand it to be indulgence of the senses. Most likely, the meaning got blurred when it was used so commonly with decadent cultures who were so because of their self-indulgent behavior. One who was self-indulgent became he who was decadent and, therefore, so was the hedonistic, the Epicurean and double chocolate hot fudge brownie sundaes.

Restaurants now draw in patrons with the word decadent because it implies a plush taste bud experience, not deterioration. Ironically, no one would go to a restaurant to decay, but they would certainly go for decadence. The result is the neglect of indulgence's true effect and the sources of cultural decline or even the concept of cultural delicateness. The idea that something thought to be good for us, sensual pleasure, could actually be destructive is lost completely. All that is left is the superficial notion of something that is apparently good and something that is presumably bad, no richness, no reason.

With definitions shifting about, the focus of the argument and its agreed premises shift around as well depending on what purpose the speaker wants to convey. Because of this indiscriminate usage, it is not uncommon for a speaker to employ one word to mean two different things within a single conversation. Take "different" as an example. At one point the word counters his opponent with one agreed definition, "higher than others." Some time later in the discussion, an alternative definition, "simply peculiar," proves to suit his argument as well. The opponent will struggle to find common ground but doubtless fail because common ground is nonexistent with a chameleon-like vocabulary.

The poor opponent doesn't know where he has gone wrong. He hasn't. He has simply been bamboozled by a crafty conversationalist. Most likely, the offensive party is not aware of his tactic either. It is all very subconscious and controlled by primitive instincts.

It could thus be deduced that tranquilizing of words is not something intentional. Surrealists, Abstractionists and Absurdists may have intended to point out the ambiguity of words, but they had compelling interest in maintaining as much meaning as possible if only to explain that ambiguity. Unintentional laziness and reputation might well provide the most believable sources of the vague modern language.

First of all, people are just too lazy to look up an unfamiliar word even though obtaining the definition is easier than it has ever been. Most are also quite concerned with their social stature. While asking for the definition of a word or being purposeful enough to examine the manner in which people are conversing will lead to a clarification of terminology and potentially smarter conversationalists, the immediate impression made by such a query is that one is a pupil, a novice. This would be detrimental to one's all-important coolness. After all, how can someone care about words, their meaning and method of argument and still be cool and detached? One cannot. One must frivolously dispatch words and concepts, style, without intent. In doing so, he can always guess the meaning of something based on its present usage and apply it later without the true definition.

Despite its inadvertentness, the trend of decaying vocabulary has expansive gates, at some point gratifying and eventually very precarious. The product of the process has to do with the direction and intensity of the words' mutation. Words do not randomly transform in chance directions, they are mutated and skewed into one of two directions. Moreover, some words appear to change meaning more than others implying that the skewing is relative to specific points in the rhetorical landscape. Those points are (1) good and (2) bad.

All of the misconception going on is an undertaking to end up with two words, good and bad. Every other word serves as a unique way to convey either theme. Judgment doesn't mean concluding after deliberation, it means ignorance and aggressiveness, and ignorance and aggressiveness mean bad. Decadence doesn't mean falling away from something, it means self-gratification, and self-gratification means pleasure, and pleasure means good.

The same is true for all concepts available. Ideal might mean absolute perfection, but absolute perfection means impractical and intolerant, and impractical and intolerant equal bad. Liberal might mean free, but free doesn't mean without restraints, it means good.

Vocabulary's conformation to two words impacts rhetoric dramatically. Not only is an argument based on concepts restricted because of this, but argument as a whole is impossible. Someone might say that a film is racially charged, but since the concept of racially charged equals racism and racism equals bad, all that is said is that the film is bad. Someone else might agree or disagree, but in the end, there is no way to dispute or vindicate because there is nothing tangible with which to do so. The result is an orgy of opinions.

One might decide to claim a musical groups's superiority over another for any certain reason, but all that comes out and all that is heard is "I like this one better." One might like to explain the faults of any given organization, but all that results is "I hate this or that."

No longer is discussion the threshold to deeper understanding or uncovering keys to the human condition. Those rhetorical aims are unthinkable in this state. All that remains is an arena for people to put forth their postures on things, to "speak their mind," to set themselves apart from others. Despite the fact that no replacement has been found for the former rewards of rhetoric, a couple other reasons make the current state quite dangerous and undesirable.

First, opinions are extremely personal and end up being derogatory contempt no matter how benign the intent. Though one might mean, "her behavior isn't appropriate for civil society," heard is, "she is no good (or whatever trendy word might serve as 'bad' at the moment)." No longer is there a characteristic that she can change to better herself, she has been condemned. With opinions, it is her very essence that is corrupt and as long as she exists, so too does the problem. In an argument, one might fail to convince another of a point, and instead of considering the speaker's reasoning or point incorrect, the speaker, himself is seen as wrong.

Disagreement necessarily implies personal antagonism with the opinionated. An argument that may have started as a simple contrast of trends begets anger and often hostility. The recourse is to either abandon conversation or precipitate the building fight.

Secondly, opinions are irrational. It is not to say that opinions are necessarily wrong. I could make the claim that a writer is good and it would be right, but without a valid proof of such a statement, the finding would be irrational. When one employs opinions, they are innately without valid proof. This is mainly due to the trail of skewed terminology used to get to the opinion. To prove the writer is good I would have to work backwards until I came up with the writer's concrete characteristics, prolific, coherent, consistent, entertaining, inventive. I would then have to prove why these things make a writer good. I would have to explain how writing's aim is to convey ideas with words and how each characteristic helps to provide means to this goal. These tasks are pretty difficult when only working with two concepts good and bad. Opinions either favoring or disfavoring without being able to say why.

Though unacceptable, these two consequences work well together, and so do not indict the conversationalists on their own. Opinions are personal, they don't have to be proven. One might be challenged on a given perspective, but the subjective and probably intricate justification is never intended to induce the conversationalists to agree with his conclusion. That is not the duty of opinions. Their duty ends up being something like identifying one through association with what one considers good and against what one considers bad and ultimately differentiating oneself from others. In this case, unity and agreement become enemies of the conversationalists. If there is agreement, there is no individuality, no diversity. The opinionated inexorably, though perhaps subconsciously, incite conflict to meet their desired ends.

Most ironically, what one considers good and bad is nothing of his own creation. Since the opinionated don't arrive at their conclusion via logical analysis, it must come from somewhere else. That source is the source for all information and guidelines for the undiscerning—pop culture. It is taught early that following the flock will allow one a free and happy life. Unless one decides to figure out why people do the things they are doing and accept or decline them, one will do what everyone else is doing. The undiscerning must dress, talk, act and walk like everyone else does in order to survive.

The inference is simple. Since survival is good, that which provides survival provides good. Following the flock teaches that the source of survival is a conglomerate of popular trends, fashions, speech, behavior and attitudes. Pop culture is good and anything that goes against it is bad. While the opinionated exalt individuality, they necessarily perpetuate uniformity with the masses.

Despite the irony, a devastating loss of focus on the argument is unavoidable given opinions. Being personal and irrational, no longer is a discussion aimed at a logical, objective conclusion, it is aimed at proving the other person wrong. This happens even though the opponent might have a valid argument. Anything that can be used to indict one's opponent will be drawn out. Misused words, improper grammar, silly little things that make an argument rough around the edges are all focused on in order to humiliate the opponent. Things the opponent does wrong that are completely irrelevant to the topic in concern are drawn in to blast the argument. Aggressive language and louder speech is used to frighten the opponent. The hope is that once humiliated and frightened, he will either abdicate his position or witnesses to the argument will award the speaker with the win themselves.

Evidence of this can be found in nearly any argument that is endeavored these days. Say a group wants to go out to dinner. Most people in the group do not care where they go, they just want to enjoy the company of others. Two in the group do have a specific place in mind and, of course, they don't agree on that place. At this point, no matter what is said, the two will square off against each other, no logical conclusion will be made and one of the parties will win forcing the losing party to spend all of dinner upset. The main instance of error will be found when someone makes a good point to support his claim. One person says his restaurant is more roomy, and since we have a large party, that is the restaurant they should choose. His opponent will listen and probably understand the point and even agree with its validity, but in response, try to discredit it. He will point out that one should say "roomier" as opposed to "more roomy" and feel as though that argument is discredited.

The effort might succeed in turning away the opponent, but it does so for unintended and unacceptable reasons. The person with the good point realizes that his point is logical. When his opponent tries to discount it, and does so not with a logical proof, but with sneaky tactics, he sees the argument as futile and his antagonist as irrational. He is cornered and must either prove how "more roomy" is acceptable or to actually explain how his opponent has gotten the discussion off track. To counter the claim that "roomier" is a more suitable component to the statement would be irrational as well—it is better word usage—so he cannot continue arguing without looking silly as well. To put the argument back on track would be to identify his opponent's error, which would doubtless be another tangent and intensify the personalism of the discussion.

Perhaps someone is criticizing another for his driving skills. To defend his driving skills, the criticized driver points out the critic's own driving imperfections. This may bring up a certain hypocrisy of the critic's, especially if the errors are the same for both drivers, but it does not address the problem at hand—the current driver's errors.

Consider an argument where two with opposing political stances clash. One brings up a fairly reasonable fallacy in the other's stance, but instead of replying in the same manner, the other introduces an elevated volume in his voice, insults or curse words. Tempers rise and the quarrel escalates into fisticuffs. When this happens, the aim is obviously not to resolve the political dispute as anyone can agree that a physical battle never solves the mental or political one.

It is difficult to recover once someone has derailed the discussion. The wreck that could have been a logical proof would take objective rhetorical mastery to correct, an unlikely prospect given the motive of entering into the disaster in the first place. To avoid it would be the best remedy, and to avoid it requires a virtuous intent—truth.

Such an aim is not as far-fetched as seems. One doesn't have to immerse oneself in Socrates or neglect the material things we enjoy today to search for truth. The aim is not merely located in abstract, irrelevant ideas. It is everywhere—an evening out with friends, in sports, at work, in shopping in addition to politics, ethics, being and God. Even though the everyday things are the focus of most of our conversations, it is still possible to find truth in them. The reason we don't look for truth can be explained by what is neglected when we do search for it. Truth is universal as opposed to personal and it is logical as opposed to irrational, so a seek it will necessitate disregard for self-interest.

To forfeit self-interest in lieu of truth may seem contradictory. The self can actually be seen as truthful, and to support the self would be to support the truth in any given circumstance. But when someone says that the self is true, he doesn't mean that the physical or even social self is true. He means the ideal self, the perfect version of oneself is true. Since most understand the self as a physical or social being, it is easier to regard this quest for truth as the quest for truth, not the self. So, to seek the truth would be to disregard the physical and social self and it is this prospect that is disagreeable to so many.

One might agree that truth is more important, but argue that he cannot seek the truth without a physical and social self and therefore must not neglect the less important spheres. Of course, one shouldn't completely neglect the physical and social. One must eat and sleep to survive and must survive to seek truth, that is understood. The problem occurs when one continues to serve the physical or social self when it is time to serve the ideal self or truth. Rhetoric is an example of such an occasion.

Most likely, one must satisfy the physical and social self before attempting to seek the ideal self. As such, without a solid physical and social being, one cannot seek truth. The signs of distorted rhetoric could quite possibly be signs that the physical and social realms (probably, more so the social) go unsatisfied. When someone picks apart an argument for inconsequential errors or employs opinions or skews the meaning of words, the intent is to raise his image, his social self, or to satisfy his primal, physical instincts.

To understand the roots of this condition would be too ambitious for this essay. Meanwhile, it should be said that rhetoric will remain troubled as long as these roots exist. Rhetoric requires the volition to attain truth and cannot be bogged down by social or physical needs. To rid our culture of the roots is possible and should be endeavored, but to do so would be to satisfy our physical and social needs. Until we do this, we would do well to understand that most conversation, even if it possesses the veneer of rhetoric, is actually just the exchange of opinions. Acknowledging this will be the first step to actually remedying the conversational art.

If one can find a way to view rhetoric as a quest for truth, that remedy will be well on its way. Indeed, a respect for truth and a quest therefore first provides one with at least the social foundation needed to achieve the higher goal. Consider the following situation: A highway patrol officer pulls over a speeder. It is true that the driver was guilty of speeding, but the driver did so, only to avoid a potentially hazardous situation earlier.

The driver, in attempt to defend his rational decision, has two options. (1) If he seeks to bolster his social self, he could untruthfully claim that he wasn't speeding. The idea is that he wasn't in the wrong and shouldn't have been pulled over. The driver would associate being pulled over with the charge of speeding and therefore challenge the citation. (2) On the other hand, he could seek truth and admit his fault. This would certainly require neglect of social wellbeing as it basically indicts him of the traffic error. But while the first option would be to discredit the officer, posture the driver against him and ultimately create a battle of opinions between the two, the second option establishes a union between the two in a mutual quest for truth. Admitting fault in speeding will assert credibility in the officer's rationale rightly. From there, the driver can explain rationally that speeding was the more reasonable, safer recourse.

The first option's battle of opinions will likely be won by the officer and result in a ticket, ultimately lowering the driver's social self and never near truth. Meanwhile, the second option will lead the officer to at least respect the driver for seeing it the way he did. Even if the officer cannot avoid writing a citation, the driver's social self will be raised in the end.

Ironically, embracing truth leads to an improved social standing. Of course, this consequence of truth should not be the intended outcome. If it is, the endeavor will backfire and both truth and social standing will be sacrificed. It won't be an option once one tastes the benefit of seeking truth through rhetoric. No longer is an incessant desire to disparage another present, nor is the need to elevate one's own image. These trivial instincts are completely absent because any insecurity one might have is repealed thanks to his new quest. The search for truth makes one feel at once confident and fulfilled.

One who aims his rhetoric at the truth will witness words, sentences and paragraphs transform from flimsy little lumps of speech to intentional tools that help manipulate and sculpt thoughts and ideas. A greater sense of power is granted to the speaker as he employs his new tools and what he can accomplish with these components becomes exponentially greater. No longer does he stand on the outside of ideas, trends and culture. He begins to grasp the complex, interwoven strands of existence as their color becomes richer, their placement more relevant and their product perfection. One cannot help but to travel through such a fascinating world of understanding with pure wonder and thorough amazement.

That is the true goal of rhetoric.