Aristotle’s On Rhetoric was one of the first explicit attempts to analyse the methods of effective persuasion. One of his most significant insights was that effective persuasion depends on establishing a sturdy tripod of three components: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. Here are tips on how to incorporate each component into your persuasive efforts. Continue reading
Tom Flynn, in his recent Free Inquiry Op Ed Why Seculars Don’t Sing, sets out to do “something staunch seculars seldom do”: explain the source of their discomfort with ritual and with collective expression of their values such as singing. James Croft responds. Continue reading
James Croft explains Humanism on AZ-TV with Tonya and Lew, ahead of a speaking tour which saw him speak in Flagstaff, Prescott, and Phoenix. James explains that Humanists are committed to reason, compassion, and hope for the future, and that we seek to band together with others to better this one life we have. Continue reading
We are passing through the Badlands on our way to Eagle Butte, South Dakota. “We” are six members of the Humanist Graduate Community at Harvard, and Eagle Butte is home to the Cheyenne River Youth Project, which for more than twenty years has served the youth of the Cheyenne River Reservation with after-school programs and weekend offerings. Continue reading
How can Humanists tap the deep well of ritual instinct within people without allowing ritual to ossify, dogmatize and reinforce authoritarian power structures? Make sure it’s rational ritual. Continue reading
Disagreements over how to challenge religious claims, confront religious practices, and relate to religious people are common in the freethinking community, sometimes becoming acrimonious and personal. This post seeks to use evidence to deconstruct the simplistic categories of “firebrand” and “diplomat”, opening the way for a more nuanced and accurate perception of what makes for an effective persuader: the honorable duelist. Continue reading
This post outlines the central and overriding principle, the sine qua non of persuasion: Know the Audience. Using a case study of two American Atheists billboards, it describes how you can effectively appeal to a target audience to improve your persuasive efforts. To persuade, we must first listen.