The recent debate started by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook about the court order the FBI obtained against Apple to break into an iPhone is something that I care deeply about.
Here is something the FBI Director James Comey wrote in response: https://www.lawfareblog.com/we-could-not-look-survivors-eye-if-we-did-not-follow-lead
While reading Tim’s letter and Q&A post, I thought he made a very logical argument. I was convinced (although, I didn’t really need to be convinced — I was already on his side).
While reading The FBI director’s post, I thought there was no logical argument presented whatsoever. It was purely an emotional one. I did not buy it at all.
However, a few people I know who do not understand encryption, or why it matters, seem to have totally bought into the FBI Director’s argument.
Emotional arguments work better because people don’t have to stop and think about what is being argued. It takes less effort to react emotionally, than to reason logically.
My take away:
When I’m arguing for something, make my argument emotional. It is more likely to be persuasive.
When I’m evaluating someone else’s argument, fight the urge to react emotionally. Stop, and think about the argument logically.