Is it immoral to persuade people?
One of the most important aspects of communication is persuasion. Emotions are extremely powerful and appealing and they frequently contradict our sense of rationality and reason.
There have been several studies on how to utilize persuasion as a strategy to persuade an audience or win an argument. In reality, it is a necessary ability for efficient communication. Humans are emotional beings and if you can appeal to their natural feelings, you can win them over and accomplish your goal. The three persuasive arguments are referred to as Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. While these are key abilities for good communication, understanding how to use them appropriately is critical.
Ethos – Ethos appeals to ethics and is an attempt to persuade your audience based on the speaker’s character/credibility.
Pathos – Emotional appeals. In this case, the speaker persuades the audience by appealing to their emotions.
Logos – Logos is a logical appeal. It is an attempt to persuade an audience through logic.
However, there is a fine line between skilfully utilizing persuasion to express your views or win an argument and blatant manipulation.
Before we get there, let’s speak about ethics.
What exactly is ethics?
Ethics is a set of moral rules, principles, or standards that influence an individual’s character. It is a comprehensive subject that teaches us how to live in peace, love, and understanding with one another and with nature in general.
Now, let’s return to persuasion…..
Persuasion is not always ethical. It is immoral to employ persuasion with a motive or as a weapon to manipulate and mislead. The notion of choice and free will is a basic human fundamental right, and no one should be purposefully or deviously denied of it.
It is acceptable to employ persuasion to deliver the truth. Sometimes a powerful argument is required to persuade people to see reason and stand with you, but it should be based on what is achievable and true.
So, ladies and gentlemen, not all persuasion is ethical and vice versa. We should be able to win an argument or persuade the audience while keeping our moral compass. We should never use incorrect arguments to persuade someone just because we are better communicators than they are.