Author Topic: Invitation to Debate  (Read 2077 times)

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Offline Corvus Corone

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Invitation to Debate
« on: July 12, 2013, 04:14:06 pm »
Hello, everyone.

I would like to extend an invitation to any interested person on this forum who would really like to sink their teeth into a good fight. A very large majority (I would love to say 'all,' but there are always outliers) of the debate threads start off with good intentions but quickly descend into chaos. Points go unaddressed, feelings get hurt, there is no order, and there is generally very little rhyme or reason to the structure of the threads, in general.

So, in light of that, I propose the creation of a few threads that are not the mass conglomerations of opinion and emotion and define most of the threads in this section. In these threads, the discussion would be limited to just two people. Just two. This will insure some measure of order, and the two individuals in question could have a reasonable discussion, the kinds of which I'm sure would be welcomed in this section.

I, of course, offer myself as the man to debate with. Announce your intention to engage me here, we'll hammer out the details, and then we'll just go make our thread. It'll be just you and me, discussing a topic of your choice. If it's something we both agree on, then I will gladly play the part of the opposing force. Just let me know.

However.

Since I am allowing you to pick the topic, I only request a few things:

1) That is actually be something important. I don't care about stuff like sports or cars or pop culture or whatever. I will not engage in intellectual discourse on those topics.
2) That it not be something that is a non-issue. For instance, the discussion of something like 'torture.' Torture's bad. We both agree. Yay. Let's move on. Other examples include things like 'women's rights' or 'religious tolerence.' We all full-well agree that women are equal to men, and that we should all be religiously tolerent. Yay. There's not really a good discussion there, to be had.
3) If it involves Law, in any way, then I may not actually be able to debate over it, depending on what the particular topic is. I know more about some litigious topics than others, and there are some that I know nothing about. Seeing how I'm just doing this for fun in my free time, I'm not really predisposed to learning a large quantity of information about something like divorce law or private bankruptcy law. If you want to talk Constitutional law or bankruptcy law as it pertains to corporations (just as examples), I'm game.

I'm looking for adult discussions with people that can act like adults. If you do not meet these criteria, then please move on. I don't have much to say to you, and you probably wouldn't like what little I had to say, anyway.

So, I'm done. If you are willing to adhere to these rules, then I eagerly await your response to this thread.

Offline Kobuk

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Re: Invitation to Debate
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2013, 08:17:56 pm »
Quote
I would like to extend an invitation to any interested person on this forum who would really like to sink their teeth into a good fight debate.

^ That's much better. ;)
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Offline Yip

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Re: Invitation to Debate
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 11:00:11 am »
I think debating simply for the sake of debating is foolish. It tends to lead people to use dishonest tactics in an attempt to "win" the debate. It shouldn't be about winning, but be about gaining a better understanding of a subject and getting closer to truth.


Offline redyoshi49q

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Re: Invitation to Debate
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 04:25:49 pm »
I think debating simply for the sake of debating is foolish. It tends to lead people to use dishonest tactics in an attempt to "win" the debate. It shouldn't be about winning, but be about gaining a better understanding of a subject and getting closer to truth.

While I do agree with your paradigm on the purpose of debate, I somewhat randomly thought of this thread today and hypothesized that there may nevertheless be a few notable benefits to debating a position that you yourself do not hold.

A highly useful skill in debate is to understand the opposing view (as this is necessary both for the sake of knowing when to consider adjusting your own paradigm as well as for the sake of knowing how to best provide counterarguments to the paradigms of others), and I can imagine neither a better test of that skill nor a better way to develop it than trying to argue in favor of a popular position you disagree with on a nontrivial subject at least as well as those who do hold that position.  If done well, I imagine the process would be effective at developing a subset of debating's relevant skills, perhaps even to a greater degree (for that subset, at least) than the process of debate itself.  While little understanding would probably stem directly from this (presumably, the participants would already have been in agreement beforehand), the ability to achieve a greater level of understanding on later topics would be increased.  As an added bonus, I imagine that the experience would encourage more empathetic argument on account of increased awareness of the rational aspects of others' thought process.

On the other hand, if done poorly, the one arguing a position contrary to their own could easily make themselves look like a straw man or otherwise argue more fallaciously than usual on account of an impedingly large lack of ability to understand the valid aspects of opposing arguments.  This would likely lead to effects that are almost directly opposed to those I previously outlined; specifically, poor debate tactics, fallacious arguments, and a caricatured perspective of opposing arguments would all be needlessly reinforced through habit.  I suspect that some prerequisite level of proficiency in debate would be necessary in order for the experience to be beneficial rather than detrimental.



As for the OP's offer, due to a lack of confidence in my capacity to consistently invest time in a debate (as well as my preference for communal debates for a number of reasons), I will abstain.  I nevertheless wish you luck in your search for interested parties.
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