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Old 06-09-2010, 02:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Organized Debate Threads!

After participating in a recent, shall we say, 'spirited discussion' about the value of a certain firearm for various tasks, I decided that it might be interesting to have some organized debate threads.

I'd love to participate in one (or several, if the idea takes off!), but just creating something interesting to me isn't going to be a recipe for success, so I thought I'd open the floor to suggestions on format.

Some guidelines I have been mulling over:
  • Topics are pulled from a pool of user suggestions and assigned at the beginning of the debate. Ideally these would either be about aspects of current events that are still under discussion, controversial issues with no general consensus, or somewhat obscure or neutral topics, so that people's winner votes are based on the debating, not the opinion, and so that each side has a viable chance at providing a well-sourced position.
  • Negative and affirmative are assigned randomly, after participants agree to participate. I'm initially picturing one person per side, but if it succeeds, am totally willing to explore expanding the format to 2v2 or NvN.
  • Finite time limit of, say, one week.
  • Peer voting for 'winner'....I don't care about this so much, but it would still be interesting to see who was most persuasive.

There are two basic styles I think we could pursue this with:
1. 'Forum style' debate.
I would define 'forum style' as approximately what went on in the Desert Eagle Sucks thread. The topic goes on as long as it has to (within the time limit) with no maximum post count from either team, freedom to embed supporting content and media. Supporting articles should be primarily restricted to links, and all synthesis should be done for the audience so that the point is clear. That is, if you're going to quote an article, only quote the most relevant portions, link the rest, and then explain why it's relevant.

2. 'Formal Debate'
A formal debate would eschew line-by-line quotes of your opponents positions, and instead be basically a transcribed version of an oral debate, except with linked sources. That is, you'd refer to opponents positions in your rebuttal/response without using the "quote" tags. ("While we just heard that Willravel maintains that the impact from the spill is insignificant, relative to the global aggregate amount of oil contamination, I can show you that is not accurate.") Brief quotes of a sentence or two would be acceptable, but primarily we'd be looking for information synthesis. Each side would be restricted to no more than 10 posts in the thread, starting with the affirmative.

Next step is to start a sign-up sheet for interested participants, and a possible topic pool list. Baraka Guru volunteered to help organize (picking topics and randomizing sides, keeping the threads clear of peanutgalleryism, and opening and closing threads and polls, for example), and Willravel to participate, so I know we have at least enough momentum to get ONE of these off the ground.

Is anyone else interested in any form of this?

Anyone have any other rule or guideline suggestions, or opinions on which format would be most entertaining/enlightening? Both participants and viewers will hopefully come away from threads with a new appreciation of both sides of whatever issue is presented.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Abortion!

GO!




No, seriously. I think this will be a great experiment. If it works out, it could be an interesting series.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think an interesting thread would be "Purchasing a firearm for home or self defense is a reasonable measure to make you and your family safer"

or possibly "A man named Jesus, who a substantial portion of the Jesus stories were then based on, existed"

or "Bestiality and Necrophilia should be illegal in all circumstances"

or "Social networking has a net-positive effect on interpersonal relations and society in general" (may need to narrow the scope on this one)

"The success of the majority of elite athletes is attributable more to nurture than nature"

"Professional athletes are paid far higher wages than they deserve"

"CEOs are paid far higher wages than they deserve"

"Modern civilization needs religion in order to continue to exist"

"It is in the interest of a countries economy to strictly regulate offshore outsourcing, instead of letting the free market run its course"

"Artificial child pornography in which no actual children were abused should be legal"

"Retroactively legalizing all drugs and releasing everyone charged with drug crimes is the best step to solving America's prison overpopulation crisis."

"Downloading of music should be legal, and musicians should make their money on promotional material, special edition albums, and concert ticket sales"

"A national 55mph speed limit should be instituted to combat the looming peak oil crisis"

...I'm sure there are plenty of other options...
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Last edited by telekinetic; 06-09-2010 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Could be very interesting. Since you asked for suggestions...

Would it be possible to give this a dedicated subforum, with controlled posting access, so that only the participants can post? Possibly create a sticky within said subforum for ideas as well as post debate poll stickies?

Alternatively: Maybe we can have it in a locked thread...thread stays locked to prevent posting when a side completes a post it gets PMed to a mod to be added to the thread.


n v. n sounds great other than the time required to organize group responses over the internet. Debates may have to last quite a while to ensure everyone participates.

I think the primary obstacle is going to be length, in a live debate setting time limits prevent a person from going on too long, but due to the nature of our medium some sort of text length restriction would almost certainly be in order. Either a number of words, characters, etc.

Another Idea: Designated alternates for 1v1 debates. Say you give each person 48 hours to respond to a post and then, as it sometimes does, life happens. Rather than the debate going belly up, the debate is continued by the alternate who is given addition time to compose their response and continue on in the absentee's stead.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll create a subform for this with restricted access later tonight or tomorrow morning.

---------- Post added at 11:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 PM ----------

Okay, check out the new forum

Tilted Debating - Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ask and ye shall receive... I love that about Cyn. just sayin'
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This is to let you know that I cannot post in the debating subforum.

So then, first order of business a 'rules' thread?
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I remember being on a forum YEARS ago that did something just like this and it was a lot of fun. Of course back in college I had an easier time participating, not really sure if I could make the commitment now but I might try on occasion.

On a personal note I'd favor the formal debate style, the rest of the board has plenty of forum debates with clipped responses, personal opinions and all the general mayhem a thread often includes. This could be a chance for proper measured debate that doesn't get stuck in the typical pitfalls of a normal thread, with so many smart folks roaming around here these debates could not only prove educational but very entertaining.

Anyway great idea I hope it comes together.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is a great idea and I can't wait to get my ass stomped.

Somebody add me to the list.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The first debate is commencing. Stay tuned!

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/tilted-...f-defense.html
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just finished reading the first few posts in the debate between Will and Tele. Interesting and informative stuff. I really hope this catches on.

So far telekenetic is kicking willravels a**. haha just kidding Will, I'm biased toward gun ownership. Will is presenting some very intriguing arguments, as well as statistical data to back his claims.

Keep up the good work fellas, may the best man win!!!
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I suppose it would be good form to hold of on any sort of engagement with the posts (in another thread of course) until after the debate has ended?
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sorry. I thought baraka said to post here any comments regarding the debate. I aplogize.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well, it might be a good idea to not talk about the debate content directly, as it could interfere with it as it unfolds. However, if you want to discuss the format, structure, etc., and how it seems to be working (i.e. talk about the debate indirectly), then by all means.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My bad, I misunderstood. I'll refrain from posting until the debate is finished.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahl View Post
Sorry. I thought baraka said to post here any comments regarding the debate. I aplogize.
I think you misinterpreted my post. It was more a thinking out loud for the benefit of everyone and more along the lines of what B_G said.

Your comment was 100% fine, it just made me want to comment in a way that I thought would have been over the line over interfering. I suppose some folks would see a problem with that (commenting on the content directly while the debate was in progress), so I posted that to see what sort of feeling others had.


Which gives me another idea. Suppose at the end of the debate we pose questions to the debaters, which they can then take a few of an answer in the debate thread? Much the way live debaters may take questions at the end.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is fucking awesome. I miss CX debate so much. I'll take any of those topics tele listed above.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinn View Post
This is fucking awesome. I miss CX debate so much. I'll take any of those topics tele listed above.
I'm thinking of issuing the second debate "CEOs deserve whatever compensation companies are willing to pay for their services." Where do you stand on this issue? (Just say pro or con, so as not to reveal any or your arguments just yet.)

Who wants to debate Jinn on this topic? If either of you end up debating against your beliefs, you will get a special "Devil's Advocate" status, which will make things interesting.

Let me know.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:22 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Truly I like having pro or con randomly assigned, because I think a good (master?) debater ought to be able to argue both successfully. On that issue, I'd probably swing toward con.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
"Bestiality and Necrophilia should be illegal in all circumstances"
this would be an entertaining read.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:09 AM   #21 (permalink)
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When black people show that they can vote objectively - that is not vote 90% or more for democrats every time, then maybe the democrats will stop taking advantage of them by race baiting for their votes - votes so easily bought that way. Then maybe democrats will stop blocking school voucher programs that would provide real choice and improvement for minorities.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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When black people show that they can vote objectively
Yeah, that sounds like a well thought out sentence. How about debating whether or not denying the existence of personal agency to a number of individuals based on a shared genetic characteristic is bigoted or not.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:06 AM   #23 (permalink)
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hey, i'm not sure if i am doing this right.. i was just directed here.

i would very much like to post my views for the should children believe in santa debat.

please can you make this possible?

thanks
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:09 AM   #24 (permalink)
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The debate was already formed to only include the two participants. If you wish to debate the same topic, you'll need to start a separate debate.

If you wish to comment or expand on the ideas in the debate less formally, you should consider creating a thread about it in another part of the forum.

Feel free to quote from the debate. Unfortunately, posting in the debate itself is restricted to the participants.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:12 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
The debate was already formed to only include the two participants. If you wish to debate the same topic, you'll need to start a separate debate.

If you wish to comment or expand on the ideas in the debate less formally, you should consider creating a thread about it in another part of the forum.

Feel free to quote from the debate. Unfortunately, posting in the debate itself is restricted to the participants.


thanks.

i feel such a failiure now

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Old 09-17-2010, 08:21 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet release View Post
thanks.

i feel such a failiure now

Chin up. The game's not over yet unless you want it to be.

Make a thread in General Discussion or ask to debate someone. It's that simple.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:36 AM   #27 (permalink)
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In light of a recent thread, I would like to set up a formal debate regarding the death penalty: "The U.S. federal government should abolish the death penalty."

Who's interested? Who wants to support this statement? Who wants to argue against it?

First come, first serve. I will set up the debate thread when we are ready to go.
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:08 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Me. I'll take either side.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:35 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Very good!

Do we have a challenger to take on the mighty Jinn?!
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Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:28 PM   #30 (permalink)
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WELL FUCK YOU ALL TOO!
kidding aside, any takers this week?

If no one wants the death penalty one, I was just thinking of one recently than I personally am invested in, but would take either side. It's a two parter:

Resolved: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) (a) does not meaningfully prevent terror plots against domestic and international flights and (b) grossly violates the rights of the citizens to be free from warantless search and seizure provided by the Fourth Amendment.
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