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Thread: The Teleprompter: A Guide to Debate (READ BEFORE DEBATING HERE)

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    Putting a cap in your benefits Forum Moderator Superninfreak's Avatar
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    The Teleprompter: A Guide to Debate (READ BEFORE DEBATING HERE)

    The Guide to Debate:

    There have been some problems with users not wanting to debate and stuff, and some questionable arguing; So lemmie go over some stuff here.

    A Guide to debate:

    This is, essentially, our debate board. Don't want to debate? Don't post here. And it'd be nice if you're going to be willing to back up your views and refute opposing ones. Don't like a topic? Feel shy about debating something? You don't have to post in a thread about it if you don't want to.

    Some tips for arguing:

    • Try to stay on topic. Avoid making arguments irrelevant to what your opponent(s) is/are arguing, or irrelevant to the topic at hand. Who cares if you think they might believe something else that you have a good refutation for? Make a new thread for that people.

    • DONT DO A STRAWMAN: A Strawman is basically refuting an argument that your opponent never made. Often this fake argument you'd be responding to is weaker, so that makes it easier to refute. You might attack an exaggerated version of your opponent's argument. One way to avoid doing this unintentionally is by LISTENING TO YOUR OPPONENT. Think when you're posting "Am I being fair about my opponent's argument?"

    • Think through your argument. Does it have any obvious logical fallacies? Are all the premises reasonable? Does the conclusion follow from the premises?

    • Be respectful. This is supposed to be default here. Even if you are frustrated by someone, don't be a jerk, be respectful.

    • Don't be circular. Don't have the assumption that your view right in your argument. A semi-related thing; try to use assumptions that your opponent accepts too. Don't cite Biblical passages when debating an Atheist, for example (unless if the debate is specifically over what Christianity teaches on a certain topic).

    • Adapt. If someone beats (or is beating) you at debate; use it as an excuse to improve your argument. Maybe make a whole new, better argument. If your opponent's arguments against yours are flawed; refute it and/or elaborate on yours!

    • Make your point clear. You want them to argue with what you mean, not to be distracted and/or attack the wrong point (thereby accidentally doing a strawman).

    • Avoid a "shotgun" approach. 10 weak arguments are still weak arguments. Try to just use one or a few stronger argument(s).

    • Don't expect to completely change a person's views really easily. Often you won't get someone to completely change. But you can still debate to educate yourself and for the sport of it.

    • Be careful about assumptions about your opponent. It can work out damaging your argument if you're wrong, not to mention you look like a jerk. Even if you're right, it's not a great idea, unless they follow from each other clearly enough.

    • Be honest. Admit your (and your argument's) shortcomings, admit when you're ignorant of things, and so on. If those shortcomings make it seem like a weak argument, then it might not be a very great argument.

    • Be consistent. What happens if you apply your arguments to other things? Avoid double standards.

    • Do not let your emotions blind you. Is the other side horrific to you? Attack it logically, don't get caught up in your emotions on the topic. Refute it with logic, facts, etc. Getting too caught up in your emotions can make you vulnerable to using fallacies and flaming your opponent(s). Be objective and show how the other side is wrong without letting your emotions have too much control. Listen to the other side, avoid bad arguments and don't flame.


    But really, the best way to teach debate is to have you practice! So go out and bicker amongst other users on this board! :P

    ----------


    Link(s)/Further Reading:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_Fallacy
    Last edited by Superninfreak; July 3rd, 2012 at 12:19 AM.
    "Have killed many, Shepard. Many methods. Gunfire, knives, drugs, tech attacks, once with farming equipment. But not with medicine." Mordin Solus, Mass Effect 2


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