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 Guide to Debating

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Teh Goat
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Posts : 48
Join date : 2010-07-20
Age : 24

PostSubject: Guide to Debating   Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:01 pm

Elnaith's Guide to Civilized Discussion/Debate


Nowadays I have seen many (political) discussion threads.. To my annoyance however few were a real discussion; most were arguments with reasonable discussion guidelines broken.. So here is my guide, to list a couple of things to obey on, and you will have a nice discussion.

1. - Read others' posts with care and deliberation.
- Strive to understand the position of those who disagree with you.
- Value your own experience and knowledge, and allow the same for others.
- Write your own posts with care and deliberation.
- Don't hog...keep your posts to a size and frequency which allows others an equal place in the discussion.
- Respect the intention of the person who originally posted and keep discussion relevant to the topic or question if that is his/her expressed wish, or the wish of others engaged. Always feel free to begin a separate question yourself if a tangent seems particularly interesting or important.
- If you bring up a not so common know fact, try to have sources that verify it.
- Feel quite free to disagree, but engage in friendly disagreement.
- Remember that humor and a friendly manner can go far in encouraging your readers to 'hear' your opinion.
- Check your posts for flaming! In debate you can often flame without intending to. Saying things like “All Americans are <insert negative> Is wrong! A. You are drawing conclusions you can’t draw. B. You are insulting a whole lot of people on these forums.
- "Freedom of opinion" is allowed, if you keep it appropiate. So like threads like:" I think Bush is not doing a good job." followed by a explanation why you think so, is okay. Saying things like: "I think Bush is a ****." Is not allowed even with a good explanation. A good guideline for this is to make it as though it is directed at yourself, if you feel insulted by it, I suggest rereading the post, and editing out why. If you read it and would see it as criticism, but not flamish, post it.
- (Optional) A good way to make sure you don’t break a rule, is let others read it. Of course first make sure that the recipient wants to read it, a good way is via chat or IM programs.

Now some strategies:
- If you don't want to discuss a point, don't bring it up.
- Don't get mad—get even through use of logic.
- Use formal language. Slang, name-calling or cursing makes you appear unintelligent and ill-prepared.
- Choose your experts and sources wisely. One young woman who has had an abortion is not an expert on the subject. A doctor whom has studied into it and performed quite some, is.
- Take time to read or quote the literature exactly.
- Use short anecdotes and famous quotes when possible.
- Study the logical fallacies and hold the opposition accountable for logic blunders.
- Save your best quote, strongest point and highest-impact emotional appeal for summation and final statement.
- Don't overuse any single strategy.
- Don't say "I don't know" or "you're right" without following it up with a redirecting statement such as, "That may be true, but have you ever thought about . . ."

Remember though: You are here for fun, don’t let you day go bad because you lost a argument here.. Happy is a more appropriate state, happy that you had a good discussion, and you have probably learned something.
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