1
   

What is the purpose of debate?

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 10:35 pm
I have to be honest here, I'm a little discouraged right now. I've been reading through some of the recent posts here in the debate forum and have been seeing good subjects with valid points go bad because people were more interested in tearing each other apart and defending themselves than sticking to the topic and trying to get their point across in a clear concise manner. Please know this comes from someone who is keenly aware that she is not perfect either.

However, this bothers me. A lot. And I need to say that. I am not talking to one certain person or group of people here. I don't wish to point anyone out or name any names. Call me silly if you will, but I read the guidelines before I started posting here and have done my best to follow them. I won't post them all here but there are a few things I would like to highlight:

Quote:
Our wish for this forum is that all who attend come away with a richer understanding of the issues being debated, and with an increased appreciation of differing viewpoints held by others. These guidelines are in place to encourage that end above any others.


I don't see how those involved in bashing each other over the heads with cutdowns and pointing out mistakes that are really irrelevant to anything being discussed could leave with a richer understanding of anything except maybe how much of a jerk we can all be at some times.

Quote:
As per the membership agreement, it is a given that flaming, rude comments, and personal attacks are not acceptable here. Intellectually vacuous and snide slanders such as 'DemoRats' or 'REPUGlicans' (or local variants if you live elsewhere than the US) are completely unwelcome. Naturally, this also applies to discussions that are of a less political nature. But, actually, we ask more of you than those obvious and fundamental rules.

Consider that you are joing a community marked by good will and a shared committment to learn and to help others learn. Thus it is expected that all discussion participants will:

- 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


I know each person here has there own individual reasons for posting and commenting in the way they do. And I am most certainly not trying to say that everyone here does this. Or that I, myself am not capabable of doing this. After all I am human. I hope I won't though. I will try my best not to, because this is my conviction:

To degrade someone because they believe different than you is wrong.

To criticize someone because they criticized you first is wrong.

To look for ways to tear other people down because you feel they have done that to you... is wrong.

To be judgemental and condemning of what someone believes just because it isn't what you believe is wrong.

All these things do is hurt the person you are trying to help to understand your side of the story. It pushes them farther away from what the intended goal was. Forgive me if this has come off as being critical to anyone. That is not my intent. I merely want to point out that some things really are better left unsaid.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,112 • Replies: 76
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 11:09 pm
heph, Some people are beyond help; they are the holier then thou characters that doesn't understand anything about homophobia and discrimination.

Nobody has anything but respect more most people, but don't expect not to be challenged if they come on board a2k to proselytize from the bible. There is no free lunch on a2k.

Most of the heated debates happen in the Politics and Evolution threads, but that's to be expected when a country like ours has a two party system with interests that are poles apart; that's why they are called "liberals" or "conservatives."

Just learn to add on a few layers of elephant skin if you want to participate, and don't take everything so personal.

Lastly, you'll be surprised how most participants on a2k are above average in every way. I've met many of them, and I can honestly say they are the best - even those I have argued with on a2k. To balance the rational for this; it's a fact that I argue with my siblings on religion and politics. All my siblings are christians and republicans - married to christians. I'm an atheist and independent married to a buddhist. I'll let your imagination run with this one. LOL

Did you know we're having a a2k gathering in Chicago on May 6th? I've been to two in Europe, two in Austin, and one in San Francisco. I'll also be in Chicago in May.

So, stick around and participate in those topics that are of interest to you. You will learn alot, because many participants are very knowledgeable about their fields, and some are college professors.

A2k for me is for entertainment and for learning. They satisfy both of these almost daily.
0 Replies
 
CrazyDiamond
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 11:20 pm
I think this should actually be in the philosophy and debate forum.
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 11:20 pm
hephzibah hang in here - don't be scared off. You make some very valid points.
0 Replies
 
Im the other one
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 11:26 pm
Hi hephzibah! I welcomed you in another thread but not sure if you saw it. There's some good people here, so stay awhile. I know we will get along.
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 11:50 pm
hephzibah, i see things the way you do, mostly; by the same token, there are others who won't. there's a lot of tit-for-tat, very Old Testament in my view, and rather ironic at times.

i also commend you for scrutinizing the terms of service. they only get enforced if someone insists on them. i didn't know that demorats was specifically prohibited. a recent thread contained the term de-moker-rats, and i posted a reply that was to the point, even though i suppose i could have been offended as a registered democrat, and my reply has thus far been ignored on top of all this. the bottom line is, the internet's a free country, so people can be as enlightened or benighted as they want to be.
0 Replies
 
flushd
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 12:04 am
Fair enough.

There are a lot of things to consider. We come from varying levels of education, manners, life experience, and morals. Anyone who obeys the general rules of the forum can post. You don't need to have a great handle on debate to post.
Smile

I get annoyed - I mean it bothers me a lot - how often matters become pivoted around American politics/affairs. It's pretty much "Tough Sh*T". Other folks have an interest in it, so there is a lot of it.

Stick around. This place has a pretty good jerk:fair ratio! Laughing
I think the old-timers and moderators do a really good job of watching the quality.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 12:20 am
Thanks guys. Smile I appreciate you all taking the time to read and respond to this post. Don't worry. I won't be chased away that easily. :wink: Sincerely speaking... I wouldn't leave just because people talk bad about each other sometimes. I know that's going to happen no matter where you go. So far everyone has been very respectful to me, and I am very grateful for that! It just bothers me sometimes to watch people tear each other up with their words over a trivial issue that has no bearing on real life. I guess I just needed to voice that. I agree though, that the moderators and administrators here are really good. Honestly speaking, of all the forums I've been involved in A2K has been the best in how it's run. Smile
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 12:27 am
Quote:
Did you know we're having a a2k gathering in Chicago on May 6th? I've been to two in Europe, two in Austin, and one in San Francisco. I'll also be in Chicago in May.


Really? What is it like at these gatherings? I'm interested to hear more.

Quote:
A2k for me is for entertainment and for learning. They satisfy both of these almost daily.


Same here. I just have this sensative side that pops up once in awhile and bites me in the butt! Razz
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 01:28 am
Re: What is the purpose of debate?
hephzibah wrote:
I have to be honest here, I'm a little discouraged right now. I've been reading through some of the recent posts here in the debate forum and have been seeing good subjects with valid points go bad because people were more interested in tearing each other apart and defending themselves than sticking to the topic and trying to get their point across in a clear concise manner ...

Valid observation - it happens. Shouldn't, on a perfect forum in a perfect world wouldn't, but there are no perfect forums and a perfect world this isn't, so it happens. Some folks are discouraged by the real world, that happens too.

Quote:
However, this bothers me. A lot. And I need to say that. I am not talking to one certain person or group of people here. I don't wish to point anyone out or name any names. Call me silly if you will, but I read the guidelines before I started posting here and have done my best to follow them. I won't post them all here but there are a few things I would like to highlight:

Quote:
Our wish for this forum is that all who attend come away with a richer understanding of the issues being debated, and with an increased appreciation of differing viewpoints held by others. These guidelines are in place to encourage that end above any others.

Its good to have goals. Set your goals low enough, and you will assure yourself of little disappointment.

Quote:
I don't see how those involved in bashing each other over the heads with cutdowns and pointing out mistakes that are really irrelevant to anything being discussed could leave with a richer understanding of anything except maybe how much of a jerk we can all be at some times.

Valid point - I don't see that sorta thing advancing discussion and promoting the exchange of ideas either.

Quote:
Quote:
As per the membership agreement, it is a given that flaming, rude comments, and personal attacks are not acceptable here. Intellectually vacuous and snide slanders such as 'DemoRats' or 'REPUGlicans' (or local variants if you live elsewhere than the US) are completely unwelcome. Naturally, this also applies to discussions that are of a less political nature. But, actually, we ask more of you than those obvious and fundamental rules.

Consider that you are joing a community marked by good will and a shared committment to learn and to help others learn. Thus it is expected that all discussion participants will:

- 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

As implied earlier, what we as individuals might prefer, what we might expect, and what we might encounter frequently are different things. That doesn't mean we should cease to prefer and expect as we do, just that we should be undismayed to find our expectations and preferences not fully met in the actions of other individuals. Again, this is an imperfect forum in an imperfect world. We can deny that, but that doesn't do much good. We can try to be bigger and louder and meaner and nastier than those whose attitudes and behaviors offend us, but that amplifies the problem rather than ameliorates it; never debate with an old fool, for he'll only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

We as individuals can try to do the best we are able, presenting our interactions in a manner we feel is efficacious in regard to the advancement our position or the rebuttal of another's position, forming assessments and appraisals of the worth of the interactions of others on the merits of those interactions. There's not much we as individuals can do about what other folks do, but what we ourselves do, and what we do about what others do is entirely up to us. Choose to ignore the problem, choose to be part of the problem, or choose to be part of the solution - whichever, its your choice, and with choices come consequences.

Quote:
I know each person here has there own individual reasons for posting and commenting in the way they do. And I am most certainly not trying to say that everyone here does this. Or that I, myself am not capabable of doing this. After all I am human. I hope I won't though. I will try my best not to, because this is my conviction:

To degrade someone because they believe different than you is wrong.

Absolutely; not only that, typically its also a violation of The Terms Of Service, which, unlike Forum Guidelines - which are just guidelines - pretty much is The Law of The Website - the cans and can'ts, the dos and don'ts. If you notice something that you feel steps across the line, use the Report button at the upper right of each post and bring your concern to the attention of the volunteer staff here. This is a huge website, sometimes receiving hundreds of posts in an hour, thousands in a day. I'm sure the staff appreciates all the help it can get, and I'm sure the staff can't read every post as it comes in. If you see something you think the staff oughtta know about, let 'em know about it.

Quote:
To criticize someone because they criticized you first is wrong.

Absolutely; see the above answer.

Quote:
To look for ways to tear other people down because you feel they have done that to you... is wrong.

Absolutely; see the above answer again.

Quote:
To be judgemental and condemning of what someone believes just because it isn't what you believe is wrong.

Well, kinda-sorta. Here we get to the nitty-gritty, the meat of the matter, the down-and-dirty reality of debate and discussion. Personal attacks - attacking the presenter, not the presentation, are pretty much right out - not only unpleasant, but rightfully unacceptable. However, any subject, any proposition, any statement, any position, any assertion is open to critique, criticism, assessment, evaluation, appraisl, acceptance, rejection, support, or refutation. Asserting that purple smells like a ringing telephone or that this or that political position or philosophic or religious proposition is ascendent over any other position or proposition invites discussion and dispute. If one has a case to present, one does well to present that case in such manner as to favor its being accepted by those to whom that case is presented, and one is well served to bear in mind one's case and/or its manner of presentation may encounter criticism, opposition, rejection, and even outright ridicule, based on the merits of that case and its presentation. If you have a toy you don't want others to play with, why bring it to the playground?

Quote:
All these things do is hurt the person you are trying to help to understand your side of the story. It pushes them farther away from what the intended goal was. Forgive me if this has come off as being critical to anyone. That is not my intent. I merely want to point out that some things really are better left unsaid.

I just gotta ask - do you mean some things are best left unsaid - as in hatespeech, gratuitous vulgarity, personal invective, and the like, or do you mean that some positions or propositions are not to be disscussed, debated, challenged, and put to the test? If the former, I agree, wholeheartedly. If the latter, I think I begin to see something of the problem you perceive to exist.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 01:42 am
Quote:
I just gotta ask - do you mean some things are best left unsaid - as in hatespeech, gratuitous vulgarity, personal invective, and the like...


Yes timber that is what I meant. If it were the latter, I would be best to just go because debate is debate no matter how you sum it up. I think debating is an important part of life. It was best said in this:

Quote:
A2k for me is for entertainment and for learning.


If we never challenge what we believe through debating it in one form or another how would we ever see any other perspecitive than our own? We couldn't. Therefore our knowledge would be limited, and there wouldn't be much room for growth.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 02:24 am
hephzibah wrote:
Quote:
I just gotta ask - do you mean some things are best left unsaid - as in hatespeech, gratuitous vulgarity, personal invective, and the like...


Yes timber that is what I meant. If it were the latter, I would be best to just go because debate is debate no matter how you sum it up.


Cool. Now, how ya gonna go about provin' that, eh? :wink:
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 02:41 am
Re: What is the purpose of debate?
Hi hephzibah,

For me I use debate as an exercise to see how well my reasoning holds up, in combination with hearing what others have to say, and hopefully learning from the experience. Kind of the exact opposite of hanging out with my dog.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 09:49 am
LOL timber!

You want me to prove that I'd be best to go if I believed your latter comment? Shocked

Bwaaaaaaaaaaa hahaha! You've GOT to be kidding!

LOL chumly, I agree, being here is exactally the opposite of hanging out with my dog as well!
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 09:54 am
no its not
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 10:05 am
farmerman wrote:
no its not


WHOOPS Shocked I made a defined statement didn't farmerman? Shame on me.

If you ask me it is. Simply because here I can actually hold a somewhat intelligent conversation with some people.

However, with my dog I cannot. He is not able to comprehend or even refute anything I say because:

#1 He has no idea what I'm saying in the first place unless I say "treat", "park", "outside", or "no". And even his comprehension of those words could be questioned. I think it's more an understanding that certains things happen when I say those words...

#2 He can't talk.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 10:06 am
I like my dog.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 11:01 am
I got lotsa dogs. We argue some, but mostly I win.

timber wrote:
hephzibah wrote:
Quote:
I just gotta ask - do you mean some things are best left unsaid - as in hatespeech, gratuitous vulgarity, personal invective, and the like...


Yes timber that is what I meant. If it were the latter, I would be best to just go because debate is debate no matter how you sum it up.


Cool. Now, how ya gonna go about provin' that, eh? :wink:


In response to which, hephzibah wrote:
LOL timber!

You want me to prove that I'd be best to go if I believed your latter comment? Shocked

Bwaaaaaaaaaaa hahaha! You've GOT to be kidding ...

Straw Man. You affirmed your endorsement of the cited former position as opposed to the uncited latter position. Acknowledging your endorsement as presented, I asked how you were gonna go about proving such indeed was your intent. To the extent you've participated thus far in this discussion, it is apparent you have not gone; from that it may be inferred it is not your intent to go. With that, I remain waiting to see evidence of your effort toward fulfillment of the implicit challenge that you prove you do not hold any position or proposition exempt from scrutiny, analysis, and criticism.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 12:25 pm
Dogs usually just obeys and doesn't argue back. Wink
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 12:26 pm
Quote:
Straw Man. You affirmed your endorsement of the cited former position as opposed to the uncited latter position. Acknowledging your endorsement as presented, I asked how you were gonna go about proving such indeed was your intent. To the extent you've participated thus far in this discussion, it is apparent you have not gone; from that it may be inferred it is not your intent to go. With that, I remain waiting to see evidence of your effort toward fulfillment of the implicit challenge that you prove you do not hold any position or proposition exempt from scrutiny, analysis, and criticism.


Are you calling me a strawman? LOL... alrighty then.
0 Replies
 
 

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