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Debate, discussion and argument – worth your time?





horseatingweeds
I have come to the conclusion that many of us here at Frihost are spending, or rather wasting time and key board ware on something I refer to as ‘Debate’.

Let us not confuse ‘Debate’ with discussion or argument. Discussion is a group of individuals communicating there current understandings in and effort to enlighten those understandings. An argument is dialog with the motivation of changing the other parties’ opinions or understandings. Both of these types of discussion are very productive and worth our time.

‘Debate’, however, has a simple motivation on each side to represent their opinions and understandings to be the most valid. In other words, the goal of a ‘Debate’ is to SEEM more valid, to SEEM right. What good is this? You spend time jabbing back and forth and for what, to end the ‘discussion’ FEELING that you are RIGHT?

Debate is a fencing match of fraises. Not of ideas and understanding. There is twisting of words and reiterations in order to reduce or increase credibility. I say we ovoid this fruitless pursuit. When we attack each other or single fraises outside of the context of the whole discussion we are only feeding our egos.

I understand that there are those of you who are here simply to feed your egos, start trouble, or spread hate and intolerance. You are still welcome as your contributions, although annoying, still make a needed contribution to those of us searching for enlightenment. The purpose of this topic is to motivate those of you interested in understanding and enlightenment to ovoid debate and to spend your time in discussion or argument. The key is to not get baited in. If it becomes apparent that you are engaged in a debate, withdraw.
rightclickscott
You're absolutely right. I see people all the time having stupid arguements, especially all over the games forum (omg ps3 gon suck or psp is 10x betr thn DS f*ckbaggers) which makes the religion and philosophy forum look more wholesome then cream of wheat, and It really pisses me off. Most of the time, people make the same arguement about something that's already taken place. People keep arguing for no reason, so, I've decided to start playing in on this, arguing with them and then once they get so outraged, I tell them that I was just playing with them, because it's funny like that, to see nubs get really pissed off.

But in all seriousness, it makes me really pissed to see 3 topics about the same argument, and all of this needs to stop. We need to silence the forum violence, or start making more of it in the War of the Frihosters. I propose that we start a debate forum with preset rules and heavily controlled topics.
S3nd K3ys
horseatingweeds wrote:

I understand that there are those of you who are here simply to feed your egos, start trouble, or spread hate and intolerance. You are still welcome as your contributions, although annoying, .


You've got it all wrong. I'm jsut here to annoy while educating, and it brings out egos, starts trouble and spreads hate and intolerance. Wink
Helios
Not worth your time at all.

Time is money.
Some people in this forum who can't ask for money from their parents anymore, like myself, can't allow themselves to spend time on useless 'debates'.

However, I always enjoy a good argument.
Kaisonic
I agree, but... *goes into 8-page essay trying to explain his feelings and seem more right to be an exact contrast to what the original poster is saying we stop just for the sake of comedic irony, but has neither the patience nor the brain power to write such an essay, and therefore uses asteriks to pretend like he is, for an even larger comedic effect*

And that's the way I feel. Smile
The Philosopher Princess
As far as I can tell, I think I agree with the overall sentiment of our topic instigator. Things like this.....

horseatingweeds wrote:
There is twisting of words
horseatingweeds wrote:
When we attack each other or single fraises outside of the context

.....I will tend to call insincere. And of course there are other examples of insincerity, which is when people are purposefully or negligently writing things they don’t believe (but also aren’t writing for humorous reasons).

I truthfully don’t know how to improve this area for such an open place like Frihost, but your raising of the issue can’t hurt. Contrast that to forums/email-discussion-lists that are fully moderated such that writings are only posted if they are first approved. For low-volume, higher-quality discussions, comprised of already-sincere contributors (e.g., of scientists), that can work. But it’s something that can’t work here.

I wonder if there is something practical that could at least help some.

I have imagined having a special Frihost forum where no insincerity would be tolerated. Most Frihosters would not be allowed because most aren’t ready for such a drastic step, but any would be allowed at the point they’re ready for better quality. It would take more work to oversee (and the Moderators could not moderate in the same places where they were writing, to avoid conflict of interest). Since I didn’t think I had the time to ensure this would work, I haven’t suggested it. But now I’ve at least placed it on the table.

I’m curious, horseatingweeds, if you see my concept of insincerity as being equivalent to your concept of debate. If not, where do you see them being different?

In any case, I commend your effort.
riv_
Of course, there will always be debate in online forums. Because we can't just pull out the ruler and drop the drawers now, can we? Shocked
Honestly, I think debate is more about primitive, dominance, territorial, insecurity issues than about ideas.
Unfortuantely, I get sucked in sometimes, too. It's easy to do if you focus on the ideas and miss the context.
What to do about it?
... ... ...
(stumped)
S3nd K3ys
riv_ wrote:
we can't just pull out the ruler and drop the drawers now, can we?


Don't threaten me with a good time, mister! Laughing Laughing Laughing
RhysAndrews
It's slightly hypocritical starting a discussion about how discussing is a waste of time. However, I do agree. I respect this forum a lot, and although I don't post here too often, I feel a part of it. I think some of these discussions are really worth reading about. Most aren't, but you can easily hit gold.

Regards
Rhys
freecitizen
You're quite right.

Although, yes, I, as well as almost everyone else, has gotten sucked into a pointless 'debate' that seems terribly important to do while you're in the middle of it -- then you realize how utterly stupid it was to begin with after a while!

Mind you, i'm all for intelligent discussions and 'debates' (the right way) -- this is a Debate Club member here. In college and High School! haha. So I might be a little biased. ;]
horseatingweeds
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

I’m curious, horseatingweeds, if you see my concept of insincerity as being equivalent to your concept of debate. If not, where do you see them being different?


Actually, I think your description of insincerity is a great addition to this topic. My original conclusion about debate was made do to the frustration I have experienced in attempting productive discussion. Often both parties are very sincere. They do believe in their understanding and opinion very much, perhaps too much.

To summarize ‘debate’ without explaining its mechanisms would be ‘a discussion of ideas with the motivation and intention of the involved parties to represent their preconceived ideas as most valid within the discussion’. In other words, ‘I want to LOOK right’.

I think your description of ‘insincerity’ holds debate as a sub category. We often see people here just looking for a duel, not interested in expanding or testing their ideas. I would also classify under insincerity the posts with no logical backing or intellectual substance, as well as blatant attempts to anger or confuse.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:

I wonder if there is something practical that could at least help some.


riv wrote:

Honestly, I think debate is more about primitive, dominance, territorial, insecurity issues than about ideas.
Unfortuantely, I get sucked in sometimes, too. It's easy to do if you focus on the ideas and miss the context.
What to do about it?


Exactly.

I think the strongest mechanism we have for controlling this type of thing is our own conduct. If we (and by we I mean sincere people here for productive discussion) prevent ourselves from debating with other, make certain we are sincere and most importantly not get pulled into debates. Also, ovoid retaliation for personal attack or engaging in discussions that are obviously not going anywhere except for the ego bank.
rightclickscott
RhysAndrews wrote:
It's slightly hypocritical starting a discussion about how discussing is a waste of time.


He's not saying discussing is a waste of time, he's saying arguements and debates are a waste of time. Surprisingly, not all discussions are arguements and debates.
UlrikeSE
I mostly just read what others say. Anything I want know from any poster is a good mixture of waiting for them to say it, waiting for someone else to ask it of them, and watching them behave in any given situation.
Jeslyn
Sometimes if I'm bored enough, I'll participate in a debate... but then a new episode of King of The Hill will come on, and then it becomes too difficult to continue pretending to care.

I don't believe you can change someone's opinion easily, and even if you could, who really cares what one person thinks? "Debating" kills time and nothing more. And if you're lucky, you might get to piss off a few people on the way.
riv_
It's amazing though, how quickly it all gets out of hand.
You can make a post, thinking you're adding to someone's point of view, not even disagreeing or anything, and before you know it... everyone's offended and it's all out of control.
It seems like the forums run by a whole different set of rules than the rest of the world. My mother always said "It takes two to pick a fight."
But I'm not so sure about that. I think 1 antagonistic person can spoil the idea-soup... is there any way to actually just discuss if someone has decided to argue or debate?
I think Princess was closer to the mark than it first appeared (to me - I'm a little slow sometimes) with her insincerity theory...
Vrythramax
rightclickscott wrote:
You're absolutely right. I see people all the time having stupid arguements, especially all over the games forum (omg ps3 gon suck or psp is 10x betr thn DS f*ckbaggers) which makes the religion and philosophy forum look more wholesome then cream of wheat, and It really pisses me off. Most of the time, people make the same arguement about something that's already taken place. People keep arguing for no reason, so, I've decided to start playing in on this, arguing with them and then once they get so outraged, I tell them that I was just playing with them, because it's funny like that, to see nubs get really pissed off.

But in all seriousness, it makes me really pissed to see 3 topics about the same argument, and all of this needs to stop. We need to silence the forum violence, or start making more of it in the War of the Frihosters. I propose that we start a debate forum with preset rules and heavily controlled topics.


easy my pastafarian brother...we do have such a medium available to us, the Frihost IRC channel. It would be a simple matter to change the channel's mode to +m (moderated) and either give a user the modes of +v (Voice) or -v (No-Voice).

As for a forum setup strictly for debate, you would have to have some pretty tough Moderators in there, just to keep things from getting of hand.

*EDITED for Spelling*
rightclickscott
Vrythramax wrote:
As for a forum setup strictly for debate, you would have to have some pretty tough Moderators in there, just to keep things from getting of hand.


Obviously. It would only have something like this: 2 or more selected posters will debate about a certain subject and it will be locked to everyone else, and the posters can only post after one person's turn is up. Once the person taking his turn has made his post, then the person next up will make a post and so on. If someone has nothing to say during their turn, they say pass. It would be really fun, and people who win the debates can win frih$s and points. What do you think? It's the only thing I could whip out last minute since I'm really exhausted from a party I went to with my girlfriend. I gotta stop doing that...
nopaniers
Actually, I always hope to learn something from others which would make it worth my time. Equally I'd like to point out some facts when people post things which are simply not true so they can learn, but you're right. There is a lot of "This is better because I say..." going on
rwojick
Here is how I see it.

An argument is really an arguement in our Country if your position is TRUE. If someone just throws in falsehoods at any convenient time in order to conclude with his own prejudice then I call that a "bitch fight".

Today's world has removed all certainties, or it has tried to.

Let's fight terrorism with no evidence! Well, that is totally rediculous but that is exactly what we are doing.

Laws are the absolutes, evidence is what is evidence, and truth is the WAY you compare the two.

Remove the absolutes, remove the truth, and you are just flappin your jaws...
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