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How do you debate?


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A question came to me after some recent debating in the Pub that intrigued me. In what ways to I debate others and how do I go about it? What strengths and weaknesses do I have? Since I've dead tired right now from waking up at 3 am and working 10-12 hour days I thought I'd let the debaters here at SF-O, answer that question while I pass out after I post mine. :P

A lot what I post when it comes to political/news/world event topics is based on what I already know or read through traditional means like a newspaper or radio and thus I have a tendency to post up arguments or POV's based on what I would consider the "basic points" that is prevalent in an issue no matter what the media source is. I, for some reason, prefer NOT to use the Internet or other sites to "fact find" to bolster my arguments this way. Hence why I consider myself a much better debater "live" either in person or over the phone or what not so the opposing side has no real chance to google things and maybe attempt to "Throw facts out of their ass on a whim".

I DO use the Internet when it comes to more specific things or to attempt to counter an argument that comes my way - especially if it contains links to other sites. If the opposing debater has a valid/true point, I give them credit and agree with them. As the best debaters in my mind are the one's who aren't obnoxious and try to "win" every single argument at all costs no matter the truths thrown before them, or try and make the other party look wrong. Most people in political parties don't work like this as they constantly try to get the best of their opponents - pouncing on "half truths" and emphasizing the "wrong" parts of their argument. I'm not like that as a debater, nor as an individual. However, that being said I don't let people walk all over me and I see something that's "clearly" bullshit then I will call them out on it.

I also sometimes have a tendency to "rush" my argument without fully thinking about it. This is a weakness for me in online debates because it leaves the other party to do more research to counter or disprove my points. I have a mild case of ADHD and sometimes post and then have to edit it several times after the fact. :)

Anyways, I'm off to bed. I look forward to hearing your replies. :)

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A strange, almost hyporcritical post from you, but I'll bite.

My method is a mixture of opinions informed by fact and held together by logic. Should the fact be wrong I endevor to correct it, and failing that alter my opinions accordingly. I also like arguments that make me think of something I never considered.

However, whatever you do intellectual honesty is key. You have to turn the rip apart gun on yourself and everything you like. In a recent example

"Study shows games make you evil"

"Thats crap because of A B and C"

"New study shows games make you a better person"

"Thats crap because of X Y and Z"

While I would like the latter to be true, you have to rip it appart or else you become another dogmatic true believer. If someones responce to a challenged opinion is to silence that critism, or to bully, or to appeal to emotion, honour, or indeed any logical fallacy that person is a closed minded idiot.

I will also point out, being open minded doesn't mean believing any crap someone tells you. It means being open to critisim and the idea that people might disagree on matters of opinion. So, believing in ghosts "just because" is not open minded. Being open to the possability of changing your mind should compelling evedence or persuasive argument be presented is open minded.

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I tend to use what I know first, and work based on a "human nature" perspective. When details are needed, I look them up to make sure I'm not blowing steam. I really try not to find a source just to prove my point, and I usually change my mind when I see evidence that contradicts what I originally thought. For that reason, I'm usually not considered a very good debater, since my goal isn't to win, but to check to see if I'm right or not.

I lost every debate I was ever in in high school because I conceded points, seeing that the opponent had superior logic. XD

At any rate, I do less "debating" and more "trying to find the truth." Works out okay for me, and usually it gives the impression that I'm a reasonable person. Wish I could say the same for most of the people I debate, though. The urge to "win" is far too prevalent, I think.

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I really like playing Devil's Advocate, myself. Especially if someone I like debating against is involved, I'll debate a side I don't necessarily agree with just to go up against them. As for how I debate, I really like going for technicalities. If I can find a lot of small, nitpicky holes in an opponent's argument, I can eventually connect the dots and put it all together in a pretty solid post while trying to keep myself as safe as possible. I'm a very reactive debater, really.

At any rate, I do less "debating" and more "trying to find the truth." Works out okay for me, and usually it gives the impression that I'm a reasonable person. Wish I could say the same for most of the people I debate, though. The urge to "win" is far too prevalent, I think.

I personally view debate mostly as good sport, so who's right and wrong doesn't matter to me much itself. Just who wins and who loses, and how much fun was had in the process. However, if it's a topic I really care about, I'll either try to be less victory-oriented and go for learning about it as much as possible while I debate or just do my Devil's Advocate thing. I find arguing a side I don't agree with really helps me come to understand my side even more, and defend it better when I'm arguing for it.

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I see something that's "clearly" bullshit then I will call them out on it.

Lol,anyways I ARGUE debate like this... *Speaks in Sean Connery's voice*

I WILL BANISH THE TROLLS TO THEIR HELL-HOLES AND DEFEND WHAT IS RIGHTEOUS AND TRUE!

THEIR MUDEROUS,SLOBBERING HORDES WILL BE WAITNG FOR ME TO FALL,TO MAKE A MISTAKE...

BUT,I...I HAVE MY BLADE OF BLUNT JUSTICE TO BANISH THE DEMONS TO HELL AGAIN AND

AGAIN,MY BLADE WAITING FOR THEIR EVENTUAL RETURN,BUT FEAR NOT BECAUSE WHEN THE DAY

OF LORD MILKY'S DEMONSPAWN RETURN TO THE SURFACE THROUGH THEIR BLACK MAGIC,I WILL

BE THERE,AND I WILL STAND TALL AND FACE MY FOE,THE GOD OF ALL TROLLS,MILKY,WITH

MY BLADES OF FURY AND RAW JUSTICE,TO DESTROY HIM WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING!!!!

*Sits down*

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Lol,anyways I ARGUE debate like this... *Speaks in Sean Connery's voice*

I WILL BANISH THE TROLLS TO THEIR HELL-HOLES AND DEFEND WHAT IS RIGHTEOUS AND TRUE!

THEIR MUDEROUS,SLOBBERING HORDES WILL BE WAITNG FOR ME TO FALL,TO MAKE A MISTAKE...

BUT,I...I HAVE MY BLADE OF BLUNT JUSTICE TO BANISH THE DEMONS TO HELL AGAIN AND

AGAIN,MY BLADE WAITING FOR THEIR EVENTUAL RETURN,BUT FEAR NOT BECAUSE WHEN THE DAY

OF LORD MILKY'S DEMONSPAWN RETURN TO THE SURFACE THROUGH THEIR BLACK MAGIC,I WILL

BE THERE,AND I WILL STAND TALL AND FACE MY FOE,THE GOD OF ALL TROLLS,MILKY,WITH

MY BLADES OF FURY AND RAW JUSTICE,TO DESTROY HIM WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING!!!!

*Sits down*

If you think Milky's the God of all trolls, you're a total n00b. :trollface:

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If you think Milky's the God of all trolls, you're a total n00b. :trollface:

Naw,I knew that,moot is the god of all trolls,Milky is just my arch-enemy some times.

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Allegedly I debate like a steam roller. Big, imposing, merciless and often making butts hurt.

Or so Asper and Sissi has said.

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Allegedly I debate like a steam roller. Big, imposing, merciless and often making butts hurt.

Or so Asper and Sissi has said.

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I tend to use what I know first, and work based on a "human nature" perspective. When details are needed, I look them up to make sure I'm not blowing steam. I really try not to find a source just to prove my point, and I usually change my mind when I see evidence that contradicts what I originally thought. For that reason, I'm usually not considered a very good debater, since my goal isn't to win, but to check to see if I'm right or not.

I lost every debate I was ever in in high school because I conceded points, seeing that the opponent had superior logic. XD

At any rate, I do less "debating" and more "trying to find the truth." Works out okay for me, and usually it gives the impression that I'm a reasonable person. Wish I could say the same for most of the people I debate, though. The urge to "win" is far too prevalent, I think.

Conceding points usually stregthens an argument as it shows you have understood the subject.

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I debate like a lazy man... consider doing it, then realize I'm to lazy to defend anything I say, I mean I have a defense, but I don't feel like typing it down, and whats a debate without defence.

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Uncoordinated. The same way I make a poor chess player, I'm probably no more than a decent debater, because I never plan more than one step ahead, and like to improvise as I go along. If the subject is of interest to me, and I have time to spare, I'm very happy to engage in a good debate about it. Also enjoy playing the devils advocate at times, taking a side I don't even believe in myself, if I believe that will spark a better debate against a worthy adversary. If I'm actually a good debater or not, I don't think is up for myself to fully judge.

Allegedly I debate like a steam roller. Big, imposing, merciless and often making butts hurt.

Or so Asper and Sissi has said.

More as in having no regard for who actually wants to properly debate or not, and lacking the ability to adjust to that.

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