Author Topic: How to conduct a constructive debate  (Read 1474 times)

Offline Claire

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How to conduct a constructive debate
« on: 18 09, 2017, 12:10:27 am »
Since there are people who misunderstood the board purpose, I decided to make a quick guideline of how to do a constructive debate. But first before a debate can be constructive, you must understand that it must be proper. Bear in mind that I wasn't told by any admin if there's any official formal format for this board (in reality there are several debate formats such as Lincoln-Douglas, European Square, impromptu, Karl Popper, etc that are mostly practiced in academic/political environments).

For the sake of involvement and interest, I don't personally put too much limit, rules, or any specific structure (though different moderators may have their own ways) because even a simple topic can sometimes emerge to be a good debate as long as it can be disputed or discoursed by two or several perspectives of people. Here's the point you have to remember to do a proper debate: A debate must contain a proposition/idea/notion/question/conception in which people can respond/answer it with an agreement/affirmative or disagreement/negative or "somewhere in between".

Now as you know the universal characteristic of a proper debate, you may wonder what's the benefit of all this. A debate is usually more beneficial when it's constructive. The meaning of constructive is when it helps you to improve, develop, and/or be better. For instance, after you read replies from people on a specific topic, you walk out with a feeling that resembles I learn something new today, or Oh, I understand his point of view now. Constructive in this context is as the opposite of "destructive".

It's often problematic even in a formal political environments that people seem to defy from the essence of debating, which is to get closer to the truth by understanding; a constructive concept that is well-explained by Karl Popper:

Quote
I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth

Sometimes it's impossible to make different people to believe in the same thing. It's really important realising that truth is always in the eyes of the beholder, which means everyone has their own perspective of truth. The purpose of debating, in essence, is not to regard people who oppose us wrong nor to "destroy" their opinion/point of view, but it is to learn the truth and to convince them we're right or simply share our perspective when right or wrong is unapproachable. When doing that, we have to respect EVERYONE no matter how "wrong" they may sound because to them you're the wrong one.

The difference between "to critic" and "to conquer"
Criticism and dispute are often important to make a good debate and oftentimes it can train us to think more critically. But there are many people who mistaken the true meaning of criticism with the essence of conquering. Surely, you're allowed to disagree with anyone's idea or to critic it, but it's wiser to conduct your criticism in constructive manner:

Quote from: James Burgh
In disputes upon moral or scientific points, ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent: so you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.

In summary, we have to try to be as open-minded as we can in order to learn new knowledge. We must not commit a prejudice or be bigoted by our view. What's matter the most is the truth and there are always many ways to approach it; sometimes in ways that we don't even expect it in the first place.
« Last Edit: 25 02, 2018, 06:48:14 am by Claire »
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Offline Assad.

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Re: How to conduct a constructive debate
« Reply #1 on: 23 02, 2018, 10:59:59 pm »
Post your basic arguments you want to argue with.
You can't debate others if you don't have arguments. Arguments are necessary to prove the point of your idea/proposition. These arguments must be realistic.

Gather as much as you can of informations about the topic you like to involve yourself in.
If you want to involve yourself in a discussion, then of course you should have already realized what the topic is talking about.

Introduce your counterargument in a respectful way.
Never use sarcastic words even if you do not like their arguments.

I will keep working on this if you agree. I can help you to give few ways on how to conduct to a constructive debate and you can copy/paste it in the main post above.
Post still under construction.
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Offline Coke

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Re: How to conduct a constructive debate
« Reply #2 on: 20 10, 2018, 08:50:34 am »
I think, most of topics in this board related to the emotional and physical, these things are not debatable. Moderator should handle this issue, just keep some topic with some real argumen. to conduc a constructive debate. We can not debat using our emotions but based on the fact.

Offline Dimit

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Re: How to conduct a constructive debate
« Reply #3 on: 23 10, 2018, 09:21:49 pm »
I think, most of topics in this board related to the emotional and physical, these things are not debatable. Moderator should handle this issue, just keep some topic with some real argumen. to conduc a constructive debate. We can not debat using our emotions but based on the fact.
The central problem is that most people come into this board for the sake of farming quick posts for their CM applications, most of these are either without any value or copied from google (sometimes different people copy the same text from google on the same topic)
People also keep repeating stuff that has already been discussed in earlier posts of the debate, or reopen the same debates again and again when they have been locked for inactivity.
There are only a few people who actually bother going deep into a subject and actually debate with other people on a topic rather than just leaving their personal thoughts in 2-3 lines and disappearing like on a voting topic.
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Offline Claire

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Re: How to conduct a constructive debate
« Reply #4 on: 13 11, 2018, 09:18:06 am »
I feel like some people are simply having difficulty in finding the difference between fact and opinion, which is a common issue even in the real life. Not all debate topics can be answered by mere facts. Some issues can only be explored by subjective perspective in the form of opinions. I'll try making a guide about that later.
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Offline Coke

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Re: How to conduct a constructive debate
« Reply #5 on: 09 06, 2019, 08:35:36 pm »
I am not sure about some topics here still unlocked, some people throw some 'emotional' there. Like we do not get anything here instead of advice. Seriosly, we need something new here.

Offline Dimit

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Re: How to conduct a constructive debate
« Reply #6 on: 09 06, 2019, 10:22:39 pm »
I am not sure about some topics here still unlocked, some people throw some 'emotional' there. Like we do not get anything here instead of advice. Seriosly, we need something new here.
I felt annoyed by this problem already for months

My suggestion is to add the following guidelines:

- Every topic author has to define a clear debate subject and state his opinion in detail
- Every reply to the topic has to challenge the opinion of either the topic author or the opinion of one of the other people replying to it, and has to add new value to the debate (actual debating) rather than just disagreeing
- Any sort of isolated posting of your own opinion without reference of another opinion on that topic will be deleted as useless post (not debating on the debate board)
- Any usless topics like "what do you prefer, money or power" and "do you believe god exists" where peoples opinions aren't based on rational arguments anyway but just leads to them listing up their personal preferences/beliefs and can not be challenged or changed by arguments in any way will either get locked right away or when it becomes visible that no proper debate will take place below it


I list an example below:


Valid debate:


Topic author:   Meat consumption, silent killer?
Meat is a central part of food all over the world, whether its chicken, pork, beef or fish, humans have been slaughtering and killing animals for centuries.
But is it good for us? Recent surveys show a heavily increased cancer rate with an average consumption of 50grams of beef per day.
I personally consume various kinds of meat multiple times per week but I think that the global meat consumption should be heavily reduced.


Reply 1:
{quote: topic author}balblablab{quote:}
I wouldnt reduce my meat consumption because meat is a core source of protein for the human body blbalblablalblablblalbalabal

Reply 2:
{quote: Reply}balblablab{quote:}
I disagree, meat isnt neccessary for protein intake, more than half of the population of india is vegetarian and they dont suffer from any lack of protein, thats why more and more people in the western world are starting to live vegetarian and are totally healthy. On the other side, they significantly lower their cancer rates aswell as their intake of hormones and bacteria inside meat blalblabllablabllbal



Invalid Debate:

Topic author: Life after death, yes or no?
My name yassir from Tunisia and after death we enter heaven because in the quran its written الأبجدية العربيةالأبجدية العربية
 
Reply 1:
I'm buddhist, after death there is a process called reincarnation, we get reborn in the body of a new creature

Reply 2:
Quote from: topic author
My name yassir from Tunisia and after death we enter heaven because in the quran its written الأبجدية العربيةالأبجدية العربية

Reply 3:
i agree with yassir

Reply 4:
I'm atheist, nothing happens after death, we go where we came from, nature

Reply 5:
In paradise

Reply 6:
Quote from: topic author
My name yassir from Tunisia and after death we enter heaven because in the quran its written الأبجدية العربيةالأبجدية العربية
There's no god, no saviour, no paradise and no life beyond. Our existence is limited. Nothing will save us from death.  Use your time on earth wisely.
Be kind to others, share your wealth - donate to the poor, protect the environment, use your opportunity every day to make earth a better place.
Currently 795 million humans have insufficent access to food.
You can start helping today