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Debate 101

Discussion in 'UO Spiels N Rants' started by Kirthag, Dec 13, 2002.

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  1. Kirthag

    Kirthag Former Stratics Publisher
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Benefactor

    Feb 25, 2004
    Likes Received:
    *this was originally posted to the Napa Shard forums. However, I feel this is topic good for EVERYONE, so am editing the original slightly and putting it here.*

    Being the admin of a few boards outside of UO (my employer, a reunion group, and of course my widespread family) I deal with the nit-picking and misunderstandings stemming from poorly typed and mispelled posts, bullying flamers, griefers, misinformed zealots, ignorant first-timers and of course our favorite, the know-it-alls. I see a variety of flame-wars and verbal contests that turn ugly and utterly off subject in a matter of minutes..... resulting in angry words, hurt feelings and broken relationships. Ranging from long lost family finding each other to the askance of funds... there is not much I haven't seen on a board.

    However, when seeing clearly stated opinions being taken out of context in an attempt to becoming a flame war.... when in fact it is honest communication and debate, one wonders as to the quality of intelligence that meanders over the forums in the vast internet.

    So in an attempt to bring order where there is chaos, to promote actual debate instead of flame-wars, to actually spur intelligent conversation and debate... I offer this to the masses.....

    DEBATING 101

    The tools used in debate:
    Intelligent communication without malice or discord.
    Supportable information and data that can be proven without refute.
    Passion, integrity and emotion.
    Belief in one's position.

    The rules of debate are as follows:
    An opinion is stated clearly and without malice.
    A rebuttal is made that disputes said opinion.
    A response is made to support the originally stated opinion.
    Evidence is shown to support the dispute.
    Counter evidence is provided to support the original claim.

    And this continues back and forth until A)One side or the other concedes to the opposing opinion or B)One side or the other calls for a mediator to act as judge.

    Time and time again I see this not being the case. One should clearly make his/her statement and expect some intelligent response back in form of debate or concurrence. For the most part I do see good form .. and I learn a bit more about the given topic. However, there are times that I see the bickering and nit-picking.... and this does nothing but cause anger, confusion, and misunderstandings which get blown out of proportion and disrupts everyone's day.

    I subscribe to many forums in search of information, news, communication and debate. I post when I feel it is necessary--most times to clarify something said about me or my character (both in-game character and personal character). At other times I post to inform a large group of people in one fell swoop about an event or some other happening that pertains to my life or my actions (in game or out of game). I talk to many people on several subjects on several boards pertaining to and not pertaining to UO. I only wish to grow, learn, and teach. I'm sure there are many others out there with the same purpose. Is that so wrong?

    I hope this stops now. I hope this is seen by one and all and they take to heart what a true debate is all about--the sharing of and learning of ideas. I hope everyone understands that all forums are meant to be market places for ideas, hopes, dreams, teachings and learnings.

    Someone posts information, then read it thoroughly and think before responding. If one person has a question, answer it. Someone else has a differing opinion, then share that opinion. Compare notes, debate the issues, and come to some sort of understanding or compromise which benefits all. Don't insult, badger, belittle, name-call, state belligerency, or other profanities that will only cause emotions to flare and feelings, ultimately, to be hurt. If you know nothing of a topic, or really have nothing constructive to contribute, then move on and return until there IS something which you can contribute to. When I say constructive, I mean something that will further or test the limits of a previous statement... which can be positive or negative in aspect, not necessarily crude or obnoxious.

    That is the basis of free speech. That is the basis of any forum in the internet. Call me an Idealist, and I am. It is why I continue and what drives me forward....
  2. Excellent post, and well-suited to the spirit of the forum.

    I hope you don't mind me taking the liberty of making this a sticky post, but I feel this is something that would best serve its purpose as a permanent fixture to the forum.
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