Debate/Discussion Forum Rules Discussion/Debate (in Debates)

Colonel Custard May 4 2009 1:19 PM EDT

I just read the rules for this section of the forums, and I'm not sure I like them being applied generally to all debate and discussion. I also need clarification on a couple of things.

I absolutely love rule #1, and #2 and #3 are fine.
I'm confused here, though:
"(4) A discussion thread is to be left open-ended. This means it will remain open for an indefinite period of time. This is different from debate, where two sides hold logical arguments against one another in an effort to defeat the other side and come to a conclusion; debates may also be timed."
What determines if it is a discussion thread or a debate thread? Is it that discussions are anything started by a community member with no rank insignia, whereas the debates are the posts started by Admins and OB as little Debate Forum mini-tournaments with time limits? I think it would be helpful to make a distinction by providing definitions for debate vs. discussion.

"(5) You must provide your opinion/views in a debate, unlike a discussion where you may simply provide relevant information or ask questions."
I initially reacted negatively to this one, until I realized that there is a distinction between "debate" and "discussion." Basically, if the purpose of the discussion is to seek out truth, rather than to win or convince someone of your point of view, I think it's better to drop relevant information and allow the facts to speak for themselves, more or less. If the purpose is to defend your own bias, I find it much less helpful... but that makes sense as a rule for a Debate Team-style structuralized debate.

"(6) Any member of the forum may post, and as they post they take sides with the content or opinion of their first post, and may not switch sides during the debate."
If this applies only to debates, it makes sense to me. Again, though, I feel that having to stand by everything you've said since the beginning and not being allowed to say "oops" in light of new information detracts from the honesty of a discussion.

Rule #7, about posting twice in a row, could go either way for whether or not it should only apply in organized Debates, or just in general for anything posted in this forum.

I would suggest maybe making a couple of subheadings for the debate forum rules, such as "General Forum Guidelines" containing maybe rules 1-3 and 7-9, and then "Organized Debate Contest Rules" or something which includes rules 4-6.

QBOddBird May 4 2009 1:27 PM EDT

They're all general forum guidelines; I simply noted a difference between a discussion thread (very open-ended) and debate (1-2 positions taken and an entirely different reasoning for thread creation.)

I'll clarify on #6, you made a good point, that one only applies to Debates.

Users can create Debate or Discussion threads; the Admin/OB created mini-tournaments with time limits are entirely separate, and will have their own (far stricter) rules and regulations within the thread.

Honestly, these rules could be a LOT more complicated and strict, and leave no wiggle room...but I felt what was up there was already a lot to read and that they covered most basic issues.

BY ALL MEANS, however, continue to let me know what's unclear and what you think should be added/edited/removed! :)

Colonel Custard May 4 2009 1:35 PM EDT

So, basically, I was right and there is a distinction between Discussion vs. Debate threads, but anyone can start either as long as they state which it is at the outset?

QBOddBird May 4 2009 1:38 PM EDT

Exactly :) most threads in here are likely to be discussion, but anyone can create a debate thread as well.

j'bob May 4 2009 7:44 PM EDT

"You may not make a clarifying post if someone else has made a post after the one you would like to clarify"

So if someone misconstrues a point you were trying to make and takes the "debate" in a different direction or makes a point that is different from what you are trying to "debate", you are not allowed to clarify or redirect based on whether or not someone posted before you were able to make your clarifying post?

Seems kinda strange. Like giving absolute power to a well spoken thread-jacker. :D

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] May 9 2009 5:38 PM EDT

Is it too much to hope that violation of #8 results in a forum ban?

Demigod May 9 2009 6:06 PM EDT

Bast -- Only if misuse of "your" and "you're" counts as well. :)

I do hope there's a well-enforced penalty against #1: (1) Insults are NOT allowed

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] May 9 2009 6:42 PM EDT

But then how obvious would it have to be? Is offensive truth insulting?

AdminNightStrike May 9 2009 8:16 PM EDT

It's up to the discretion, judgment, personal bias, and whimsical nature of OddBird :)

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] May 9 2009 8:21 PM EDT

I'm making an offering to my shrine of Bast as I speak...
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