the debate & discussion forum... (in Debates)

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 9 2010 1:38 PM EST

isn't really used all that much as it is a bit restrictive and confusing to people i feel.

when it was first championed, i thought it would be the place where people put religious and political discussions and those that really just want to get on here and play the game and not see that could hide this forum using the settings.

instead of being named something that would encourage this behavior, for whatever reason it was set up differently and given a confusing name and vague rules.

i truly wish the name could be changed to politics & religion or something and the rules that differentiate it between the other forums removed as well. perhaps then people would actually post threads to that forum that they know will turn into debates anyway.

of course i could be in the minority or the only one with an issue currently. how do you feel about it?

QBJohnnywas February 9 2010 1:40 PM EST

Alternatively you could just avoid any thread with over a hundred replies. You know as soon as you see a number like that what the content and participants are going to be doing - and more than likely exactly who they are. ;)

QBJohnnywas February 9 2010 1:40 PM EST

Oh and I forgot to say: I agree, then I can remove it from my front page.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 9 2010 1:40 PM EST

just for grins, here is the usage data since the forum started:

* Jan 2010 (7 threads)
* Nov 2009 (5 threads)
* Oct 2009 (11 threads)
* Sep 2009 (8 threads)
* Aug 2009 (8 threads)
* Jul 2009 (4 threads)
* Jun 2009 (8 threads)
* May 2009 (24 threads)

honestly most of the threads for the past 6 months have been placed in off-topic originally and moved to this forum due to requests to admins.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] February 9 2010 1:42 PM EST

Dudemus and Johnnywas, which forums do you have turned on?

QBRanger February 9 2010 1:42 PM EST

I do think these debates will be less and less, given the fact some people have progressed to ask for fines if an opinion is not to their liking.

So the debate forum may not be needed at all anymore :)

QBJohnnywas February 9 2010 1:45 PM EST

I've all of them on. The debate forum is used so infrequently that it doesn't matter if I select it or not. Meanwhile most of the big arguments, sorry debates occur in off topic or general. Plenty of general forum debating going on.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 9 2010 1:45 PM EST

contest, general and off-topic are all that i have on.

i do like off-topic for the movies and books discussions as well as music as i have found much entertainment there that i might not have otherwise.

i really would like to keep off-topic and have a place where people can discuss the hotbed issues if they desire it, but that others don't have to see as that in my opinion would be a win-win solution for everyone.

QBRanger February 9 2010 1:52 PM EST

One can decide to not click on a thread that is progressing to a debate.

QBOddBird February 9 2010 1:57 PM EST

Sorry if it seems restricting and confusing! The idea was to create a place where people could HAVE these debates without them devolving into flamefests, where real discussion could be had.

If the rules are confusing, it's probably because I wrote them, and my head isn't screwed on straight and hasn't been for some time. Let me know if you have suggestions.

Additionally, I do not have the power to move threads INTO that forum, so all I can do is watch and moderate what DOES go in there. If people choose to hold their debates in the wrong place, that's their choice, I suppose.

And last but not least, my attendance here at CB has been lacking greatly, and I'm largely to blame for its lack of use. I should have been trying to direct traffic into the forum when it was still a fledgling so that people would get into the habit of posting their debates/discussions there, and I did not. I apologize.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 9 2010 1:57 PM EST

true range, just as one can now decide to post a soapbox moment that they know will turn into a debate in the proper forum.

personally, the reason i am asking for this is that i thought the community was more congenial when political and religious discussions were taboo. i also realize that just because some people like to debate at every opportunity, others might not like being confronted with more politics when they come to relax and play a game.

our community is shrinking and while i don't think the reason is all the debates on the front page, why risk it when there is a solution that can make everyone happy?

i assume that since you have taken that stance you are against having a politics and religion forum? how would having its own forum be any different or more restrictive for those wanting to use it?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 9 2010 1:57 PM EST

I will be attempting to manage the debates forum...

If you prefer a more free form internet style flamewar please feel free to add the fw: tag to the title of your post to indicate that there won't be topical restrictions or over zealous enforcement of debate rules.

Calling names and making threats will result in bad things happening to you.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 9 2010 2:34 PM EST

novice, can you move threads to that forum if they are placed in off-topic or elsewhere?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 9 2010 2:37 PM EST

not yet... but Slayer is always lurking

Lord Bob February 9 2010 2:41 PM EST

I agree with Dudemus 100%.
given the fact some people have progressed to ask for fines if an opinion is not to their liking.

Every time Ranger fails to grasp the difference between any two things, somewhere a liberal smiles.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 9 2010 3:17 PM EST

well maybe slayer can move the following thread for me then:

i just wonder if a change is needed as the last half dozen political posts have been created, some even by admins, in the off-topic forum and i have had to ask poor shade to move every one of them. ; )

QBRanger February 9 2010 3:23 PM EST

Every time Ranger fails to grasp the difference between any two things, somewhere a liberal smiles.

And the national debt keeps rising to unstainable levels, while a conservative weeps.

ScY February 9 2010 4:30 PM EST

I will make the threat that I will call you bad names if bad things happen to me because of you.

Cyclic-logic-cycle anyone? :DDDDDD

QBRanger February 9 2010 4:33 PM EST

I have little problem taking the critique and dishing it out.

However, when one runs to Mommy and Daddy wanting me to be punished for saying something that offends their eyes, I draw the line.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] February 9 2010 6:29 PM EST

You absolutely do have an enormous problem with critique, inasmuch as it is utterly beyond your ken.

I formally and whole-heartedly second the notion that something needs to be done about the current tenor in Off-topic. If the "rules" can be loosened up over in Debates so that abject lunacy is freely accepted, that would solve half the problem I don't have Debates on at all, so if every thread Ranger derails or takes part in, while offering nothing of value in the way of any form of analysis/thought/informed opinion, could be moved there so much the better.

This seems like a great deal of work for the (sub)Admins, but in light of the problem as it persists, I'm fine with this as a solution.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] February 9 2010 6:38 PM EST

Torte reform, torte reform, torte reform!

QBRanger February 9 2010 6:40 PM EST

Ah Liberalism at its best.

Disagree and you have no analysis or thought or informed opinions. You're a lunatic.

But if your a liberal and you disagree with a conservative, you're thought of as well educated and ahead of the times.

Hypocrisy at its best.

No wonder liberals want the government to do it all for them. They have no free thoughts of their own. They spew the same rhetoric time and time again.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] February 9 2010 6:57 PM EST

Converse Fallacy of Accident. -1

QBRanger February 9 2010 7:47 PM EST

If it looks like a horse, smells like a horse.....

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] February 9 2010 8:08 PM EST

Fallacy of Accident: -2

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] February 9 2010 8:10 PM EST

Someone in a horse costume coming from the stables?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] February 9 2010 8:12 PM EST

I really like the debates forum and I would like to see it used for debates, but half of CB doesn't even have it selected. So, you're just going to have a conversation with the same people over and over again, with the same viewpoints over and over again, which kinda sucks.

I'm totally up for debating the merits of something to a conclusion but I feel like I am in the minority here. I really don't appreciate all the grandstanding, and stating opinions as indisputable facts and other logical fallacies of that nature. I'm so not afraid of being wrong either.

Lord Bob February 9 2010 8:55 PM EST

Bast is just winning this thread all over. I'm loving it.

Admin{CB1}Slayer333 [SHIELD] February 9 2010 9:11 PM EST

I resent the idea that I am always lurking. It is much more accurate to say I am always watching.

That said, CM me with thread links if they need to be moved to debates.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] February 9 2010 9:14 PM EST

There is no "winning" until there is either a significant rise in the level of discourse or we reach "Shut-Up". Which goes directly to Verifex' problem. This forum is devoid of merit and thus serves as the best dumping ground for non-Debate nonsense, tiresome keyboard vomit.

Sure, there are likely any number of people who would love to engage in some serious thought exercises, or at least read some, but willful ignorance and abject stupidity prevent it. So, we can relegate the current idiocy to this forum, and half the people can leave it "turned off". Again, not the ideal solution, but the most expedient.

Personally, I could just as easily go for scoring based on actual reason (do I need to capitalize that, to avoid confusion?) with commensurate ignoring of every post that fails to meet a base standard, but that would require engagement of everyone (or at least a serious interested minority). If each of you, who has the mental wherewithal to do so, pointed out every nonsense response as meritless instead of responding to nonsense as if it had merit, we might reach the point that those who couldn't find a cogent argument with a GPS and a flashlight might tire of either being stupid or being ignored. I stress "might", as ample history has shown the tireless perversity of the stridently ignorant.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 9 2010 9:23 PM EST

There is really no need for a debate forum on CB. 95% of its players, myself included, are hardheaded enough to plow through a steel wall with their skull leading them.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 9 2010 9:31 PM EST

sometimes i do get a few beers in me and the nonsense threads appear to have merit. i usually wake up the next day feeling cheap, dirty and used. then i just avoid that thread altogether and hope that no one saw me leaving the same motel room as it the night before.

slayer, thanks i will now spread out my relocation requests between you and shade!

oddly enough, someone has now relocated my own thread to debats...i guess i had that one coming. ; )

QBOddBird February 10 2010 9:57 AM EST

Titan - but do you believe that these hard-headed players are capable (note I did not say willing) of learning how to argue properly? I completely agree with the consensus so far, which is that so many players stand on their opinion adamantly and throw rocks at the "opposition."

Like Bast said, in this form of argument, there is no winning.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 10 2010 10:03 AM EST

What's the point of a debate when neither side will concede a point? No matter how ignorant they are of the subject.

QBOddBird February 10 2010 10:06 AM EST

Titan - but do you believe that these hard-headed players are capable (note I did not say willing) of learning how to argue properly?

You agreed with my statement, but didn't answer my question.

And yes, as long as people are using the forums to quarrel, rather than argue, there's no point to debating.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 10 2010 10:08 AM EST

I don't think anyone here needs to learn how to argue properly. Most of the us know how, we just choose not to when the debate gets heated. As for the point of the argument, there is none. Both sides will give their argument, and neither will listen.

QBOddBird February 10 2010 10:18 AM EST

You _did_ say most. I was looking up at some of the earlier posts and thinking "no, X definitely doesn't understand the concept of arguing properly" but several others do. :P

Why do we choose to throw away reasonable argument for stubborn stone-throwing when the discussion gets heated? Wouldn't it be more satisfying to come to a conclusion, or better yet, to effectively out-argue your opponent rather than simply yelling at them until they or an admin finally tire of the stupidity?

THAT was the point of the Debate forum. I suppose deep down in the back of my head, I held hope that those flamers could learn how to actually post. I may be wrong, for all I know, but I may be right.

(remember how i found you there alone in your electric chair?)

QBsutekh137 February 10 2010 10:35 AM EST

I don't think anyone here needs to learn how to argue properly. Most of the us know how, we just choose not to when the debate gets heated. As for the point of the argument, there is none. Both sides will give their argument, and neither will listen.

The second part of your statement contradicts the first. If most choose not to argue properly when things get "heated", then most do not know how to argue properly, do they?

Your quote is like saying, "I don't think anyone here needs to learn that stealing is wrong. Most of us know not to steal, we just choose to go ahead and steal when our pockets get empty."

The "winner" of a debate is not the person who changes the most minds -- it is the person who presented his/her side of an issue most consistently, civilly, clearly, and calmly. Do you think debate classes decide the best debater by taking a poll before and after a debate to see how many opinions shifted?

The point of the debate IS debate. The point is process. Because the process gets ideas out there in a civil way, without things like false dichotomies, strawmen arguments, and ad hominem attacks being the norm (that's the idea, anyway).

Do you think any of that is important? In general, do you think once folks get their mental schemas set (that starts happening in earnest by around age 3-4), that we should all just keep "leading with our skulls", thereby making intelligent discourse entirely unnecessary? Cause hey, we're all polarized already, right? Why rock the boat?

I'm asking that in all seriousness because you and I have had some very intelligent conversations on forums and in PMs (I found value in them, anyway), and now you are basically saying that no one listened, no one cared, and it should, in all likelihood, just never have happened?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 10 2010 10:46 AM EST

There is a difference between knowing how to do something, and choosing to. We know how to argue correctly, we chose not to. See the difference?

QBsutekh137 February 10 2010 10:48 AM EST

Absolutely. As did the original poster and other posters after. That is the whole thing we are trying to "work on".

Are you saying that is the part we just shouldn't bother with?

QBOddBird February 10 2010 10:50 AM EST

Personally? I think knowing how to argue properly, but instead choosing to be stubborn and throw stones, is a perfect example of laziness crippling our ability to communicate. Because it is easier to just stand on a position and piss into the wind from there than to argue, which involves actual THOUGHT.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 10 2010 10:50 AM EST

Pretty much. I've came to accept the fact that no one on CB will concede a point, that we'll never come to a conclusion, and that sometimes name callings happens. It's the forum we live in XD.

QBOddBird February 10 2010 10:51 AM EST

Titan: if I ever come to that conclusion, that means I've given up on CB, and none of you will ever see me here again.

QBsutekh137 February 10 2010 10:54 AM EST

...and I am still not sure I agree that most know how to "argue correctly." Some, but not most. Most people here probably are not entirely certain of what these basic ideas mean (and how to properly identify them):

-- False dichotomy, in all of its glorious forms!
-- Strawmen, ah you slimy vermin!
-- "Begging the question" (HINT: no, it doesn't mean, "That leads to the question...")

If you think "most" folks fully understand what these concepts are, we will have to agree to disagree. These are concepts that I am still working to master, anyway, and they are only three concepts of myriad discourse topics to learn/recognize. I have a hard time using the word "most" when I know I don't fully grasp them myself!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] February 10 2010 10:56 AM EST

I think I failed debate at the JC I momentarily attended at 15. I for one have no clue how to argue and am often befuddled by those terms.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 10 2010 10:57 AM EST

I think we disagree on what "arguing correctly" means.

QBsutekh137 February 10 2010 10:57 AM EST

Titan, why is concession of a point so important (you've mentioned it several times now...) I don't think that has much to do with what several of us here are talking about.

To put it another way, I know, for a fact, I will never change anyone's mind. Because you cannot change other people. People change themselves (if at all), over long periods of time and lots of varied information absorbed. I'll never change someone's mind, but that doesn't mean I have to be OK with said someone using false dichotomies and strawmen arguments to bluster through a point, does it?

QBsutekh137 February 10 2010 10:58 AM EST

Perhaps we disagree on what "think" and "disagree" mean, too?

Want to debate about it? :P

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 10 2010 11:04 AM EST

Because there are certain things that people are obviously misinformed about. Concede a point is an important part of a conversation. I'd say with out debates/discussions you and I have both conceded points. Of course you don't have to be ok with it when people make terrible arguments. But, you should expect it.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] February 10 2010 11:11 AM EST

I've always lamented the lack of a 'debate' class in the UK education system. :(

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] February 10 2010 11:14 AM EST

We never had a debate class either. I just debated with my teachers. Hurt my grade, but helped my education :).

QBsutekh137 February 10 2010 11:14 AM EST

My behavior follows my expectations.

So I try to expect better from people, then ask for it. That is the definition of "education," as far as I am concerned. There's got to be a striving there, an openness, and consistent debate tries to keep those avenues open.

What I try to be sure to "give up on" is expecting folks to concede, even when empirical ignorance is driving whatever it is I disagree with. That's what I'm cynical about. We all have different things we decide to keep at, and things we give up on, I suppose.

QBRanger February 10 2010 11:15 AM EST

And we all have different life experiences which can drive us to different conclusions given the same facts.

QBsutekh137 February 10 2010 11:40 AM EST

Absolutely. That is why it is the process of discourse that is important, and that process CAN be quantified empirically. Bast already started on another thread, in fact.

That is also what this entire thread is about. The process, not concession of points or trying to change the world.
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