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Quality debates

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by AT-AT, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    What are the axioms of a quality debate?
     
  2. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    That people listen to each others arguments and do not change others peoples arguments on purpose. That people doesn't argue based on absolute truth as if they had evidence for it, but keep an open mind for others ideas and points of views, and finally be able to admit when they are mistaken or wrong.
     
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  3. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    How important is understanding Inference?

    Inference - Wikipedia
     
  4. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Axiom: Arguments should be made to persuade unbiased minds.

    One reason why formal debates are higher in quality is that there are unbiased judges and arguments are made to them. That eliminates arguments that would be found persuasive only to people who already agree with you (preaching to the choir).

    It also eliminates the frustration involved with trying to get an opponent to concede debate points.

    In a forum like this one, I think it's a good idea to imagine that panel of unbiased judges, make arguments to persuade them, and let the chips fall.
     
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  5. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I see.
     
  6. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Generally, the most common faux pas is talking about the person not the subject of the debate. That's as true on this forum as anywhere else. :D

    The second is using fallacious arguments that appeal to morality, for/against who they're from, and so on. So, for example, because Trump said something doesn't make it automatically wrong. It's wrong if there are no evidence that supports his conclusion, not because you don't like him or even that he was wrong in the past.

    The most common thing people do in debates of that nature is believe that previous errors negate future valid points. That's never the case -- it's always case-by-case analysis of the conclusion that is required. The short is: Attempting to make arguments against people on their past failures to persuade is illogical. :D Many people tend to forget that and even those that espouse to be logical seeming to fail to display it on this subtle but important point.
     
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  7. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Actually, if a person isn't qualified to speak on a subject, and said subject requires an education, pointing it out is a valid argument.

    For example, let's say Trump said, "Vaccines cause X", it is valid to question where he got his info from.

    Other than that, I agree.
     
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  8. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    It depends on what the debate is about :) But obviously it would be stupid to debate if both parties ignored any facts.

    For instance I watch a debate some time ago regarding flat earth as I wanted to see what arguments and proof this guy had. And he was obviously going to debate one that believed it weren't. So everything seemed to be in order, so during their opening statement, the flat earth presented his ideas and the other quickly presented his and in the same opening argument, stated that he was a young earth believer, so the earth was obviously around 6000 years old as you can calculate it to be based on the bible. Now luckily this was a debate about the shape of the Earth, but I have to admit that I almost fell out of my chair. I couldn't believe my luck, as this could only be interesting :) but as surprised as I was, I think its slightly worrying that people with such lack of understanding of facts and reasons, which are so obvious biased towards their own view that they completely ignore what is considered truth. That is slightly scary I think.

    So I would say that it is important as well.
     
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  9. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Do people win arguments mostly because they have the stronger side, they have the better proof, or they are the more skilled debater?
     
  10. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Actually, no supporting evidence does not make a proposition "wrong".
     
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  11. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Actually, qualifications are irrelevant as well. This is more "genetic fallacy" (who it's from) of a more subtle caliber; though admittedly popular with the masses. You certainly can be well-versed on a subject, but be wrong on a few salient points. Likewise, even if a person is a complete neophyte in regard to a particular subject matter it doesn't mean that the argument they presented is incorrect. The may have good evidence to support their conclusion, but you may not accept their evidence. (Which is common between partisan opinions, such as politics.)

    Admittedly, it's all a quest for the truth of a matter but it's easy to get lead into the wrong alley and beat down by disinformation. Biases (your own, and the opponents) in a debate or hotly contested subject area are a big problem too. (These are plaguing the scientific community right now whom think they're beyond reproach -- no one _EVER_ is beyond scrutiny... Being a Ph. D notwithstanding... :D)
     
  12. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Not immediately, no... But, evidence is required to properly support any argument in a debate. The evidence can be anecdotal and still be valid despite what many people seem to think. (Life experiences are valid data, etc.) However, it's still a pretty weak argument without sources and more evidence and that's sort of what we're addressing per the thread. :D
     
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  13. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    It depends on where the debate is taking place, if its an live event in front of an audience, being skilled at debating and firing off "clever" remarks helps you, especially if the person you debate is not used to it. But if what a person is saying is wrong, it will be wrong regardless of how good they are at presenting their case as one question could cause them to be unable to answer or make them end up in being exposed for not telling the true or not knowing it.

    In a written forum like this, people have time to fact check, so its much easier to point out if a person is wrong or are misunderstanding something, But written debates rarely seem to be all that interesting except for those involved :D

    Which is what usually annoys me when watching these live debates, is why don't the person ask this question!! or why didn't he answer what was asked. And obviously its because so many things are said and those that debate might not know it, so they can't answer. Not the same as saying that they are wrong, but its impossible to remember everything and all details. But it does give a different type of debate.
     
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  14. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I suppose anything's better than the Presidential debates. We have that to look forward to again.
     
  15. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Not "evidence"; but rather, logical justification. It's important not to confuse these.
     
  16. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    No citations from creosites
     
  17. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Both are relevant if we are talking about a posteriori arguments.
     
  18. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    When both sides understand the nature of a real debate, it's often worth reading. When it's used as an excuse for something else (proselytizing, usually, on these forums) it's not worth reading.

    Here on RF if anyone has to ask the OP 'What is it you wish to debate?" then the OP doesn't know what a debate is.
     
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  19. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    • recognize ones own biases
    • have an open mind
    • stay on topic
    • have listening skills
    • put aside prejudices
    • speak the same language ( both figurative and literal )
     
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  20. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    no name calling
     
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