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#414271 - 01/13/09 10:53 AM Formal debates
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
Just an idea I got from another forum. How about an area where formal debates can take place between senior/more experienced members of FA.com?

Here is a link to a site which is doing this (Richarddawkins.net):

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=23&sid=ab4b1e00f9bb147936d461b1899f64d9

Here are the rules this site sets out:

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4950

I'm sure there will be a few problems such as who would be allowed to take part in the debate and I'm sure others.

I though would enjoy seeing debate between more senior individuals who perhaps have a better understanding about specific areas than the average member.

A moderated debate would also allow the participant to keep the debate on topic, without derailing from other members. Typically on the above site the members are able to make opening statements, followed by a structured debate then closing statements. Afterwhich others can comment (lol thus formal debate!).

I would enjoy to see the more experienced members and experts in their respective arts, put up against each other (not like that ), plus I'm sure it could spark new discussions in the main forums and would be good for us less experienced.

Thoughts?
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#414272 - 01/13/09 11:29 AM Re: Formal debates [Re: creative]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Interesting.
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#414273 - 01/17/09 06:23 PM Re: Formal debates [Re: creative]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
count me in

when you start one, make sure to put the link to the discussion in this thread.

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#414274 - 01/18/09 11:53 AM Re: Formal debates [Re: Ed_Morris]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
sounds good to me.
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#414275 - 01/21/09 03:32 PM Re: Formal debates [Re: creative]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
I think your idea is great, creative, and you have some good ideas about how the debate should be conducted. I would only add one point: moderators need to be clear what their responsibilities are, too. Too many vibrant debates on here get locked down because a moderator arbitrarily decides, "well, this isn't really going anywhere," or "well, I feel this is getting to emotional." How abou setting some firm grounds rule--like using profanity--before shutting a debate down?

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#414276 - 01/21/09 03:56 PM Re: Formal debates [Re: creative]
Zombie Zero Offline
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Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1993
Loc: Lorton, VA
That's a good idea that can go very wrong really quickly. Let's hash out a good plan for it, and I'll see about adding it to the forums.
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#414277 - 01/21/09 04:30 PM Re: Formal debates [Re: Zombie Zero]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I think a time limit (which can be revised/extended) might be an idea.
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See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

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#414278 - 01/26/09 06:34 AM Re: Formal debates [Re: fileboy2002]
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
I thought that the guidelines proposed on the forum above would be suitable on FA.com too. If I post them here then anyone can comment on them:

This is where two or more Members can engage in a Formal Debate. This is viewable to all but only those that are participating can post, in their own debate.

Anyone can start a debate and you either can send an invitation or accept a challenge. The starter of the Debate can control who can participate. Formal debates are Invitations or Challenges; can be done in the general forum or via PM.

This Forum will be Moderated by the staff who will enforce the rules. The starter of the debate has to make an application to the mods/admins suggesting a formal debate a topic and a person who has agreed to debate with them.

Please give numbers to 1 2 3 when you make your request.

Once the participants have been decided, then an agreement on the style/rules of the debate can be made. Since there are may variants on this you can use an existing one like on here, or any other but you must supply a link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate#Formal_debate_in_education

Or you can chose the following guidelines;

If there is more then two participants then a number should be assigned and keep within that format.

A new thread is started by the in the Formal Debates forum.

1. The first 2 posts in the thread should be opening propositions by each side/participants (this should be determined by numbers of post or a time limit).

"The proposition is the statement being debated. It is stated affirmatively and conclusively, much in the manner of a scientific hypothesis. A debatable proposition is considered to be one of three types: fact, value, or policy. An effective debater can spot the type of proposition he or she must work with and determine what its specific demands are."



2. There should be several post of rebuttal (this should be determined by numbers of post or a time limit).

Then a final closing statement.Closing statements are then made in turn by each person.

3. Word limits to maybe 2500 words/post (including citations). Give each person a maximum of 2 to 3 days to respond (this should be determined by the participants).



The thread is then considered closed. Once a Debate has finished it will be locked.

General Rules.
Each post must have relevant content and must stay on-topic, or be a rebuttal.

Ad hominem and personal attacks are not allowed.

Proper citations must be given. There must be no plagiarism or copyright violations.

Participants and observers can reports posts that fall outside these rules or general forum rules.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate#Formal_debate_in_education
http://www.dushkin.com/usingts/guide/method4.mhtml

I think the above are quite clear and consise.


Quote:

I would only add one point: moderators need to be clear what their responsibilities are, too. Too many vibrant debates on here get locked down because a moderator arbitrarily decides, "well, this isn't really going anywhere," or "well, I feel this is getting to emotional." How abou setting some firm grounds rule--like using profanity--before shutting a debate down?




I agree that the Mods will be important in these debates. I'm not sure that setting too many rules will be needed though. Perhaps we should try using just the above guidelines as a trail and see if any ammendments need to be made?
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#414279 - 01/26/09 08:39 AM Re: Formal debates [Re: creative]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Just a suggestion. Since the rules and participants are agreed upon from the beginning...it would make sense that the 'moderator' for the debate should be one picked/agreed upon by the participants. In that way, one can also pick individuals who are not regular mods...say...invite a specialist in the field (if they are willing to join this forum), or even tap regular members.

Perhaps creating a seperate subforum for formal debates, where all moderators who are open to the idea are there.

Also, have you considered defining/limiting the 'role' of debate moderator..as opposed to 'forum' moderator? Forum moderators can alter posts and their role includes functions that I don't think are usually in the pervue of debate moderators...to avoid wearing two hats...so to speak. Also, by doing that, the participants can also select non-mods for the role of debate moniter.

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#414280 - 01/26/09 10:37 AM Re: Formal debates [Re: harlan]
creative Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 401
Loc: UK
I would go along with that.
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