Fundamentals of Debate

One thing that I hate about the 21st century is the fact that some people, yes even on WSO, have 0 understanding of how to have a proper debate that is actually constructive.

Instead, we rely on variety of logical fallacies. It's an endless stream of strawman (I said A, but you argue against B) and false associations (I said A but now you think I'm B, which is completely unrelated to A).

What's worse is that there are all sorts of poor attempts to establish some sort of moral high ground: "Oh you said this, so you must be some heartless bastard." I blame the politicians for that, but the same conversational pattern has trickled down to everyone. Since the world is getting dumber by the day, I'm going to explain to everyone the fundamentals of debate.

1) If you disagree with some point, provide a counter-argument against that very point.

2) Support with solid logic. Provide evidence when applicable.

3) If you notice a logical fallacy, point it out and why it's a fallacy.

WOW what groundbreaking revelations, right? If you ever went to high school in your lifetime, this should be common sense. But why isn't it? I'm fucking sick and tired of people just screaming bunch of horseshit without being able to form proper arguments and opinions.

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Comments (42)

Funniest
Jul 29, 2020 - 9:05pm

the debate structure you have described is one created by white people therefore it is part of the system of systemic racism and by attempting to preserve it you are preserving white supremacy

Jul 29, 2020 - 10:58pm

I personally find that many people don't show their work very well when arguing. I started with NFL debate (back when it was the national foresnics league) and I found that despite the rigorous stated focus on argumentation and specific line-by-line clash, the ruleset turned competitive debating into a game where you could really win by reframing what the point of the debate was mid-round. I think that the trickle-down mindest that debating is a game to be won or lost has distracted from the original point of the activity which is to build skills in persusaion and rhetoric.

When I find myself talking with someone I disagree with, and I actually think both of us are open to learning new things which is rare, I like posing Socratic questions. It usually works out that I either get my questions answered (they changed my mind), they answer my questions in a way that works for them but not for me (either ask more questions or walk away), or they realize that there are some issues in their epistemic process that must be addressed (I changed their mind).

Usually the above changes the nature of the discussion from two competitors trying to convince an invisible judge into two buddies shooting the shit about something they find interesting, which makes the process a lot easier for everyone.

Jul 29, 2020 - 11:06pm
Milton Friedchickenman:

One thing that I hate about the 21st century is the fact that people, yes even on WSO, have 0 understanding of how to have a proper debate that is actually constructive.

stereotype

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 30, 2020 - 7:28am

Hey there, I tried the lemon Larabars. They are very good.

http://www.series65examtutor.com
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Jul 30, 2020 - 6:14pm

Yeah they are super good. I have a case on my counter.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 30, 2020 - 5:22pm
Milton Friedchickenman:

How is this a stereotype if it's true?

9/10 people I meet are like this, online and offline.

Milton Friedchickenman:

One thing that I hate about the 21st century is the fact that people, yes even on WSO, have 0 understanding of how to have a proper debate that is actually constructive.

You started a debate about how to debate and the first thing you did was make a generalization that 'people have 0 understanding of how to have a proper debate that is actually constructive'.

You could have made yourself somewhat in a better position if you would have said 'some people' have '0 understanding'.

Instead, you stereotyped and generalized, weakening your debate about debate.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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  • Intern in PropTrad
Jul 30, 2020 - 3:33am

Excuse me but, did YOU say 'HORSE ' shit?

  1. That is so offensive to Gardening culture where horse shit is used as a plant fertiliser.

  2. Why did you say horse shit? You could have said pig shit or cow shit or bull shit? Why did you pick on horses and their shit as an example to make your point?

  3. You should apologise you racist, horse-fascist bigot!

  4. You better apologise or I am gonna inundate you with six paragraph responses x infinity on what a racist, bigot horse fascist you are.

Hmmmm ....

Jul 30, 2020 - 8:43am

Was your intention to direct this comment at Intern at PropTrad or me. I could be wrong but it looks like it is technically directed at your original post

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  • Intern in PropTrad
Jul 30, 2020 - 8:59am

No one -

Absolutely no one -

Milton:
throws 2x MS at me & then asks ME how long I am going to be petty and bear a grudge

OK Bye now !!! pls don't send me 5000 10 paragraph responses on how & why I should re-think my life =}

Jul 30, 2020 - 10:35am
IBBanker1010:

I think it's mostly because people don't understand what they're arguing about. Twitter and click bait headlines are people's news sources now, they don't have any deeper knowledge on a topic than the junk they see online. It's why I don't debate / talk politics with people.

I absolutely hate social media. Unlike most technological innovations, social media has been net harm to the world. The fact that I find it nearly impossible to find someone I disagree with but can still can be friendly with and have constructive conversations with is appalling.

My favorite saying follows "A fool is not someone who doesn't read. A fool is someone who reads 1 book and makes the world of it." We live in the age of indoctrination. People claiming to be knowledgeable, under scrutiny are brainwashed. They never bother questioning their own beliefs. They have 0 patience for different opinions. We all live in a bubble.

In a way, we already are all fucked.

Jul 30, 2020 - 10:51am
Milton Friedchickenman:
I absolutely hate social media. Unlike most technological innovations, social media has been net harm to the world.

I do believe that there are benefits to social media, but I agree that it is a net negative to society.

It also is notably, as Jeff Bezos said yesterday, a "nuance destruction machine." Things are either THE BEST or THE WORST with no in-between.

A lack of any nuance whatsoever is also endemic to WSO "debates"

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