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Thread: MOD ANNOUNCEMENT: Member Debates (Input needed)

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  1. Exclamation MOD ANNOUNCEMENT: Member Debates (Input needed)

    Hello all,

    I hope those of you that celebrate the 4th of July enjoyed yourselves this weekend. Hopefully there weren't any firework accidents similar to my neighbor (eesh).

    Anyway, in a continued effort to encourage civil discourse here at political forum... we the moderation panel have been throwing around some ideas, one of which includes constructed & judged debates that will showcase the forum for a specific amount of time. In order to ensure we're all on the same page, I'd like to share with you some ideas we've come up with while giving you the opportunity to contribute to what we hope could be a trend-setting practice on political discussion outlets. So let's begin:

    1. To keep things in perspective and to avoid missed requests, one idea is to let the moderators choose a topic and announce it for one member (from each stance) to accept. Some examples of topics include (but are not limited to):

    • Abortion
    • Taxes
    • Gay Marriage
    • Drug Legalization
    • Government spending
    • Current/Past Wars
    • Health Care
    • Torture
    • Job Creation & Economy
    • Gun Rights
    • Conspiracy Theory (9-11/Birth Certificate legitimacy)


    Anyone that does not accept a debate challenge may not participate in the thread while a debate is in play (and will be immediately banned from the thread without warning).


    Agree or disagree? Please explain.

    2. To allow for adequate time to make arguments & respond, members are given 5 days to participate in the topics they accept. Members are encouraged to only accept challenges if they can participate, and all responses must include personal stance on the issue (in order to avoid retort-only debates). Once time is up, judging will begin.

    Agree or disagree? Please explain.

    3. In order to ensure bias doesn't come into play, one idea is to disallow public poll opinion and favor pre-designated judges that are approved by the debating participants. The judges may be PF members or members from the moderator/advisor staff. All in all, judges must understand that their votes are not issued according to what position he/she personally agrees with. Instead, the judges decision will go to who made the best argument to support their position. Once judging is complete, the thread will be moved to the appropriate section and open for all members to continue the discussion.

    Those interested in being judges may indicate intentions here

    Agree or disagree? Please explain.

    This is a very raw look at something we'd like to fine tune, and we believe we can reach that goal with some input from you. Please take some time to think about this and your ideas. Thanks...


    Last edited by E_Pluribus_Venom; Jul 05 2011 at 09:18 PM.

  2. #2

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    Excellent idea!

    My only suggestion would be to set up narrower, more specific, questions instead of general topic areas. Ideally with a built in goal. For example, instead of "taxes", it could be "is progressive taxation good for the economy". If it is too broad it won't be possible to resolve in one debate and if the goal isn't specified in the question, you can just get bogged down on unresolvable questions where the judge's own leanings would pretty much decide who won. For example, on taxes, if one person is just arguing that taxation is immoral and the other person is arguing from a pragmatic perspective, it would really just come down to which way of looking at the question is more appealing to the judge. Two ships passing in the night. But if the goal is specified- like whether it is good or bad for the economy- then they meet head on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Excellent idea!

    My only suggestion would be to set up narrower, more specific, questions instead of general topic areas. Ideally with a built in goal. For example, instead of "taxes", it could be "is progressive taxation good for the economy". If it is too broad it won't be possible to resolve in one debate and if the goal isn't specified in the question, you can just get bogged down on unresolvable questions where the judge's own leanings would pretty much decide who won. For example, on taxes, if one person is just arguing that taxation is immoral and the other person is arguing from a pragmatic perspective, it would really just come down to which way of looking at the question is more appealing to the judge. Two ships passing in the night. But if the goal is specified- like whether it is good or bad for the economy- then they meet head on.
    My fault for not being specific. The topics I listed aren't the sole basis for each debate, because (as you stated) it's far too broad to compile into one argument. Each topic has it's own sub-topic that specifies the parameters of the debate. For example:

    Topic: Abortion
    Focus: Is "right to privacy" legitimate basis for legal justification?


    Thanks for that reminder teamosil... great catch!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom View Post
    My fault for not being specific. The topics I listed aren't the sole basis for each debate, because (as you stated) it's far too broad to compile into one argument. Each topic has it's own sub-topic that specifies the parameters of the debate. For example:

    Topic: Abortion
    Focus: Is "right to privacy" legitimate basis for legal justification?


    Thanks for that reminder teamosil... great catch!
    Ok awesome. Sounds great.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Excellent idea!

    My only suggestion would be to set up narrower, more specific, questions instead of general topic areas. Ideally with a built in goal. For example, instead of "taxes", it could be "is progressive taxation good for the economy". If it is too broad it won't be possible to resolve in one debate and if the goal isn't specified in the question, you can just get bogged down on unresolvable questions where the judge's own leanings would pretty much decide who won. For example, on taxes, if one person is just arguing that taxation is immoral and the other person is arguing from a pragmatic perspective, it would really just come down to which way of looking at the question is more appealing to the judge. Two ships passing in the night. But if the goal is specified- like whether it is good or bad for the economy- then they meet head on.
    I agree. Its easier to stay on topic this way, and its easier to judge on merit.
    Sounds intriguing.

    Wag more, bark less

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shangrila View Post
    I agree. Its easier to stay on topic this way, and its easier to judge on merit.
    Sounds intriguing.
    Makes it easier to have several questions based on one topic (such as taxes) instead of throwing that topic out and hoping it goes well.
    Forever Forward

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    Oh... and I will not be participating in debates (for those of you worried about losing on a constant basis). That just wouldn't be fair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom View Post
    Oh... and I will not be participating in debates (for those of you worried about losing on a constant basis). That just wouldn't be fair.
    And suddenly the competition seems much less interesting...

    I mean, if I'm going to be creamed, then I'd prefer it for the champ to do so.

    Edit: @Teamosil, good point. A narrower and more focused topic will keep things snappy and interesting
    Last edited by Atreides; Jul 04 2011 at 10:20 PM.
    •Violence is the refuge of the incompetent

    •Fill your lives with love and bravery, and you shall lead a live uncommon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atreides View Post
    And suddenly the competition seems much less interesting...

    I mean, if I'm going to be creamed, then I'd prefer it for the champ to do so.
    I would hate for the internet to implode due to the awesomeness it would be forced to display.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom View Post
    I would hate for the internet to implode due to the awesomeness it would be forced to display.
    And he's humble too!::
    •Violence is the refuge of the incompetent

    •Fill your lives with love and bravery, and you shall lead a live uncommon

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