Tips on starting a debate topic

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otseng
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Tips on starting a debate topic

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Some tips on starting a new thread for debate:

1. Make sure that it is a debate topic, rather than a discussion topic.

If it is a discussion topic, then it will be moved to a discussion subforum. A debate topic has at least two positions on a topic where a side argues for their own position and against other positions. A discussion topic generally has personal opinions and doesn't have two sides on the issue.

2. Create the topic in an appropriate debate subforum.

Try to avoid just automatically creating the topic in the C&A subforum. If a moderator feels like the thread is more appropriate elsewhere, it will get moved.

3. Have a good title.

The title should give some indication of what the debate topic is about. A good example would be "Can Genesis and the Big Bang be reconciled?". A bad example would be "What do you think of this?". Good titles also allows search engines to link to this site better.

4. Try to narrow down your topic.

Avoid presenting too broad of a topic like, "Christianity is wrong". Rather, try to focus on a particular area like, "Is the doctrine of the Trinity supported by scripture?"

5. State your major assumptions.

All arguments have assumptions. And debates often cannot progress meaningfully when participants have differing assumptions. In some subforums, the assumptions are stated in the guidelines. If there are additional assumptions that these do not cover, try to list the additional major assumptions. If an assumption is stated either in the OP or in a guideline, then debating the validity of the assumption is not allowed in the thread. If someone participates in the thread, then he/she must agree to the assumptions for sake of argument.

6. Offer definitions if possible.

A lot of time can be wasted by not having a consensus on terminology. This can hopefully be avoided by offering definitions of words used in the OP.

7. Have a clear question for debate in the opening post.

If there is no question for debate, it will be moved to RR. If the thread title contains the question, reiterate the question in the post.

8. Don't answer your own question in the OP.

If you answer your own debate question in the opening post, then it appears that you're not really interested in soliciting others for debate. Instead, simply answer your question in the second post.

9. Avoid a long post in the OP.

The OP is displayed as the first post on every page in the thread, so do not make it excessively long. Otherwise each page will require scrolling down to skip the first post.

10. Avoid a flame baiting OP.

Don't sensationalize your OP just to provoke a response. Topics that are respectfully presented will get respectful responses. Topics that just invite negative emotional responses will quickly devolve and be shut down.

11. This is not a "blogging" forum

This forum is not a place to simply present your views and then wait for others to react to it. Rather, this forum is a place to debate topics where a clear question is presented for debate. Presenting your views in the context of a debate is allowed, but simply presenting your ideas and opinions without it being in a context of a debate is not allowed in the debate subforums.

12. This is not a "preaching" forum

Though this forum is a place to debate Christianity and religious issues, it is not a place to simply "preach" to others. Preaching is allowed in the context of debating, but without the context of a debate, it will either be deleted or moved to a discussion subforum.

13. Abide by the rules.

And of course, please abide by the rules. Do not post inflammatory threads and be respectful of others.

If anyone else has any other tips, feel free to share them.
Last edited by otseng on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:41 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Tips on starting a debate topic

Post #2

Post by Bugmaster »

I think that answering your own questions should be allowed. After all, the reason I'm posting the topic in the first place is probably that I have an opinion about it -- and I want to defend that opinion, especially if I believe that the reasoning behind it is solid.

However, I see your point about the OP showing up on every page... maybe we should restrict the OPs to single-paragraph descriptions of the topic, which can be immediately followed up by a post that details the author's position, and the reasoning behind it ?

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Post #3

Post by otseng »

There is a simple solution. In the first post, state your debate question. Then post a second post to give your answer to your question.

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Post #4

Post by Bugmaster »

otseng wrote:There is a simple solution. In the first post, state your debate question. Then post a second post to give your answer to your question.
That's exactly what I was driving at, yeah.

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Re: Tips on starting a debate topic

Post #5

Post by Jester »

I'd like to add (somewhat hypocritically): try your best to keep it short.
We must continually ask ourselves whether victory has become more central to our goals than truth.

arian
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I like your tips and rules

Post #6

Post by arian »

I am new, and I did get off from the topic in other debate blogs. It is good to have rules and tips, and points. One gets to feel where one stands. Thank you and God bless you.

salvation2011
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Thanks, I get it now....

Post #7

Post by salvation2011 »

I hadnt figured out how to find the posts I had posted that seemed to disappear until just now. I will try to get the debate idea firm before I post new topic.
Let those who have ears hear, those discerning ones will see the truth, not what the world wants them to see as "truth." Let your biases go so you can truly hear the word of God...

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