Sunday, July 13, 2008

Online Debate Rules

Some people blog about rather controversial subjects from time to time. Sometimes the comment thread of these posts turn into very heated, name calling debates, in which case they should be shut down immediately by whoever runs the place (and probably go ahead and delete all of the grossly offensive comments). Other times a polite discussion (rare for the internets I know) occurs discussing both sides of the topic.

I was recently involved very briefly in one of these regarding gay marriage laws in California. We won't be debating the issue here on this blog today (comments regarding gay marriage specifically will be deleted*). Instead we'll discuss a rule of such a debate. If you choose to take the point that all laws should be based on logic (would be hard to argue against that would it not?) and not religion (or lack thereof), you cannot later result to vulgarities and closing of such a discussion when faced with overwhelming logic against you. That's just the way it goes. Put up or concede defeat.

*First I have not made my viewpoint about the subject clear on this blog, and you would have a hard time tracking my movements on the internet to pin it down. Also, over the years I've had the gay and lesbian argument a number of times, and there is always right around the same point to my logical bombardment that the conversation get's shut down. Don't think you are somehow smarter or have a different reasoning than the countless others that have tried. Someday I may make the whole post here, and give you an opportunity then, to come up with something truly clever.


Blogger Andrea said...

Nobody's as clever as you, dear. Dylan says "UIVOV TDSPC[L DK" That's what he thinks about your logic.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I read a lot of the argument and your right, if your going to put an idea up for debate, you should probably post some rules for having said discussion and then abide by them. Many of these debates seem to go nowhere anyways, as some of us know from having spent 2 years discussing topics of a personal nature with folks that oftentimes refused to see the forest for the trees no matter how much logic you presented to them. As for the bloggers end statements 1. "whiney b*tches," Pres Hinckley said it best when speaking on the subject of profanity (I paraphrase "the use of profanity is the attempt of a weak mind trying to express itself with force") I quoted this once to someone who questioned me what I thought about their constant use of profanity, needless to say they looked at me as though I had just stepped on their puppy upon hearing the prophets inspired teaching. 2 "grow up", maybe the blogger of referenced blog should take his own advice since he seems to be stuck in a perpetual state of what we'll call finger in rectal defelate.

Just my thoughts, always love to read your blog Wes.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

So... you want people to play nice?
Me, too!!

9:04 PM  
Blogger BugHunter said...

Nah, they can be as mean as they want as long as they don't take their ball and go home when they are losing. And then Definitely not tell me that I'm the one who should grow up. haha!

9:06 AM  
Blogger Matt "The Bull" said...

I think there must be passion. Be it miss guided or not. Passion is often wasted on the not so bright however. Inorder to truely be wise you MUST be open to having YOUR PARADIGM changed. Even the most "clever" among us does not have a perfect paradigm. (no man does) You must listen, empathize and apply logic and ponder. If after all that is truly done (it can be quick) you retain you Paradigm then you have lent due diligence.
However if your intent is to hang dogedly to one point of disscussion; Mearly to come off victorious; there can be no gain. Your emotional vaules must be able to be placed in check; albiet temporarlily.
If I say to you "we should have drive through sacrament meeting because I don't have time to sit and listen to old people pontificate for 3 hours in church"
What ever your intial reaction. be it fore or against can you check it and see the other side?

9:21 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

"Whatever your intial reaction, be it fore or against, can you check it and see the other side?"

Great point, Matt!

7:28 AM  
Blogger melissa smith said...

I just finished reading that post.

I am not a wingnut conservative

I am not a liberal either.

The parable of the olive tree comes to mind.

I think a branch is about to be destoryed. I hope its not "Us".

the bull not melissa

9:04 PM  
Blogger Oliver said...

sticks a stones may brake my bones but words will never harm me. you don't belong in the debating world if you are going to anything any one says personaly. even if they do call you a bleep. then there are thoughs only use bleeps. and they arn't worth anybodies time. one time i don't some one to stop swearing because it made me feal cheap that they couldn't take the time to come up with a more creative way to insult me. and i nearly got raped with a knife by six huge football players. thank goodnes i can run fast.

and i have a blog now you should check out

8:01 PM  
Blogger Joseph B. Hewitt IV said...

Several elections ago I was having an argument with Eric #3 about term limits in congress. There was an issue about them on the ballot. I was for the limits and he was against them.

As I was standing there in the booth, I thought to myself, "You know Eric made some really good points. I voted against them.

I'm driving back to work and call him on my cell phone. I told him that I thought about what he said and changed my mind.

"Shit." he said. "I thought you had made some really good points too and I also change my mind. I voted for them."

Now that really isn't a great example to use to support my point, which is that I really only care to debate such topics with people who are open enough to have their opinion changed based on the debate. I am willing to listen to your side, I am open enough to objectively weigh your opinions, points, merits, facts. I am willing to concede that I may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again. If you aren’t willing to do the same, what’s the point?

If you have never said something along the lines of, "That's a good point. I never thought of that. Knowing that, I change my mind. You are right." then maybe you are one of those people who needs to open up.

To quote Douglas Adams, as I am want to do:
Slartibartfast: I’d rather be happy than right any day.
Arthur Dent: And are you?
Slartibartfast : Ahh… No. That’s where it all breaks down.

Actually, the reason I came over here is to share this Global Warming link with you.,25197,24036736-7583,00.html

aka Finbwrt the Mighty (wrong)
Gbrmo the Short

2:13 AM  
Blogger Lance & Alayna said...

So...have you given up blogging?

4:19 PM  
Blogger Wow Panda said...

He is just afk blogging.

6:03 PM  

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