Debate: A Debate...

Sara - posted on 09/17/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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So, here's something I've been wondering. Do you think that in order to have a good position in a debate, you should be able to back it up with proven facts and sources. For example, is it better to use a newspaper article or a journal for a source rather than a blog? This is something I've been wondering about lately, since so many people seem to use blogs for information...

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ME - posted on 09/17/2009

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Debate requires the use of as much fact/evidence as possible. Arguing for the fun of it can be based on rhetoric or emotion alone. I have tried to point this out the the conservatives on MANY occasions. They don't seem to care. The difference is that a logical argument avoids fallacies such as: attacking the person instead of their argument (for example, by calling him Hitler or a Witch Doctor), changing the meaning of a word (i.e, "evidence", or "human rights", or "values") which could have multiple meanings, calling on inappropriate authorities (such as the church in a scientific debate), or appealing to emotions or traditions (for example: calling women who choose to have abortions murderers or claiming that UHC is wrong because we've never had it before or our forefathers opposed it). A logical debate or argument is a search for the TRUTH, while a rhetorical statement doesn't care for the truth, but only about maintaining the status quo or avoiding dissent. I find little point in rhetorical discussions, because no one gets anywhere and nothing is learned or concluded. Blogs might be sources of information, depending on who is writing them and what their field of expertise is. Undoubtedly, a journal article or news article is a better source of info, and multiple sources stating the same facts is the best defense of a position.

Jaime - posted on 09/17/2009

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I found this definition of debate:
"to engage in argument or discussion, as in a legislative or public assembly"

With that being said, the general consensus from the other descriptions of the word debate all centred around the act of 'arguing' or 'discussing' opposing viewpoints. There is no mention of fact being brought to the discussion in support of either side. I debated in University where it was essential that we use facts to support our argument, but on an informal site, such as COM it's a bit harder to demand that same level of dedication. Everyone is going to have an opinion, but not everyone is willing to do the leg work to ensure that their words affect the topic and merit any consideration on the part of others involved in the discussion. Much of the time debates become personal and the 'judgment' card gets tossed around like toilet paper on Devil's night...that's when discussions seem to take a tour on the tangent express as the topic becomes more heated. In spite of the minor inconvenience of not always following debating guidelines, I think that this site is a great network of information on all facets of society. We discuss poop and politics...both of which require some shit shoveling from time to time.

?? - posted on 09/17/2009

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The only time a "blog" can be the source of facts is if in the opinion that the blogger is expressing he states the FACTS along with the SOURCE that they found the FACTS. So if you use a blog for FACTS you sure as shit better be checkin for a source, and checkin out the source to make sure you're not quoting some Jim Jones Charles Manson mo'fo that couldn't decipher fact from fiction even at the best of times.

Dawn - posted on 09/17/2009

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I agree, but, you even have to watch it out with what you are finding on the media web sites too. We all can agree that no matter what news org you are watching, they put out their own political agenda

Sharon - posted on 09/17/2009

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I agree with Laura - we often don't debate at all - just offer up opinions. Which is valid and important to be sure, but its not a "debate" as I learned in school.



Blogs are not fact. They are more opinion.

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I really think it depends on what you're debating. If you're debating, say, the health care plan, and you have some claims about what it says, then you need to back those up. But if it's something like whether looks matter or not, it's probably safe to just give your opinion without worrying about trying to find some information on it.

[deleted account]

Depends upon the debate. In most cases, I don't think personal experience or somebody's blog is of any value in a debate. Personally, I am looking for evidence. But I've found a lot of people don't see things the way I do. I've been involved in debates on other parenting forums where people get upset if you try to provide evidence like a journal or article. They just want to hear how people feel, even if those feelings are based on faulty information. I think you need to know what type of debate your getting yourself into first.

Isobel - posted on 09/17/2009

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yes...I often find that we mis-use the word debate (not always but often), most of the time we are not really debating, we are arguing. It is always amazing to me what people think counts as proof of fact. If I quoted Glenn Beck in a school paper, I would get a big fat F, same with wikipedia.

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