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Community Debates

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The Beego

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Rules for Community Debates
« on: May 04, 2021, 11:32:32 am »
What is this place?
This board is a place for more formalized debates between community members. The posts and replies featured here will be between those users who are engaged in the particular debate. There are essentially no minimum requirements for those who wish to debate, only that they are able to post (i.e., they have met the 5-post moderation requirement; see rules for more information) and still follow both the general rules for the forums and the specific rules agreed upon for the debate they are engaged in.

Why have this board?
Online messaging boards have been a place for people to slog it out over ideas for millenia (give or take). Many online ‘debates’ have migrated to the various social media platforms and have gone…’poorly’ is one word for it. On both of these more ‘traditional’ platforms, debate essentially has become two people writing at different levels, with different goals, about topics that either don’t matter or neither one of them understand. On top of all that, there are often other people interjecting their own opinions and comments into the middle of the discussion, which can derail the conversation or distract the dialoguers in other ways. With this board, we hope to cut out some of the clutter and give two people the space and agreed-upon rules necessary to get to the heart of a matter on which they wish to interact. Hopefully, these discussions will be marginally better than a run-of-the-mill online dumpster-fire-of-a-conversation, and will be preserved here for posterity and future reference if needed.

What does a debate here consist of?
Honestly, each debate can look different. It’s really up to the debaters. In general, it will only be two people who have agreed elsewhere (perhaps in another thread, or in PMs) to have a more formal conversation about a particular topic. There will be a generic rubric for a formal community debate (see below), but this can be modified as the debaters see fit. In general, there will likely be an agreed-upon number of exchanges (i.e., rebuttals) or periods of free discussion, including some kind of opening and closing remarks. The only people who will be posting are the two debaters and perhaps a moderator here and there if necessary. No discussion or outside commenting by non-debaters will be allowed. The debate threads will be closed after the debate is over.

What might the outline for a debate look like?
Again, this can change depending on those involved.
A suggested rubric might be:

The agreed upon debate topic is: ‘Did the universe begin to exist?’
User1 will argue in the affirmative; User2 will argue in the negative
Each user will post an opening statement with a maximum of 3,000 words without having seen the other’s. (Deadline March 3rd 1300EST)
User1 will post first, followed by User2.
User1 will offer a rebuttal; User2 will offer a rebuttal (each max 2,000 words). (Deadline March 5th 1300EST)
Each debater will ask 3 specific questions (no more than 50 words per question) to the other debater. (Deadline March 6th 1300EST)
Each debater will respond to the numbered questions in no more than 500 words. User1 will ask theirs first, and User2 will respond; User2 will ask theirs and User1 will respond. (Deadline March 7th 1300EST)
User1 will offer a final rebuttal; User2 will offer a final rebuttal (each max 2,000 words). (Deadline March 9th 1300EST)
User1 will offer closing remarks; User2 will offer closing remarks (each max 1,000 words). (Deadline March 11th 1300EST)
The debate thread will be closed.

Who can debate?
Literally anyone with the ability to post on the forums.

How do we set up a debate?
Once you have agreed to engage in a formal debate with another user, one or both of you contact a moderator (currently, that is either TheBeego or MartyrTEK) via a PM. The rules and topic can be decided upon through the PMs or emails. The moderator will then open the debate thread, post the agreed upon rules and outline, and first debater will be able to post up until the first deadline.

What can we debate about?
The topics can be over almost anything (within reason, and within the bounds of the rules of the forums). Mostly, they will be on things relating to theism and topics Reasonable Faith/Dr. Craig deals with, but they can be on anything the two debaters agree upon (including politics, etc.). They can be as broad or as narrow as the debaters wish.

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Happy debating!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 09:12:10 am by The Beego »
'Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.'

-Aragorn; The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien