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An Official Debate Thread

  1. Jun 21, 2005 #1
    I just went to a forum off of infidels.com or .org, I don't know the exact address, but anyway - They have a section where their are formal debates grouped into rounds, with a moderator. Other memebers cannot post on the debate thread, but they can post onto a side thread making comments.

    I think PF should emply this idea because it would add structure to the masses of ideas going around. I have seen too many incomplete, unreferenced, obsurdly biased posts that are typed in a few minutes while others put thought, research, and patience into theirs.

    What do you guys think? Should we have formal debates? I say yes.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2005 #2

    Evo

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    We tried to do this recently, but not enough support for it.

    PF Debate Competition
     
  4. Jun 21, 2005 #3
    No. People in general are not intelligent enough to debate. Most debates take the sole form of "well here's what I think." One person presenting his point of view followed by the other person presenting his point of view does not constitute a debate. Tossing points back and forth productively requires powerfully accurate comprehension and reasoning skills, which people generally do not have. When this reasoning inadequacy becomes compounded with a psychological inability to admit error, debate is futile.

    The clever cynic should simply point out the clear factual errors that the opponent has made, no matter how minor, and ignore all other points. Then he can sit back and giggle as the opponent squirms yet cannot admit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2005
  5. Jun 21, 2005 #4
    Ah cmon guys! We need something like this going on, especially on the many topics of philosophy. Who wants to spar with me? Any takers?

    Jameson
     
  6. Jun 21, 2005 #5
    Well I think that this forum has many people who are above average intelligence and while some debates might be in vain, perhaps something interesting and intelligent could come from it. Just a thought.

    I hope someone agrees with me.
     
  7. Jun 21, 2005 #6
    What does the moderator do?
     
  8. Jun 21, 2005 #7
    great idea
     
  9. Jun 21, 2005 #8
    i think it sounds like a neat idea... even though greg already suggested it, and evo suggested something a little more friendly...

    you guys are so bad at advertising for that kinda stuff on pf though... not everyone checks the feedback threads very often. maybe greg could create new banners or something when there's a new idea out there... then he could get some real feedback on it... i really dunno...
     
  10. Jun 21, 2005 #9

    honestrosewater

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    You could always just start your own "formal debate" thread on a subject. Just say you want to have a formal debate about such and such, give some rules, and ask someone to join you (or maybe invite someone ahead of time). You could PM Kerrie or hypnagogue (or wherever it would go) and ask them if they would have a problem with it. It may turn out well and catch on. :smile:
     
  11. Jun 21, 2005 #10

    Evo

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    In the philosophy forum? Perhaps. But, you would need someone to keep the, uhm, "helpful" people out of the debate.

    I know this sounds terrible, but I truly believe that I could start a thread in philosophy right now asking why baseballs aren't sentient and half a dozen people would start a serious discussion about it. :bugeye:

    (runs and hides)
     
  12. Jun 21, 2005 #11
    That's not really a joke... given that we have no certain knowledge of any sentience except our own, we have no certain knowledge of whether baseballs are sentient, only subjective extrapolation. "Sentience is the result of humanlike thought" is only an ill-defined theory, with only one piece of evidence (one's own sentience). You're going to shake your head and say "see I was right" but the point is not how silly the people in the philosophy forums are for talking about sentience, but how philosophical issues are hardly ever so simple that they can be dismissed at first sight.
     
  13. Jun 21, 2005 #12

    Evo

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    But I am referring to the ones that have been hit so many times that it's obvious that they are braindead.

    My obvious question would be - what good is discussing that topic? What's the point? Will it change anything? Will anyone have an answer? What is the reason to waste time on such a thing? Is the dirt under my fingernails sentient? If I devote my life to pondering this, is this time wasted or well spent? There's our debate topic. :tongue:
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2005
  14. Jun 21, 2005 #13
    Ho ho ho, but even braindead doesn't necessarily mean nonsentient.
     
  15. Jun 21, 2005 #14

    Evo

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    You're too quick, go back up and read my edit. :wink:
     
  16. Jun 21, 2005 #15

    Moonbear

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    I was one of the naysayers of the original suggestion. There weren't many others jumping up and volunteering either, but there were a few. All it takes is two people and a topic, so maybe someone who is interested should suggest a topic they'd like to debate and see if there's someone willing to take the opposing side. Maybe if the topic is compelling enough, it will generate more interest than just the general idea of a formal debate.
     
  17. Jun 21, 2005 #16
    Well, in response to your edit, yes, it would be well-spent if you did it well. Your consciousness is the only fundamental problem that physics cannot in principle solve. All ideas about purpose, meaning, joy, etc., can all be seen in terms of operations and relevance to your consciousness. The exploration of consciousness is the last rational religion. If in your philosophy you decide that physical objects in general are conscious, this would make your world that much more meaningful, as you interpret the sentient meaning of baseball statistics and glassmaking factories. If you decide that the world is not sentient, and no physical principle exists to produce it, then humanity is a lone spot of color in a deadened world, and you must find reasons for that--such as spiritual migration, God, or creative destiny.
     
  18. Jun 21, 2005 #17

    honestrosewater

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    Well, there doesn't seem to be much to debate in the other forums. Actually, if something in another forum turns into a debate, it usually gets moved to Philosophy.
    Just post the rules at the beginning of the thread. People can always start a new thread to discuss something raised in the debate. What would it hurt to try anyway? At worst, you find out that it doesn't work.

    Ah, I thought I quoted- this is re Evo #10
     
  19. Jun 21, 2005 #18

    Evo

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    Or that baseballs are just baseballs and dirt is just dirt. :biggrin:
     
  20. Jun 21, 2005 #19
    Yes, Evo--I believe the last sentence of my post described the relevance of philosophy of consciousness even if that is your conclusion.
     
  21. Jun 21, 2005 #20

    Evo

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    I think a debate would be fun. I was a debate judge when my daughter was on her high school debate team. There are guidelines if people aren't certain of what to do.
     
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