# Does anyone debate?

1. Sep 22, 2006

### Crystal Faye

If so, what type of debate do you do?

2. Sep 22, 2006

### JasonRox

A good friend and I debate often enough at work.

It's usually related to life decisions to try and determine the "good". Things like that. Basically examining the choices we make, and if we get disagreements, then there is a debate.

If that's what you mean.

Of course, we talk about other things and debate about them too, but that seems to be a common one.

There is no arguments though.

3. Sep 22, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Do you mean like Forensic debate in high school? My younger daughter was a top debater, I was a judge. (couldn't judge her debates though)

This was part of the National Forensics League.

Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
4. Sep 22, 2006

i debate on everything, its my goal in life as a true jewish person.

5. Sep 22, 2006

### JasonRox

She was in the NFL! :surprised

6. Sep 22, 2006

### mattmns

Ahh debate, could there be a bigger waste of time?

7. Sep 22, 2006

### JasonRox

Only debating without an open mind is stupid.

8. Sep 22, 2006

### rcgldr

I only debate on forums like this. Especially when someone posts anything postive about "It's a Small World", or goes off topic.

9. Sep 22, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Blasphemy!

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears, it's a world of hopes and a world of fears...resistance is futile...there's so much that we share that it's time we're aware...you're getting sleepy, very very sleepy...It's a small, small world!."

10. Sep 22, 2006

### Pythagorean

I usually get annoyed at people debating just to debate. I can't think of the exception, but usually it means they're practicing their persuasion. They're usually a certain sort of political science or a philosophy major, and when they're just learning their major, it's like they're trained (without even having developed their own opinion) to start arguing and making it sound like they're right. The truth seems to be irrelevent.

In my communications class (core requirement), they used Hitler as an example of how to be persuasive. I don't know if this shocks you, or makes you roll your eyes that I'm shocked at it, but it's everything that I"m ethically against as a scientist-in-training, where we try to be informative rather than persuasive.

I'm not saying all political science and philosophy majors are like this, some have actually developed their opinions to a certain point before discussing them, at which point it becomes a 'discussion'.

'Discussion' to you may be no more than a high-quality debate, but as far as I've seen, most 'debates' are 'pseudo-discussions.'

11. Sep 22, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Wow, don't know where you went to school, but that's not how it is here in the US.

When you are on the debate team, you are given a topic and you and you're partner (you are always teamed with someone) must research both sides of the subject and be prepared to argue for or against it. On the debate day, the students are given a schedule and they know which hours they will debate and which team they will debate against. When they show up for the debate, they are then told if they are debating for or against the subject. You might be for the issue one hour, then against it the next.

The debates are judged on how well the student presented their argument, how they countered the opposing team's argument and their closing case. There are rather strict guidelines that need to be followed. It is very interesting to watch, especially when you have two good teams up against each other.

Debate is learning about how to do research, presenting a case, public speaking, etc...

Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
12. Sep 22, 2006

### Pythagorean

I'm in Alaska... which is kind of the US, but more like the US 20 years ago (politically).

What you described seems like a civilized version of what I said. They argue both sides of the argument. Why even take sides? what benefit does that provide if you're just doing it to persuade and convince? Why not actually seek the truth instead of argue the suggestions brought about by it? Why not discuss it? Why not explore it, experiment with it?

It just seems awefully maniuplative to me. By arguing both sides of an argument, you're getting better at arguing, because you can see the flaws of other people's arguments and hide or hand-wave past your own (as your fellow debators expose them).

What's painfully wrong with the system of debate is that there are cases where two opposing sides could easly co-exist, but the two extremists (those who go to the lengths of debating, and i'm not excluding myself from this state of personality) are so focused on their side being right, that they never consider the relationship between both their points.

Not to say debating doesn't have benefits. It must, or people wouldn't do it. I just fear that the benefit is being able to convince masses of people to do something you want them to.

13. Sep 22, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Because debate is like two trial lawyers both trying to win their case, they may not believe in their client, but their job is to present the most compelling case using whatever evidence they have, and to present their case to the best of their ability. This is a very important quality for a public defender. Debate is training for these types of jobs. You need a sharp wit, ability to listen and comprehend, while changing your strategy to counter the opposition, think and change course on the fly, excellent memory, excellent oratory skills, and come across as sincere (not mechanical) to your audience.

It also teaches you that there is more than one side to an issue and that you can't discuss one side if you don't know the other side. It teaches you to have an open mind.

It's very tough, not many can do this well. It is NOT a discussion. In a court room, you don't play with the evidence and "explore it" with the opposing factor. It's not a love fest.

Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
14. Sep 22, 2006

### Pythagorean

a court room is an excellent place for debate, I must admit, and if I have a public defender, you better believe I'd want them to be persuasive.... especially if I'm guilty...

If I'm innocent, I'd hope the evidence would speak for itself.

But I realize that court cases aren't so cut and dry like that. I was very appreciative of my public defender in a "minor in possesson" case, of which I was naturally guilty, but do I, to this day, feel I ever did anything wrong? No.

In fact, you've opened my eyes more than that... I could see how debate could help a member of congress protect the people they represent against hard-headed $%#@*$%*.

For that, I can see the purpose of practicing and getting good at it.

The presidential debate? Useless! Such a powerful position should be inspected by one's past actions, not their ability to persuade the public they're supposed to be serving.

15. Sep 22, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Presidential "debates" are nothing more than mud slinging contests. :grumpy:

16. Sep 23, 2006

### Kalimaa23

I participate in two debate contests, organised by the Brussels chapter of the Junior Chamber when I was in high school. Both times, the final was played out by two teams of our school

The teams consisted of three people, two debaters and one helper, who gave us little cards to notify us of elapsed time and so forth.

A debate was always structured into three parts : presentation of viewpoint, argumentation against the other viewpoint and conclusion. The hard part was the short preparation time : thirty minutes after you got the subject. The hard part is when you have to debate against something you strongly agree with, in my case gay marriage, where there is no sensible argument against it. I tried to take the high road that marriage in itself is an outdated concept : marriage should be replaced by a civil union, a cohabitation contract of you will, open to both gays and straights. This would undo the need for gay marriage. This just to give an example who you try to twist it to some ground where you find yourself more familiar.