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What would your rules be for rational debate?

  1. Mar 10, 2005 #1
    If you could make a set of rules that would be the constitution for law courts, scientific debates and parliaments around the world, what would they be?

    Here's mine.

    This purpose of these rules are to ensure that the conclusion of a debate is restricted only by the intelligence of those taking part.

    The rules are as follows.

    Evidence is to be provided.

    Hypothesis' are to be made on this evidence.

    Opposition to false evidence requires counter evidence. Opposition to hypothesis requires new evidence and/or an examination of the reasonning used to compose the hypothesis. After this has been done the hypothesis or evidence is to be considerred false until the examination is disproved.

    As this is a discussion, nothing can be proved over and over and thus no hypothesis can be promoted to a theory. However if it becomes clear that a lone hypothesis exists which can withstand rational debate for a long period of time, this hypothesis can be considerred to be the prime ruling. It may still be subject to criticism.

    This rational debate is best accompanied by complete freedom of speech to ensure the entire debate does not consist of one group pushing their agenda. A judge or employee will exist to disprove easily disproved hypothesis that are presented by those who may wish to corrupt proceedings (spammers?). To preserve the values of this rational debate, even a hypothesis which is presented with the intent to flood the proceedings must be judged as the most reasonable argument in circulation. The amount of people supporting a hypothesis is irrelevant. If 300 million people believe the sun orbits the earth and 1 person believe the earth orbits the sun, neither hypothesis should be affected in any way during the rational debate, except in terms of the intelligence used to prove the hypothesis.

    There are no set laws of reasonning. However the following philosophical principles must be acknowledged.

    If something lacks both evidence to prove it occurs and evidence to disprove it occurs, it joins the ranks of the conceivably infinite occurances which can neither be proved or disproved.

    Evidence is, it does not prove anything. If a person were to claim that an item of evidence proves something, he is making a hypothesis which is subject to the before said rules.

    Lying is the most effective way to avoid reasonning. A complex malaise of liars and people claiming that others are liars exists in our society. Evidence provided must be accessible by those in debate. However a person may claim that he cannot access this evidence even though he can. In the event that a person cannot access evidence he must likewise prove he cannot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2005 #2
    To provide a rational debate I'd use the scientific method as a basis for all arguments. But would this be a good debate?

    Did anyone catch what went on in the Duma lately? :eek: :tongue2:
  4. Apr 4, 2005 #3
    My only rule for debates is "Don't get hostile with me!"


    The Rev
  5. Apr 5, 2005 #4
    By law to makea racional debate would be:

    Discuss with rational logic.
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