3 Rules of Civil Debate

Author: 3RU7AL ,

Topic's posts

Posts in total: 21
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    Civil Debate - Rule One: You cannot redefine truth. 
    Every definition of truth requires facts.
    Facts are indisputable.
    Just like a court of law, both the prosecution and defense must agree on the facts.
    If you and your opponent disagree about a fact, you must immediately stop the debate and negotiate the point of disputed fact.

    Civil Debate - Rule Two: Do not disqualify your opponent. 
    Just like a boxing champion, you are only as good as your opponent.
    Ridicule is below the belt.
    Use logic.
    Your identity cannot qualify or disqualify sound logic.

    Civil Debate - Rule Three: Only your opponent can award points. 
    When your opponent makes a valid objection, you have the option to award them a point.
    Valid objections strengthen your argument.
    Help your opponent strengthen their position by presenting a steel man.
    The best debates are the ones that force you to learn something new.



  • bsh1
    bsh1 avatar
    Debates: 14
    Forum posts: 2,589
    5
    5
    8
    bsh1 avatar
    bsh1
    --> @3RU7AL
    Um...what?
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @bsh1
    I've sketched out a brief idea of having 3 rules of civil debate -

    1 - Establish common ground

    2 - Never disqualify your opponent

    3 - Only your opponent can grant or deduct points - scores can never go below zero

    As a practical matter, only rule 3 needs to be enforced.  I'd also like to see if generosity (in rewarding points) can be rewarded in the ranking system, even though a particular debate may technically be counted as a loss.

    I'd also like to add some upper limit to the points you can award your opponent.

    Perhaps 6 points per round would be good, and it would be nice to be able to quote your opponent to show why each point was given or taken away.

    The points could be awarded per round, or at the end of the debate if that is easier to implement.

    I just wouldn't want someone awarding their opponent something like 20,0000 points in order to game the ranking system.

    The whole idea is to incentivize open mindedness and encourage logical critique instead of simple bullheadedness and insults/burns/slams/nitpicking.

    I also thought it might be worth considering making a self moderated tie count as a win for both parties.
  • bsh1
    bsh1 avatar
    Debates: 14
    Forum posts: 2,589
    5
    5
    8
    bsh1 avatar
    bsh1
    I don't even understand what you mean by rule 3.

    Honestly, these rules seem unnecessary.

  • Ragnar
    Ragnar avatar
    Debates: 28
    Forum posts: 1,493
    5
    7
    10
    Ragnar avatar
    Ragnar
    --> @3RU7AL
    Could be an alternative system worth exploring, at least for people who are very civil toward each other.

    I suggest finding a couple people to demo it (forums, Google docs, or whatever).

  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @Ragnar
    Thanks, that's a good suggestion.

    I was thinking about using the debate interface here and choosing "judicial decision", then stipulating the rules in round one.
  • RationalMadman
    RationalMadman avatar
    Debates: 283
    Forum posts: 8,651
    10
    10
    11
    RationalMadman avatar
    RationalMadman
    I would like a civil debate cheating ring.
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @bsh1
    The whole idea is to incentivize open mindedness and encourage logical critique instead of simple bullheadedness and insults/burns/slams/nitpicking.

    Ad hominems, appeals to ignorance, appeals to fear, gish gallop, and appeals to false authority rule the public sphere.

    Popular debaters like Ben Shapiro use these fallacies ad nauseam to "win" their public debates.  He seems to delight is rankling opponents and exciting audiences without actually communicating well reasoned arguments.


    Many claim to appeal to cold hard logic at the same time they repeatedly use cheap logical fallacies to sway an audience.

    I've spent some time trying to find a simple solution to this common perversion of logic and this is the best idea I've discovered so far.

    Please let me know if you know of a better solution, or if you don't believe there is a problem at all, or if you believe there is another way of looking at this situation.

  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @RationalMadman
    Please elaborate on what you mean by "a civil debate cheating ring".
  • RationalMadman
    RationalMadman avatar
    Debates: 283
    Forum posts: 8,651
    10
    10
    11
    RationalMadman avatar
    RationalMadman
    --> @3RU7AL
    Thanks for your cooperation, please challenge me to a civil debate and let's chat on PM.
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @RationalMadman
    Done.
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    What's the point of Civil Debate?

    The goal is to help the other person refine their argument and to have your own argument refined as well. The format is designed to de-incentivize logical fallacies and ad hominem attacks. I would award you points when you make a valid objection to one of my statements and I would hope that you would award me a point if you considered one of my objections to your statements to be valid and helpful.

    Maximum of 6 points awarded and 6 points deducted per player per round, and scores can never go below zero.
  • TwoMan
    TwoMan avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 309
    1
    1
    3
    TwoMan avatar
    TwoMan
    In a perfect world, this would be a good idea. It presupposes that you have two dispassionate debaters who are willing to argue without allowing emotions to dictate their means. Nobody wants to lose a debate which is why people typically display the traits you mentioned above. People would rather be ugly and retain a semblance of winning than lose gracefully.
  • mustardness
    mustardness avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 2,029
    2
    1
    2
    mustardness avatar
    mustardness
    --> @TwoMan
    People would rather be ugly and retain a semblance of winning than lose gracefully.
    Trumpism.

    Charlie { pumped out-of-this-world } Sheen.

    Many of those with strong motivation to excel in whatever.

    Ego is double edged sword and begins when baby learns to manipulate the adults around them.

    Some remain babies and children well into their adulthood. Ex some Trumpanzees.





  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @TwoMan
    In a perfect world, this would be a good idea. It presupposes that you have two dispassionate debaters who are willing to argue without allowing emotions to dictate their means. Nobody wants to lose a debate which is why people typically display the traits you mentioned above. People would rather be ugly and retain a semblance of winning than lose gracefully.
    That's why we have to change the rules.

    If your opponent is your judge, it might not be a good idea to insult them.

  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    Please let me know if any of you would like to participate in a test of the Civil Debate Format.

    Maximum of 6 points awarded and 6 points deducted per player per round, and scores can never go below zero.

  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @bsh1 @Ragnar @RationalMadman @TwoMan

    The format creates a teacher/student relationship within the debate.

    The participant that gains the most intellectually by refining their arguments is the student and technically loses the debate.

    The participant that gains the least intellectually (but perhaps enhances their communication skills) technically wins the debate.

    If both participants are intransigent, it ends in a tie.

39 days later

  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    In summary, this is the main lesson (glimmering gem) I learned in the process of this debate -

    PRO says, (pr3.1) I'd say that "existence" is probably not the best word to describe noumenon (mainly because the definition of "exists" requires empirical verifiability).  I believe it is a mistake to imagine noumenon as some sort of "thing" when it is merely an amorphous concept that acts as a place-holder for both "what we don't currently know" (Mysterium Invisus) and "what may be fundamentally unknowable" (Magnum Mysterium).  For example, noumenon might be eleventy-trillion layers of sci-fi multiverse, noumenon might be an elaborate alien computer simulation, noumenon might be Brahma's dream, noumenon might be a single super-intelligent (but not omniscient) demiurge that we humans are merely appendages of.  In all likelihood, it is conceptually, literally, ultimately and completely beyond our ability to comprehend.  All of this makes it very very very difficult for me to believe that we can consider (with any degree of confidence whatsoever) that noumenon is itself comprised of 100% pure, uncut, "objective reality".  I mean since noumenon may involve a great many (likely) possibly subjective layers (simulation/dream/multiverse) below our primitive perceptions, although we can deduce with the confidence afforded us by our logic, that there must be, at some level, "real" and "true" and "objective" "reality", we cannot have any confidence that what we are able to perceive has anything-at-all to do with the-hypothetical-objective-essence directly.  It's like the old story of the princess and the pea.  Clearly there is "something" under the bed, but what are the chances that a normal person would be able to detect it through ninety-nine high-quality mattresses(?).

  • ethang5
    ethang5 avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 4,457
    3
    3
    6
    ethang5 avatar
    ethang5
    --> @3RU7AL
    Did you win your 2nd attempt here?

17 days later

  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @TwoMan
    In a perfect world, this would be a good idea. It presupposes that you have two dispassionate debaters who are willing to argue without allowing emotions to dictate their means. Nobody wants to lose a debate which is why people typically display the traits you mentioned above. People would rather be ugly and retain a semblance of winning than lose gracefully.
    You just might be correct.
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 5,308
    2
    3
    7
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    I'm not sure ridicule is generally very good at convincing your debate partner, it plays great with crowds and even with judges, but in one-on-one conversations with your friends and or family members it generally either shuts the other person up or makes them lash out in anger - both of these stifle the free exchange of ideas and as such, I would say that ridicule is a tactic to derail the debate.

    I believe the Civil Debate framework is superior (to traditional forms) because it promotes mutual understanding, consensus building and respect.

    I also believe it is superior when considering administration.  There is no reason to review votes (saves mods time and user backlash).  There are fewer (probably zero) debates that go unvoted on (which is incredibly frustrating when both parties have dedicated a lot of time and energy to produce a quality debate).