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  1. #1
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    Some interesting debate titles

    Really, it seems that if you find a debate title of a certain type, and especially if it's someone who hasn't made 20 posts yet, you basically know what you're in for. This is the type of title I'm talking about:

    Christianity does not have the moral high ground
    Why are Christians so naturally stubborn?
    God does not exist
    Jesus and His failure to formulate a useful golden rule
    The Bible, a potent force for atheism
    You can't prove god doesn't exist!
    There is no christian theology
    deities are human inventions 2012
    God is female.
    William Lane Craig fails to support "unembodied mind"...Craig vs Cyrus

    Talk about discussions that are over before they've started, right? If you've decided for us what the answer is, why bother debating? Classic examples of this are phrases like "you can't", "why are christians so naturally stubborn", "Willaim Lane Craig fails", etc. Way to take the wind out of our sails, right? Pretty much with this kind of a title you tell the people you're about to debate with that you aren't their interlocutor, rather you tell them that you are their educator. Of course, these were just some ones I saw in the religion area, and I only went a few pages deep so I didn't find enough good examples from some of the wild ones on the theist side of the fence this past year.

    And you've probably noticed that some of these aren't from very new members, but hey, I still have to be honest. Sometimes a thread titled like that can churn out some decent debate, but the title itself wouldn't make you assume that kind of content from the start, methinks.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

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  3. #2
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    Re: Some interesting debate titles

    What's wrong with those debate titles? I'm not clear on what your criticism is.

    Are you saying that titles of debates on this board should be more formal, more along the lines of: "Resolved: That God is female" rather than simply "God is female"?

    That seems overly formal and completely unnecessary to me.

    If you've decided for us what the answer is, why bother debating?
    I think perhaps you misunderstand what a debate title is. The title is a resolution that the affirmative side of the debate puts forth to be debated. It's not a question. It's a proposed resolution that one side affirms and the other side negates and the debate proceeds from there.

  4. #3
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    Re: Some interesting debate titles

    One think I've learned here is that provocative titles bring in the debaters. Put up a soft title and the turn out is often kind of bleak, put in a provocative one and they come running. Still, I try to avoid titles like that for my threads most of the time.

    As to forgone conclusions, that's kind of the OP requirement, you have to take a position so the titles reflect that.

    Still, I agree that many of the against religion threads have especially provocative titles, though I've seen them from the "other camp" as well.

    For example: Islam is not a religion, but a death cult of misogynistic pedophiles

    To me that easily trumps all the others you list.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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  6. #4
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    Re: Some interesting debate titles

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    One think I've learned here is that provocative titles bring in the debaters. Put up a soft title and the turn out is often kind of bleak, put in a provocative one and they come running. Still, I try to avoid titles like that for my threads most of the time.

    As to forgone conclusions, that's kind of the OP requirement, you have to take a position so the titles reflect that.

    Still, I agree that many of the against religion threads have especially provocative titles, though I've seen them from the "other camp" as well.

    For example: Islam is not a religion, but a death cult of misogynistic pedophiles

    To me that easily trumps all the others you list.
    Hmmm... How could I forget that one?

    ---------- Post added at 05:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    What's wrong with those debate titles? I'm not clear on what your criticism is.

    Are you saying that titles of debates on this board should be more formal, more along the lines of: "Resolved: That God is female" rather than simply "God is female"?

    That seems overly formal and completely unnecessary to me.
    I'm not proposing that. Really, I didn't propose anything. What I did was to look through some recent titles and try to observe the affect they can have on the debate. The results were kind of interesting, so I shared a few of the titles with the rest of you to see what you think. You don't have to agree with me. I just thought I'd like to see some other opinions.

    Now, what have I concluded thus far? Well, there seems to be a noticeable trend- although I haven't bothered to find ratios yet- of titles which provocatively declare a position as true, as opposed to just mentioning the issue and saving such declarations for the arguments in the OP, having less of a yield in quality debate. Interlocutors may come in slightly irritated already, and such debate titles are typically those produced by newer members. Most members we get who have 20 posts or less, apparently haven't much education in critical thinking, debate, or even the subject matter that is discussed. Of course, this is just the trend, and I think that others would agree that they've noticed the same kind of a pattern in new members.

    I think perhaps you misunderstand what a debate title is. The title is a resolution that the affirmative side of the debate puts forth to be debated. It's not a question. It's a proposed resolution that one side affirms and the other side negates and the debate proceeds from there.
    And where do you get that idea from? IMO: A title is just a title. The headline to identify a thread by. Maybe you've gotten your definition from a bit of observation here, but I've not once seen that kind of definition given as some template for people to follow. It certainly isn't written anywhere on ODN.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

  7. #5
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    Re: Some interesting debate titles

    Even though this is an online DEBATE site. In the week or so I've been here, it's not really so much debating but just conversing back and forth. There are so many streams of thoughts within one thread that it's hard to really pin things down. So my first few days was great, when I remembered what was going on but after a two day absence I have already lost track of some threads and I couldn't be bothered to look back too far.

    I like what LukeCash did with my thread and quoted back a couple of threads, which places his latest reply in context. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to return the favor (sorry). And then when there's another conversation going on between two other people, it becomes even harder to follow.

    If you'll excuse my impertinence to improve an already existing site, perhaps there should be a way to track these points better, maybe tagging them in some way that makes it easy to go back and forth.

    Or have a way of putting debates into a special format:






    I also, found that there's no ending point. People can just go on forever and split off into different threads and conversations. Surely, at some point, someone's got to say, you win, I lose. Or something that indicates that the conversation between two people is over.

  8. #6
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    Re: Some interesting debate titles

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash
    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    I think perhaps you misunderstand what a debate title is. The title is a resolution that the affirmative side of the debate puts forth to be debated. It's not a question. It's a proposed resolution that one side affirms and the other side negates and the debate proceeds from there.
    And where do you get that idea from? IMO: A title is just a title. The headline to identify a thread by. Maybe you've gotten your definition from a bit of observation here, but I've not once seen that kind of definition given as some template for people to follow. It certainly isn't written anywhere on ODN.
    I get the idea from the rules of (most) formal debating systems. There, the topic to be debated is put in the form of a resolution that one side defends and the other side attacks. For instance, if the issue to be debated is gun control, the resolution for the debate is not simply "Gun Control." It is something more like "Resolved: That weak gun control laws are a major factor in America's soaring death by firearm rate" or "Resolved: That proposed new gun control laws threaten Americans' Second Amendment rights."

    I see what you're saying but I don't think the problem necessarily lies in a thread's title as much it does with the (sometimes) over-the-top reactions to that title that some of us express in our reaction to that title. We should try to understand that in most instances the OP writer has a point-of-view (often a very strong one) on the subject about which he's writing and that with title of the thread he's only expressing that point-of-view right up front.

    Facts are facts, true, but the facts that we select to include or to omit in an OP or the way in which we express those facts in an OP are usually influenced by our personal stance on an issue. So from that perspective, personally I'd rather see a strong opinion expressed in a thread's title that leaves little doubt about the OP writer's stance on the topic. I think it puts me in a better position from which to evaluate the OP.

    OTOH, I agree with you that sometimes the rampant emotionalism seen in the titles of threads can be a bit off-putting.

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