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  1. #1
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    Fundamentals of Debating.

    Things everyone, new and old, should understand or look back on from time-to-time.

    The Fundamentals are:

    1. Overview.
    2. Grammar (Why am I important?).
    3. Positions (In debate).
    4. Defense (Negative Position).
    5. Offense (Positive Position).
    6. Flames v. Ad Homs.
    7. Evidence v. Hearsay.
    8. Sources.
    9. Victory Conditions.
    10. Conclusion.


    Overview.

    A Debate, as everyone knows is two or more differing opinions about a single subject being discussed. This was covered nicely in this thread (PurelyIronic) and also this thread (Apok). However, the purpose of this is to go more in depth. In it we'll discuss Grammer, Positions of claimants, offending terms, offense and defense, what constitutes evidence, how to cite sources, what constitutes a victory, and finally an ending summary before opening to questions.

    Grammar (Why am I important?)

    Being a debating forum over the internet rather than in public, grammar is of grave importance. As all anyone maintains from a post is the text of it, sarcasm, jokes, mood, and other things are harder to pinpoint, and may be misconstrued easily. Mind your "P's and Q's" so to speak. An example:

    Yeah that's intelligent.
    Yeah, that's intelligent.
    Yeah, that's intelligent.

    The above statement is sarcastic, which one is most obvious of that? If you said the last one, you'd be right. The winker indicates that it's not a serious statement. Also, grammar makes it easier to read a post and better argue with it. Someone who types:

    hi i just came in to see what was going on i didn't know this place even existed its really nice and i really like the things going on hear except for boobler hes a comp1337 douche monster

    looks a LOT harder to read than the same but said like this:

    Hi. I just came in to see what was going on. I didn't know this place even existed. It's really nice, and I really like the things going on here except for Boobler; he's a complete douche-monster.

    WHile it may be true that Boobler is, in fact, a "complete douche-monster" this doesn't excuse that the post was devoid of anything constituting basic grammar. Using grammar like the first paragraph tells members that you're young, and probably shouldn't be taken seriously, if even at all. So remember, capitalisation, punctuation, and basic grammar are your friends. The enemy is the Nandy-nation, bane of all Apokalytes.

    Positions.

    A debate has two positions mostly: Positive, and Negative.

    The Positive position is the claimant. This is the individual who asserts something as true. In this case, the individual who made the claim now has to prove their claim. The Negative is merely defense. Their job is to poke holes in the Positive arguments and shoot down their position. Asserting that the negative side must prove the opposite of your claim is called a "Fallacy of shifting the burden of proof." This is when you have to prove something, but challenge the opposition to prove the opposite and assert that your claim is true when they fail. Common saying: You can't prove a negative. Final note, try not to use sources that are biased heavily. Using www.buddhalovescheese.com wouldn't be very convincing for a position of Buddha loving cheese since the site itself appears incredibly biased.

    Defense.

    Defense is the naysayer. While it may seem easy to have this position as you aren't in a position to prove, the Defense has a fair amount of work to do. Merely constructing "Nah uh" arguments is useless. Show contradictions, explain where the positive claim is illogical or inconsistent, etc., and you can do fairly well.

    Offense.

    Offense is the yaysayer. This seems at first harder, but for any claim, no matter who insane, there's some sources on it somewhere. The key is to use competent, scholarly sources. www.google.com has a feature that allows you to google scholarly papers of all sorts. www.wikipedia.org also has a plethora of articles to choose from when supporting a position.

    Flames v. Ad Homs.

    Flames and Ad Homs, while seemingly similar, are different to a degree. A Flame is simply something along the lines of: Boobler is a douche-monster. An Ad Hom is more like: Only douche-monsters believes that Buddha loves cheese. THe difference is small, but in the latter example, you're not actually calling the person a douch-monster...directly at least. Either way, both are in extremely poor taste and should be avoided at all costs, no matter how true it may be.

    Evidence v. Hearsay.

    Questioning on the subject (Xan). Evidence is a tricky subject to a degree. Of course, again, buddhalovescheese.com is obviously not going to convince anyone. Just try to stick with impartial sources. Saying that you heard something, or that you believe something to be true, without SOMETHING to back it up, isn't very convincing and can easily be swept aside.

    Sources.

    Sources are VERY important. Saying:

    During the transitional phase from Siddhartha to Buddha, the young prince would eat nothing but cheese on days he didn't fast, despite the abundance of dates, phigs, and other foods.


    Sounds well and good right? But this is plaigarism if you don't cite the source. The better way for it would be:

    During the transitional phase from Siddhartha to Buddha, the young prince would eat nothing but cheese on days he didn't fast, despite the abundance of dates, phigs, and other foods.

    from www.buddhalovescheese.com


    Remember, cite those sources, or be reprimanded from staff and police...and believe me, since we operate outside the law, we'll be less kind.

    Victory Conditions.

    ODNers don't lose debate, so there's no discussion of what constitutes defeat. Only victory. How do you win? By getting your opponent to concede. If they don't, it's not a victory. You can PWN them all you like, but without the signal of defeat, there's no defeat.

    Conclusion:

    So we covered Grammar, and other things. I'll open to questions. If you need me to go further into something, or want something revised, say so. This is sort of a rough draft of it all. So it's by no means polished.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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  3. #2
    I've been given a "timeout"

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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Wait....didn't Buddha starve to death under a bonzi tree to become Buddha?

  4. #3
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrant
    Wait....didn't Buddha starve to death under a bonzi tree to become Buddha?
    No, he lived for many years afterward if memory serves.

    Good overview, anyway.

  5. #4
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Thanks for the information. It will help a great deal.

  6. #5
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    That is a good post for a crash course in debating. I like the easy examples and the simple layout.
    Don't get me started on the rutabaga!

  7. #6
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Hearsay is evidence.

  8. #7
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Quote Originally Posted by dclx88 View Post
    Hearsay is evidence.
    It sure is, similar to the way an idea is a "thing".

  9. #8
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Thanks man. This is good to look back to once and a while.
    There is no path. Beyond the scope of light - beyond the reach of dark - what could possibly await us?
    And yet we seek it insatiably. Such is our fate.

  10. #9
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Hearsay is not evidance

    example the telephone game

    a few years back in church youth group we played the telephone game where everyone sits right next to each other in a line then a word or phrase is spoke into the perssson on the ends ear they then wisper it to the person next to them and so on until it reaches the end of the line then the last person says what they understood of the messege and 9 times out of 10 it was always differnt sometimes not by much sometimes by alot. you cant trust what danny told you he heard from pollys brothers who heard it from his unkle (blablablablabla)
    In the begining the word was with GOD and the word was god

  11. #10
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abram View Post
    Hearsay is not evidance

    example the telephone game

    a few years back in church youth group we played the telephone game where everyone sits right next to each other in a line then a word or phrase is spoke into the perssson on the ends ear they then wisper it to the person next to them and so on until it reaches the end of the line then the last person says what they understood of the messege and 9 times out of 10 it was always differnt sometimes not by much sometimes by alot. you cant trust what danny told you he heard from pollys brothers who heard it from his unkle (blablablablabla)
    That does not mean it isn't evidence. It is just an unreliable piece of evidence, like a blurry photograph.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  12. #11
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    A blurry photo doenst change it goes stait from the developer to evidence

    hearsay is much differnt example you said photogragh in your response i said photo in this case the differnt word means the same but thats NOT allways the case

    people are not perfect and make mistakes

    also i say tha dany told me that he heard the killer in the dinning room with the revolver

    now i might be telling the truth 100% but what if dany was not being truthful?
    In the begining the word was with GOD and the word was god

  13. #12
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abram View Post
    also i say tha dany told me that he heard the killer in the dinning room with the revolver

    now i might be telling the truth 100% but what if dany was not being truthful?
    This is why I said that relying on someone's testimony without something to back it can be easily disputed and swept aside.

    With hearsay, you have several things to consider:

    -The nature of the claim. Is it ordinary or remarkable?
    -The person on whose testimony you're relying. How well do you know them? How honest are they?
    -The possibilities for alternatives. Is there another explanation than that person's testimony?

    Consider that Timmy is remarkably honest. He never lies. EVER. One day he tells you that aliens used a raygun and fired sunshine into his head and now he can only see in shades of pink, and that he can fly.

    Now, Timmy's claim is genuinely remarkable. Aliens? Rayguns? Shades of pink and flying? It's bizarre and hard to believe. But we know Timmy really well, and Timmy is always honest, so we have that experience with Timmy that allows us to consider his testimony as true. Then we can ask Timmy to demonstrate his flight. If he can fly, we have some actual concrete support BEYOND his word as he's now demonstrated some of his claim.

    But we still have to consider alternatives. Was he dreaming and maybe fell asleep in a pool of toxic waste? Has he always had these powers and only NOW chose to reveal them, but decided to mask this truth with a story about aliens?

    If Timmy's always been honest with us (and he has, because my imaginary Timmy never lies. Remember?) then we can say that if we ask Timmy and he confirms that he did NOT fall asleep, swim, or ingest toxic waste, and that he is most definitely NOT making this up, then we have good reason to believe his claim even though it's largely hearsay.

    I say it's LARGELY hearsay because while he CAN demonstrate his flight, he's unable to demonstrate that he sees in shades of pink, unable to demonstrate the aliens, or their ray gun. The only part of his testimony he can support is that he can fly. The rest we have to rely solely on what he's said.

    So we CAN use personal testimony (hearsay) as evidence, but like any form of evidence, we have to keep a critical mind and eye focused on it. After all, Skeeter who has a history of drinking and eating paint chips may be a great guy to hang around with (and who DOESN'T wanna kill an hour with a guy who loves to play chicken with trees?), but I wouldn't use him for support of a position like I would with Timmy.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  14. #13
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abram View Post
    A blurry photo doenst change it goes stait from the developer to evidence

    hearsay is much differnt example you said photogragh in your response i said photo in this case the differnt word means the same but thats NOT allways the case

    people are not perfect and make mistakes

    also i say tha dany told me that he heard the killer in the dinning room with the revolver

    now i might be telling the truth 100% but what if dany was not being truthful?
    A sticky might not be the best area to argue this, perhaps we should start a new thread.

    The similarities between a photograph and a hearsay is that they are attempts to portray information. You are a bit off when you say that the photo goes straight from the camera to the developer. The information in the form of photons travels from the object being photographed. Some of that information is lost do to "environmental noise," dust, odd lighting, etc. The camera is by no means a perfect recording device, either digitally or on film some of the photons are not captured and further information is lost. Finally, the developer uses chemicals in the case of film and algorithms for digital that are not exactly perfect as well.
    The combined effect is that the image on paper does not perfectly represent the object, but by evaluating the different steps (photographer, conditions, developer, etc) we can determine whether the portrayl is accurate or not.
    This is of course exactly what said, only more clumsy and with poorer punctuation.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  15. #14
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Mr. hyde
    I say it's LARGELY hearsay because while he CAN demonstrate his flight, he's unable to demonstrate that he sees in shades of pink, unable to demonstrate the aliens, or their ray gun. The only part of his testimony he can support is that he can fly. The rest we have to rely solely on what he's said.

    So we CAN use personal testimony (hearsay) as evidence, but like any form of evidence, we have to keep a critical mind and eye focused on it. After all, Skeeter who has a history of drinking and eating paint chips may be a great guy to hang around with (and who DOESN'T wanna kill an hour with a guy who loves to play chicken with trees?), but I wouldn't use him for support of a position like I would with Timmy.


    I dont belive you know exactly what hearsay is so ill give you the dictionary deff.

    Dictionary Deff.
    hear·say   /ˈhɪərˌseɪ/ Show Spelled
    [heer-sey] Show IPA

    –noun
    1. unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one's direct knowledge: I pay no attention to hearsay.
    2. an item of idle or unverified information or gossip; rumor: a malicious hearsay.



    And as far as Squatch347 's remark

    I dont care about the specifrics on how a photo was made its irrelavent. It is a piece of evidence that is unchanged after it has been taken and if it has in some way been tampered with the court would just dismiss it as a piece of evidence.

    as for opening this in a new thread i dont see why we really need to less complicated that way for quoteing each other and such.
    In the begining the word was with GOD and the word was god

  16. #15
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abram View Post


    I dont belive you know exactly what hearsay is so ill give you the dictionary deff.

    ....let me paste part of my post here for ya:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyde
    Consider that Timmy is remarkably honest. He never lies. EVER. One day he tells you that aliens used a raygun and fired sunshine into his head and now he can only see in shades of pink, and that he can fly.

    Now, Timmy's claim is genuinely remarkable. Aliens? Rayguns? Shades of pink and flying? It's bizarre and hard to believe. But we know Timmy really well, and Timmy is always honest, so we have that experience with Timmy that allows us to consider his testimony as true. Then we can ask Timmy to demonstrate his flight. If he can fly, we have some actual concrete support BEYOND his word as he's now demonstrated some of his claim.
    Now then, if you're not deaf in the eyes, you'll note that what I'm saying in the quoted portion is all about hearsay (personal testimony).

    Pay close attention to the last sentence: [B] If ]he can fly[/B, we have some actual concrete support BEYOND his word as he's now demonstrated some of his claim.

    What I'm saying there, very clearly, is that WITHOUT him demonstrating or proving that part of his story is true, then all we've got is his word (hearsay). I go on to explain that if he can fly, that at least lends some solid support to his story removing reliance on hearsay and adding something concrete to the matter.

    Even the part you quoted shows me you're not paying attention to what's being said:

    I say it's LARGELY hearsay because while he CAN demonstrate his flight, he's unable to demonstrate that he sees in shades of pink, unable to demonstrate the aliens, or their ray gun. The only part of his testimony he can support is that he can fly. The rest we have to rely solely on what he's said.
    That's part of what I had posted that you quoted. Let me break it down for you. Since the ONLY portion of Timmy's story we can verify is that he can fly, then the rest of his story is ONLY supported by HIS word, meaning 90% of what we'd be going on is hearsay. All we can support FROM Timmy's story is that he can fly.

    The only thing Timmy has going in his favor, for us to believe his story, is that A:He can fly, and B: He's always honest.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  17. #16
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    \
    Mr hyde

    hearsay (personal testimony).

    HEAR-SAY IS NOT PERSONAL TESTIMONY

    MR HYDE WHAT IS YOUR SO CALLED DEFFINITION OF HEAR-SAY
    In the begining the word was with GOD and the word was god

  18. #17
    Jmmtob
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    Re: Fundamentals of Debating.

    This helps me a lot.

 

 

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