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Debate Rules

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Agent Intellect

Absurd Anti-hero.
Local time
Yesterday, 20:08
Jul 28, 2008
People can create open challenges, making a statement for or against a certain claim, topic, subject, idea etc, and accepting the challenge of another person.

Once this is done (publicly) both contenders can come up with their own ground rules about the word count of their posts and how many rebuttals can be made (this should be done before the debate so that they do not go on infinitely). Word counts and rebuttal limits are mandatory, but the limit is at the discretion of the contenders (remember, the bigger of a blowhard you are, the fewer people will probably read your argument).

The into should be an independent post, not arguing against (or personally attacking the views you may or may not already know about your contender) or rebutting the contender. This is for making your case on why you think a certain way about the topic being discussed and support it - keep in mind that they will be making rebuttals against this, so cover as much ground as possible without getting too specific. Time limits should be set on how long one can take to write their intro or make a rebuttal (I can't imagine any more then a few days).

Familiarize yourself with logical fallacies, as these are a big no-no in formal debate. Any topic being debated should have supporting evidence (hard evidence and statistics are best, numerous expert opinion is decent, anecdotal evidence might be okay to lend support to other evidence). Remember, the more sources the better, and cite your sources if it's a book or put links to websites. Plagiarism will not be tolerated (quotes are fine, but should be cited).

Formal debates are about reasonable, logical arguments - personal attacks, flame wars, and complaining have no place them. Witty rhetoric is fine once in a while, but ones argument should not rest on it.

Group debates are fine, but make sure it's organized nicely so that anyone in the group isn't contradicting each other or being redundant on any of your points.

There will be a separate thread for comments by observers and voting on a winner after the debate has finished (either someone runs out of time to post or the rebuttal limit is reached). People can vote on any criteria they wish (although personal grudges/favorites is a stupid reason) and, although not mandatory, people should give reasons for why they voted as they did. The comment thread is not for continuing the debate, but only talking about the debate.

I would say that if the contenders wish, they can opt not to have a vote on their debate, but that can't stop people from declaring advocacy in the comment thread.

Topics of debate are just about anything one can think of - Science, Religion, Philosophy, Theology, History, Politics, Economics, Popular Culture, Media, Education etc. This is supposed to be for a learning experience, whether learning how to make a solid, logical debate or how to research a subject, and even learning something new about a subject you might not know much about or thought you knew everything about.

I can't think of anything else right now. If someone has something to add, do it on the other thread. The biggest thing is to keep civil.

I'll let someone else figure out how they want the threads set up - whether a contender does it themselves or if a judge (or forum mod) should be the one doing it.

Also, feel free to check this site out that IB posted on the other thread.
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