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Is this Debate Pit useful?


The Soldier
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  1. 1. Is the Debate Pit useful?

    • Yes
      22
    • No
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A question regarding this Debate Pit: is it really useful?

 

Now before you get confused, let me explain what I can.

 

I've more or less go into some threads in this Debate Pit and do notice the arguements going on. And let me tell you a few are not pretty. Some are even close enough to flame wars. But, no matter how heated an arguement is or no matter what tactics or facts they use, the people, and I will admit this, on both sides of a subject are stubborn. This actually makes me question the point of this Debate Pit. Unless there is a group of indifferent people left to choose one side as there is a jury of court left to decide the verdict of a suspect, this sub forum may actually proove its worth. Instead, there is no indifferent people left to decide, just groups left to endlessly argue whether something may be right or wrong. And it makes me wonder that if that's just what people are going to do, being only one-sided, going against what they don't want to hear and supporting what they do, then what is the point of this sub forum?

Edited by Psyche Clops
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Truth be told, I don't think it's useful in the slightest. It's just people bitching back and forth over their opinion because their opinion is obviously superior to others. I have posted in several threads there before and it's all arguing back and forth with nothing useful going on. The odds of someone going there, seeing another perspective of things and then changing their opinion is extremely slim. So, no, it's not useful. 

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The Debate Pit is not useful at all, the main purpose that it has is it only has people argue over their opinions because they think that their opinion matters the most and that nobody can question it. Arguing can not get two people far, even when they are arguing about each others opinions it doesn't help at all it only adds more fuel to the fire.

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A question regarding this Debate Pit: is it really useful?

 

It is a bit unreasonable to expect people to change one another's minds about firmly held beliefs.  You really won't see it very often here, or on any other online forum.  The simple reason is pride.  Even if somebody does realize that they were mistaken all along, they will very rarely admit it.  They will simply stop participating in the discussion, leaving the others to wonder if they lost interest, gave up, or what have you.

 

Another significant, useful purpose of a debate is to help the participants to properly flesh out why they think the way that they do.  A lot of people have never examined their own opinions or beliefs; after all, you don't have to if it's never been challenged.  By advocating one position against a skeptical crowd, it forces participants to understand their own thoughts, and convey them verbally.  That by itself is extremely useful, regardless of the actual outcome of the debate.

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I think its actual purprose to move the arguements rather than stop them, sort of a containment function.

 

Being able to debate is good. As long as folks can construct good cases for their point of view it can be useful. Of course this isn't always the case :)

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I think its actual purprose to move the arguements rather than stop them, sort of a containment function.

 

Heh, yes this is very much its function on this forum.  It's a fairly new addition, too...only about 6 months old.  For the first year and a half of this site's existence, debate threads roamed free among the other threads in General Discussion and elsewhere.

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I think its actual purprose to move the arguements rather than stop them, sort of a containment function.

 

^This.  Whether or not the people debating can actually sway the opposing side isn't the point.  I imagine that the point is that if these arguments didn't happen here, they would happen somewhere else on the forums and banishing confining them to the pit makes it so that people such as I who don't care to debate can completely avoid these topics.

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Well, I have to say yes and no.

 

Reason for no yes: Its just a sh*tstorm of people arguing with each other refining their own beliefs. No one agrees, and everyone gets angry to learn about themselves and each other.

 

Reason for yes no: It builds up your post count.

 

Fixed it for you.  And in all seriousness, those silly, pointless "Forum Games" are a far simpler way to build their post count (assuming anyone actually comes here to do that).

...so that people such as I who don't care to debate can completely avoid these topics.

 

Well...

 

You best start believin' in Debate Pit threads...

 

*insert Barbossa meme*

 

You're in one!

 

---

 

Anyways, this part of the forum is where the 100 character minimum tends to be the most aggravating.  Sometimes all I want to do is quote a certain part of somebody's post and ask "why?"  But the character minimum forces me to ramble, thus generating more derailment fodder (or things for the other person to latch onto and avoid answering my "why" question).

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It's just people bitching back and forth over their opinion because their opinion is obviously superior to others.

Isn't that exactly the special talent of most humans? lol

 

As for me, I think the Debate Pit is useful. Although opinions might or might not be changed, the one who decides for it to be useful is the one looking up on it. There might be other opinions that might interest you thus you would like to read more about it and view it from a different angle, surely is something useful, especially if you want to use your brain more. This planet was a plate hundreds of years ago but when it's point of view was changed, it turned into a globe. Simply because opinions don't change, it doesn't mean there aren't any new arguments supporting a statement.

Edited by Lunatic Cake
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Fixed it for you. And in all seriousness, those silly, pointless "Forum Games" are a far simpler way to build their post count (assuming anyone actually comes here to do that).

>Implies that post count would actually count to apply when posting in the Forum Lounge.

 

Really, you can't. I think it's because of the 0 max. Character limit that makes it easy for spam. :V

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>Implies that post count would actually count to apply when posting in the Forum Lounge.

 

Really, you can't. I think it's because of the 0 max. Character limit that makes it easy for spam. :V

 

Ooohhhh...I didn't know that.  Well, I guess that makes sense.  I never go to that part of the forum; vapid yammerings about people rating one another's avatars/signatures holds no appeal to me.

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Well...

 

You best start believin' in Debate Pit threads...

 

*insert Barbossa meme*

 

You're in one!

 

Well shit, you've got a point there...  Oh crap, I didn't even notice that this thread was even in the Debate Pit!  When I saw it on the homepage, I assumed that it was in Feedback and Suggestions...  I'm an idiot.

 

Maybe I should instead say that I don't particularly enjoy threads with heated arguments which I've heard (I don't actually come here very often) are more common in the Debate Pit.

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Agree with the above statements that the Debate Pit is more a containment system. These things are going to happen, might as well have somewhere to dump them so they are isolate from the rest of the forum.

 

The biggest difficulty is in the name 'Debate' causes some people to put unrealistic expectations on what is going to occur. This subforum has nothing to do with the current definition of a technical debate, as that cannot be performed with random people popping in and out of a discussion. To follow the current methods, debates have extensive rules which require strict moderation.

 

The first rule is that both sides of a debate have to be very clear on what is being debated. It is in the framing of the topic that most debates are won or lost. To the point that now-a-days it isn't even necessary to have the debate itself, as once both parties agree upon the definition of terms it's already clear which side is 'correct', as the definitions automatically exclude one side from being possible.

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In my opinion, it is and it isn't.  It is useful in my eyes, because as long as there aren't outright arguments going on, people get an idea of the other side's perspective.  And because this forum is overall about something that we all have in common AND it's a thing that promotes friendship and unity despite other's differences, the debate pit has the potential for eye opening discussions about societies 'hot' button topics and other things that there just isn't a middle ground to stand on with.  HOWEVER, a lot of 'flame wars' and outright arguing seem to mainly be done by those who are not only stubborn, but also immature.  Personally, I would put an age limit on the debate pit, since there many things that teenagers may know about, but most may not have the life experiances and community/societal involement that allows them to view such topic in a constructive, (somewhat) open-minded. Now I am not saying ALL teens haven't been around the block a bit, I'm just saying there is overall a difference in the maturity levels of teenagers vs. adults.  I also think there should be way to "boot" a user out of a debate topic if they are just trolling or are so stubborn they are degrading every user that does not agree with them.  The admins should have an option to allow users to report these people because they take away from the constuctiveness of the topic they are so vehemently stubborn about.  And if a user gets enough complaints about them to the admins, then the admins should lock that topic to that user.    There just needs to be a balance and a way for everyone to say what they believe without the fear of a 'flame war' but yet have constuctive critism and maybe see the other point of view in a way they may never thought of before. 

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Hey, it lets the randroids, homophobes and fundies post their opinions without polluting the rest of the forums, that's gotta count for something. Keep the debate pit. That way we have the option to ignore the threads in it and pretend that the fandom is actually full of open-minded and compassionate people.

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Just a quick note: This thread was moved to the Feedback section due to its discussion regarding a feature of the forums.

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So people would rather have all these political, ethical and religion-based topics toxifying the General Discussion forum, instead? The DP's purpose is to put all the high-maintenance topics that people love to make and then flaunt their opinions like tail feathers about, into a section that people who don't care to participate, can ignore. The problem beforehand had been that, there was no feasible way to stop people from making debate-ish topics altogether without creating borderline-authoritarian rules against it, of which people would complain about even more. This caused General Discussion to be 1/4th if not 1/2th full of debate topics, which honestly made the forum look unwelcoming. 'General' and 'debate' are more antonymous than synonymous.

 

Sticking them in a hole in the ground away from everything else has flaws, but so does every decision. Looking at how cleaner and more used GD now is, and how debaters now have their own place to do their thing without bothering other people, I'd by no means call it 'pointless' or 'not useful'. No matter what the staff do or don't do, no matter what non-debaters do or don't believe, people will always create debates. No, they don't, if even usually reach conclusions, but that doesn't really matter to these people, because much of the time, their overall goal is the discussion itself, exercising the concept of debating, making counter-arguments and simply butting opinions against one another in some bizarre Pokemon-esque battle, anyway. The fun (if you can call it that) is in the journey, not the end, as they say. Ergo, focusing on the fact that debates rarely end with both sides agreeing on something seems like a somewhat redundant point. That's practically the definition of online debates.

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The name of the Debate Pit may perhaps be causing the confusion. Unlike more conventional debates in real life, there isn't an obligation to interact with the arguments of others in any way, and there isn't an outside audience of any kind that both sides are attempting to persuade or impress in some fashion. As was outlined above, the section was made as a way to allow people to enjoy General Discussion more easily during a time where a small group of users was rapidly starting a large number of political and religious threads that, probably inevitably, got heated and tended to limit members' enjoyment of the section overall. The section's purpose from the beginning was to hopefully better control the topics that tended to go out of control and allow people to avoid them more easily. The fact that people rarely seem to change their minds, listen to others and reach some kind of middle ground is unfortunate, but it really wasn't what the section was meant to do and I'd question whether it happens in other sections anyway.

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The name of the Debate Pit may perhaps be causing the confusion.

It's a section where members are encouraged to start threads that are controversial from the get-go, so the name seems fitting.

 

 

there isn't an obligation to interact with the arguments of others in any way

If it's posted in that section, people generally feel the purpose of the thread is to interact with the original poster's argument, and rightfully so. If it wasn't, they'd post it in a blog. Even then, the point of threads in general is to spark discussion of some sort.

 

 

The section's purpose from the beginning was to hopefully better control the topics that tended to go out of control and allow people to avoid them more easily. 

The only things these topics do is spawn negativity. They're pretty much doomed from the start.

 

In the end, the section does more harm than good.

Edited by Rockymoo
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The only things these topics do is spawn negativity. They're pretty much doomed from the start.

 

In the end, the section does more harm than good.

 

The problem with your statement is that, regardless of the Debate Pit's existence, people will still make those topics. They will still spawn negativity. This is how it was before the Pit was implemented (and the reason for the section's creation, in the first place). People would make topics in GD, flamewars start, same things happen. The difference is that we now have a single place--a pit, if you will--where all that negativity is dumped. It makes it much easier to monitor, and it keeps the other sections much cleaner. 

 

The only alternative would be to ban those discussions altogether, and that's more trouble than it's worth. Someone will bring up controversy sooner or later. Better to preempt that with a dedicated section. 

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It's a section where members are encouraged to start threads that are controversial from the get-go, so the name seems fitting.

 

I wasn't trying to say that the name wasn't fitting or bad, or anything, just trying to clarify how discussions in Debate Pit threads tend to differ from many debates held in real life as a response to the OP. It probably wasn't necessary, but I thought I'd say so anyway. I think it's a very good name.

 

If it's posted in that section, people generally feel the purpose of the thread is to interact with the original poster's argument, and rightfully so. If it wasn't, they'd post it in a blog. Even then, the point of threads in general is to spark discussion of some sort.

 

Of course. I was just saying that unlike more conventional debates, you don't have to necessarily argue with other people. You're free to pop in, post your own views about the economy, or whatever the subject of the thread is and go on your way without arguing why anybody else's are wrong. I know that quoting and arguing are much more common in this section, and I understand why, I was just saying that people don't have to do it simply because they're posting in a topic. Which wasn't exactly something profound to say, but the Psyche's seeming comparison to debates like those held in real life, where there's a fixed end and people are often trying to persuade or impress somebody compelled me to say it. I know what the point of a thread is.

 

The only things these topics do is spawn negativity. They're pretty much doomed from the start. They still show up on the front page anyway, so everyone on the site will see the threads in that section anyway.

 

In the end, the section does more harm than good.

 

True about the front page part, though the fact that they're all in one section makes it possible to exclude the controversial threads from it by playing with profile settings a little. It isn't the most commonly known or used feature, but it's still there.

 

As for the threads themselves, I don't necessarily disagree that all they do is spawn negativity. I've often wondered if they're more trouble than they're worth, and I don't relish having to look out for people picking at each other over religion, politics and anything like that. Far from it. It can be really annoying and stressful. It was just decided to give people a chance to have their controversial discussions instead of clamping down and imposing more restrictions on what can be talked about here. Though it's been months since then and the Debate Pit's had a decent sized trial run, and it may be time to figure out an alternative.

Edited by DashForever
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I was just saying that unlike more conventional debates, you don't have to necessarily argue with other people. You're free to pop in, post your own views about the economy, or whatever the subject of the thread is and go on your way without arguing why anybody else's are wrong.

If it's more geared towards simply providing your own input on the subject and not so much arguing, maybe "debate" isn't the best word for it. I'd brainstorm for something that would more accurately describe it, but it's almost 3 in the morning here and as a result my brain's a little fried.

 

 

True about the front page part, though the fact that they're all in one section makes it possible to exclude the controversial threads from it by playing with profile settings a little. It isn't the most commonly known or used feature, but it's still there.

Yeah, right after i posted I was curious to see if there was a feature like that, and I found it. So I went back and edited that part out so I wouldn't sound dumb. img-1369822-1-UNZJLhS.png

 

 

Though it's been months since then and the Debate Pit's had a decent sized trial run, and it may be time to figure out an alternative.

Well, glad to see you guys are putting thought into it and trying to improve the situation.

...That probably sounded really sarcastic. It wasn't meant to be, promise.

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If it's more geared towards simply providing your own input on the subject and not so much arguing, maybe "debate" isn't the best word for it. I'd brainstorm for something that would more accurately describe it, but it's almost 3 in the morning here and as a result my brain's a little fried.

Well, it's not that it's really geared toward only providing your own input, just that if you want to post your own opinion on something controversial without getting into a long, dramatic internet argument, you have have that option.

 

Other names were considered for it. The Things We Do Not Speak Of was one idea that somebody threw out, if I'm remembering a thread from sevenish months ago right, but I'm not sure that the name is the problem. The fact that everything in there is something that people are going to feel very strongly about is realistically going to make these topics go nuts from time to time. They did when they were stuck in General Discussion, and they do now. We can talk about getting a different name, but I at least don't think that it'd have a huge impact and I think the question is more whether enough people are so sick of everything that goes on in there that they want it to go.

 

So far feedback's been kind of mixed on that, so it'd be good to hear from more people.

 

I also think there should be way to "boot" a user out of a debate topic if they are just trolling or are so stubborn they are degrading every user that does not agree with them. The admins should have an option to allow users to report these people because they take away from the constuctiveness of the topic they are so vehemently stubborn about. And if a user gets enough complaints about them to the admins, then the admins should lock that topic to that user.

This is actually part of the reason the Debate Pit was made in the first place, and it's included in a description thread in the section. While it doesn't happen too often, people who consistently prove that they can't debate properly or without insulting people left and right are restricted from posting in that section. It's only done when somebody repeatedly goes out of line. If you think somebody's acting that way, then by all means report them.

Edited by DashForever
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