Standard rules - discussion and suggested amendments

Discussion in 'Formal debates' started by James R, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    (Note: Members are advised to read the thread on How the Formal Debates forum works, if they have not already done so.)

    To save time in negotiating debate rules, I suggest we have a ready-made set of rules of debate which we can call "Standard rules". That way, instead of every debate proposal having to include a full set of rules, a member proposing a debate can simply say in his or her Proposal thread: "I challenge xxxx to a debate, using the Standard Rules, on the topic: Should smoking be banned everywhere?"

    The current thread is for discussion about what should be included in these "Standard Rules". Here's my first draft, but I'm sure there are things missing here. All suggestions for additions, clarifications or changes will be appreciated.

    ---

    1. The debater for the affirmative side of the debate will create the "Debate" thread and post the first post, setting out his or her main arguments.
    2. The debater for the negative side will then reply with his or her own introductory post.
    2. There will then be exactly two follow-up and rebuttal posts from each debater, in which the debaters may address and refute points made by the other person, as well as adding any new points that may come up.
    3. Finally, each debater will post one concluding post, summing up his or her side of the debate. Following the concluding posts, the thread will be closed.
    4. Debaters each have exactly two days from the time of posting of a post by their opponent to post their next post. If they do not post in the required time limit, the debate will be declared finished, and the thread closed.
    5. Debaters may not post more than 4 posts in total. Once the 4-post limit is reached, further posts by that debater will be deleted from the thread, but the thread will remain open for posts by the opponent, until either his or her own 4-post limit is reached or until time runs out.
    6. Debaters may include links to any supporting information or references in their posts. They may also quote extracted sections of text from other sites.
    7. Individual posts may not be longer than 1500 words, including any quotes.

    [Last edit: 8 Jan 2008]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2008
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  3. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    I'm concerned such rules would limit the discussion between only two people. I think we need another set of standard rules to deal with group debates. We cold call it "Standard Group Rules".

    Also, it would be interesting to have a table in the Debate thread with two or three "teams" or "groups", their side of the argument and the participants. I guess that would have to be programmed somehow, like the polls are. For example:

    "Debate: Does God exist?


    Group 1: Atheists
    A: God does not exist
    Baron Max
    Chris

    -----------------------

    Group 2: Agnostics
    A: Question cannot be answered
    TruthSeeker

    -----------------------

    Group 3: Theists
    A: God exists
    VitalOne
    Absane

    "

    Sorry if that was a little bit off-topic...


    (Those groups should be horizontal, on top of page. Sorry, couldn't make them look like that)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
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  5. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

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    I think we should have the same rules as in FIGHT CLUB!!

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    1st RULE: You do not talk about Sci Forums

    2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about Sci Forums

    3rd RULE: If someone says "stop" or Personally attacks tap out the fight is over.

    4th RULE: Only two guys or girls to a fight.

    5th RULE: One fight at a time.

    6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.

    7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as they have to.

    8th RULE: If this is your first night at Sci Forums you HAVE to fight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    I second that !!

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    Universal rules baby !

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  8. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    no shirts? :0
     
  9. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

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    Well I didn't want to change too many of the rules....But it is much easier to remember then all of james rules.

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2007
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    There's no problem with having a group debate, except in agreeing to rules of the debate among all participants.

    Yes. If anyone has an idea of how to organise that, go right ahead.
     
  11. MacM Registered Senior Member

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    10,104
    JamesR,

    Actually I think you are on the right track. As you recall just such a formal debate forum was opened on another site and I and a particle physicist participated in the first two bebates of that forum.

    I do feel you (4) post limit is arbitrary and to limiting. As I recall our debates went some (9) pages.

    The reason it is to restrictive is that there can be complex subjects with subsidiary issues and examples. At the same time your intent is correct the debate should not become redundant, circular or off topic.

    So I suggest more moderator input in determining when the debate is concluding. That is the moderator can interject that the discussion is repeating, etc and give notice of one or two concluding posts. Reaching that point could well be (40) posts not (4) posts.

    It is also correct to limit the debate proper to just the two presenters. What was done on the other site was to post a parallel thread where others can comment on the debate but the debaters are not supposed to ost in that thread while the debate is running.
     
  12. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

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    When was this forum added?
     
  13. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    I second that and propose an amendment to assign a moderator for each debate based on the subject of the debate (for instance, the debate is a topi on biology, therefore the moderator of the respective forum should oversee the debate).

    I object to that. What happens if other people have a good point to make?

    What we could do is have a team but only the "leader" of the team can post on the debate thread. Then all the other team members would flock to the discussion thread, which could then be used by the leaders to come up with good points for the debate thread (by observing the arguments made in the discussion thread). SOmething like that.... :scratchin:
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    It is up to the agreed debaters to negotiate how long the debate will last. 4 posts was simply a suggestion.

    It's fine for debaters to agree to a "moderated" debate, if they want it that way.

    About a week ago.

    That can be agreed on an individual debate basis, if that's what the debaters want.

    I think the idea of "team" debates will probably be too hard, and people won't want to try to organise that kind of thing. But if they do, that's no problem.
     
  15. John99 Banned Banned

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    22,046
    Is this a good idea?

    Put a timer up next to the user int he debate. Give an amount of time to respond and when the timer runs out a red button goes on. five red buttons in a row, five buttons go red and you lose.
     
  16. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    This more formal debate process is a good move.

    I note that Asguard has created an open thread to accompany one of his formal debates. Also a good move, as it removes the temptation to intervene in someone else's formal debate.

    What about having a vote after the debate, to see who has "won" in the eyes of the readers?
     
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Winning isn't really the point, I don't think. Having a good debate is the point. Most people can tell who "won" fairly easily just by reading the debate thread.
     
  18. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    I put the "won" in inverted commas, because of course no-one really wins,
    but a vote after a debate is a fairly standard course of action.
    You could also indicate who you thought made the best argument, and whether you changed your mind in the course of the argument.

    I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.
     
  19. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    i cant actually claim credit for the three thread convention. it was in place long before i started debating in formal debates
     
  20. CheskiChips Banned Banned

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    I'd like to revitalize this one and have a version II.
     

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