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The merits of debating.


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I'll start out by saying that I've lost interest in this whole 'debating' idea. Doing research into logical fallacies, and thinking about it myself, I've come to the conclusion that debating is limited in what it can achieve.


For one, how can you really debate anything when you can't agree on basic facts? Could you use debate alone to prove that the earth is round? The only way to argue this is to cite physical evidence. I mean, if that was possible, then why would there be so many flat-earthers? Surely it would be easy to talk reason into them.


Another problem I have is that debating relies heavily on speculation. Let's be real here, how often is it that speculation turns out right? In all my life, I can count on one hand how many times I've seen ANY form of speculation turn out to be true, from layman opinions to even scientific theories. I don't support speculation at all now; only hard evidence matters to me.


On top of this, thinking about logical fallacies, they're not actually that reliable. Every fallacy has exceptions. At best, they're just an overly simplistic way to fix faulty thinking.


Really, all debating is, is a highly methodical attempt to 'fix stupid'. Literally, you're telling people how to think in hopes it'll make them make less dumb decisions. Fixing stupid is obviously impossible, so then why does this field exist?


I don't see any point in debating. Its nothing but an overly simple attempt to fix stupid. Besides, what about the hard evidence problem? You can't prove through debate that the earth is round. Such discussions always devolve into monty python arguments, and there's no way to avoid that. No south americans aren't lying, yes they are, not they're not, yes they are, etc... Discussions like these lead nowhere.


So debating is pointless. If it does have uses, its clearly not a fix-all solution.

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Debating can be useful when applied properly. The one exception is when it comes to issues such as human rights, since the ones who stand against those things are always arguing in bad faith 100% of the time.

But as showler said, this forum has never really been a true debate forum as it is. It's usually just pointless and, hopefully, lighthearted bickering. :laugh:

Edited by Nephiah
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While I certainly agree that what happens here is less debating and more closely resembles a high school mosh pit. (Everyone flaying around screaming no one is really going to get hurt except maybe some feelings on occasion).


Saying Debate is useless I do disagree with.

Lets look at what debating has changed just in my fathers life time. (1950's to present)


We learned is it not just shell shock and that it needs to be treated and that it also is not just soldiers that get PTSD.


Better and more equals rights for women in the work place.

Dropping slurs based on ones skin color, nationality, sexuality, and gender went from common place everyday things no one thought about; to socially repugnant behavior.

When he was young a woman's place was considered to be in the kitchen, now we have female CEO's of fortune 500 companies. (Yes I know this is still a work in progress but change comes slowly and we are getting better.


Being gay went from something you denied to the point of getting married to someone of the opposite gender just to hide, to having a parade.


ALL of that and more was changed by debate over the last almost 80 years.


80 YEARS!!!!


Think about that some of these changes are HUGE!!!! and that they happened over just 80 years.


That's is not quite HALF the amount of time the USA has been around.


The United Nations is younger that some of these changes.


Television is younger that some of these changes, and yet it also helped pave the way to make some of them a reality.


And now we have the inter webs and places like this that while some see it as a forum of debate and intelligence, other see it as a family BBQ where uncle Todd has gotten drunk and is dancing on the table again. (I told you not to bring beer Jerry.)


Debate has its place and can bring about changes. The issue is time we want solutions now we want changes now, The changes listed above did not all happen over night but they did happen slowly as people were wearily banging their heads against the wall begging it to see logic and change it's color while it stubbornly held onto it's old color.


Slowly social change is happening for the better it has been a process that I have had the honor of observing.


And while humans have evolved over the past century as our technology out paces us by leaps and bounds, I would like to think that it was is partially because we took a good look at who we were as the human race and realized we could easily be better. While techno wizards made fast paced advances, philosopher's filled their horns with oil and girded their loins for a mental slog roughly the equivalent of pushing a jello mold up hill alone in the rain. Sometimes we had help and tech made things easier. Most of the time, well while the wall has began to changes its shade it is still mostly the same color.


Debating on that level is not about right or wrong it is about ideals.


Now you can in fact debate things that do in fact have a right and wrong answer, but depending on which side of the debate you are taking you end up looking like aforementioned "flat-earthers" to the rest of the world. Debating something with a yes or no answer means the debate is over, and that a coccineous has been reached and agreed upon.


Debating at the level mention here, it takes time patience, understanding, a willingness to put yourself out there for ideals that some will scoff at, others will ridicule, and still others will scorn. It takes caring and compassion, and a good bit of mule headedness. Honestly....


......it takes caring enough to debate the issue with a tree stump.


All that said this is still more high school mosh pit than an actual debate, and yet I have in fact learned things here.


Go figure.

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All those things required action as much or more than debate.



True but in almost all cases it was non-violent action, words were used instead of violence, hence why I say debating was at the heart of these changes.


Debates of this nature are what drives the human condition forward, it is where we are as a race define and re-define who we are as we grow and learn more about the world around us and our place in it.


And how so very loud something so very very small as one single human on a planet full of them, in a universe full of planets, can be.


Are we done growing, God I hope not, how will people look back on us in 200 years? 1000?


We look back at the world 1000 years ago and shudder, with good reason, and while wars have in fact lead to some changes for the better more often than not we humans merely exchanged one tyrannical have for another while we have not's continued our daily grind filling their coffers.


Debates, have offered more lasting change that any war, and to truly implement those changes action must always be taken a decision must be made.


Do I change with the times, learn about this new way of looking at the world and choose to accept it and embrace it?


Or do I reject it and fight and long for "the (not so) good ole days".


Actions are more than picking up a rock, or throwing a punch, or firing a weapon, sometimes not doing something is the action, sometimes reaching out with compassion is the action, and sometimes all you have to do is sit quietly with dignity and poise because your feet were tired.

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Slavery was 'ended' by a war. The gay rights movement didn't really start until the Stonewall riot. Women granted didn't have to literally fight for their freedom, but let's be real they haven't made much progress. Yeah, its not illegal to be a female CEO anymore, but its rare for it to be allowed. Upper class women often complain that feminists never bring up the unique issues they face. In general, they only seem to bring up issues middle-class white women suffer. Its why we have a thing called black feminism, which has an extensive history of its own now. Not that I'm bashing feminists mind you, I'm just saying they don't have a good track record when it comes to covering ALL women.


Also, in many ways we're moving backwards. New anti-gay laws are being passed every day, we have politicians trying to cover up slavery along with any evidence of systematic racism, all forms of bigotry are spreading, and even some minorities are being fooled into supporting their own oppression (there ARE women part of the men's right movement, there's also Jews who seriously support Trump, and I happen to seriously know one myself, that guy's just out of touch with reality in every way you can imagine political or not, but that's a long story).


Also note how I put 'ended' in quotation marks. Truth to be told, slavery never really ended, it just morphed into something else. No progress has truly been made, we still live in the same world we did before the civil war, its just disguised now.


Maybe progress was made, but that doesn't mean its unstoppable. We're clearly heading backwards now. I even saw an old black man who saw the civil rights movement lament on how things are so much worse now. Seriously. There were racist protestors back then obviously, but they weren't like they are now.


How did debate help with any of this anyway? How do you argue that all minority groups are equal to white hetero men? Can you make such an argument? I wouldn't know where to begin myself, anymore than I could defend that the Earth is round.


Everything we believe is in blind faith, being a religious or scientific belief. Without reliable information, I don't see it as possible to debate anything. People cite faulty sources all the time. Living in a small town, I see this all the time. Its actually becoming scary living here, seriously. That self-hating Jew I mentioned earlier in particular just can't be reasoned with. He's seriously less in touch with reality than your average schizophrenic, literally. He just denies everything under the sun, regardless of how banal it is. I've legitimately wondered in the past how he was even able to function he's so out of it. Tell me how debate can convert such an individual? The man basically thinks being sane constitutes a delusion. I seriously wouldn't be surprised if he denied that the sky is blue, and tried to spin politics into it, because he just denies everything just for the hell of it.


Sorry for the tangent, I hate misinformation and I'm so beyond sick of how plagued our world is by it. I really think the whole world would've been better off if the internet was never invented its done so much harm to our world. Sorry, I'm going now.

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First off the "Civil War" did not end anything except the South's leaving of the United States to become the Confederacy. There is this document you may have heard of it called the Emancipation Proclamation, that ended slavery in rebelling states. Which ok weird you think they will listen since they are rebelling but thanks.


It was the 13th amendment (sad that we needed one) that ended slavery yet another document. See no violence. And for the record it only ended slavery in the United States. Not the world. Ashton Couture, you may have heard of him, I suggest you look up his crusade. Someone worth supporting in my opinion.


I disagree whole heartedly as someone who was alive in the 80's and remembers people like Boy George and Freddy Mercury who got the ball rolling on "gay rights" (Is this the term we are still using?) Not them specifically and they most certainly were not the best examples but they were famous successful and out of the closet, I don't remember when Elton John came out but that is another example KD Lang Melissa Ethridge, LOTS of signers and actors from the 90's got the ball rollin on this in my opinion. But those are the ones I remember, back at the time of the riot I don't have a lot of information on that in fact before today I had never heard of the riot at all. But I knew about PRIDE, I know about being there for a gay relative as they come out to the a family of christians. Which went better than the sentence suggest and we thought it would YEAH!! I also know that for every success story of acceptance like that you could give me 10 that ended in tradegy.


Could we better? Yup. THAT is why we debate. To bring forth those better angels and ideals, to champion the "little guy" let's call apple's apple's here. As a SWHM most people immediately dismiss me as having life handed to me.


Let me set the record straight so to speak.


I have lived in my car twice in my lifetime once because I refused to betray my morals and throw someone under the bus so to speak. And the other time because the factory I worked for closed. Pride stopped me from asking my family for help both times.


I have rolled pennies for gas made, spaghetti using Ramen ketchup and beenie weenies and dumpster dived for food. I have been that hungry. I fell in with people that I to this day, nearly 20 years later, will not talk about; and they helped me get on my feet again I stayed with them out of loyalty until I held my daughter. That is when a thought entered my head, "what would I do if she brought home a guy like me?"


Needless to say I did not like my answer, I chose that moment to be better to become someone my daughter would look up to and would be proud to call her dad. Not father any one with a working set of testicles can be a father, I wanted to be a Dad.


I turned my life around, I became a truck driver and until 2012 I was well on my way to owning two of them and starting a buisiness.


Some will say I got these opportunities because I was White.


My friend Terance who went through this with me would like word. He and I do not share skin color. Terance to this day is still trucking and owns three trucks. In 2012 my luck struck again and a change in DOT laws made my ineligible to drive class A vehicles. No license no job. Had to start from scratch. So I did; life was slowly getting better, then I had a stroke. Now I could b&@*$ and moan all day about bad luck and whoa is me, instead I am thankful I had a family to catch me when I fell. I am thankful I swallowed my pride and let them help me this time. Do people have it worse. Absolutely. Which is why I strive to make the world a little better than I left it.


Could we be better, We can and we are in my life time only a measly 40 years things have gotten better. Could they be better yes but that is why we debate.


Give humans violence and they respond with violence, give them compassion and throw off their thinking. I can't count how many times my Grandfather in law would see a riot on TV and say, "See I was right, nothing but a bunch of criminals."


How exactly do you defend a minority to someone like that when they are literally watching them brain a cop of different skin tone with a rock?


Like this,


"Pops their pissed this thing happened and its like the riots when you were a kid, some of the bad apples, decided to make life difficult for everyone, You know George at the Y?, he is like them you like him ya'll play checkers every Friday. I am not arguing for these guys Pops I am arguing for the ones that work hard everyday just to bring home food. The ones that study, every night to pass that test, white brown pink with purple polka dots, we have got to stop considering people of different skin color a different race. They are just humans. And Pops, you know for a fact that white folks can be just as violent and stupid. Skin color does not stop you from being hateful or violent."


He would always stop and think and nod; but when arguing with a man with dementia be prepared to have the same argument again and again and again. Miss you Pops, despite you being a hardheaded old curmudgeon



You have to care enough to debate with a tree stump.


If we give into violence we are no better than our ancestors who we look back on and know we can be better than. We give our naysayers all the ammunition they need to point out how out of control and violent we are.


We must strive to be better.


History is always written by the winner, every played cowboys and indians? That one took about 100 years to straighten out and we are still working on it.


Still working on it.


Stop wanting results today, slow down and realize the people in charge are old enough to have served in the Korean War.


These are the people you expect to understand modern socio-political nuisances? HA!!


These are our grandparents in power, now imagine explaining non-binary to grandpa. This is a guy still coming to terms with it not being ok to call a woman "babe", and you expect him to understand modern issues.


Right pull the other one it has bells.


And that is just the USA, and we will not even touch the cesspool of corruption that is Capital Hill. Women of all colors have it far better now than they did even when I was coming out of high school. That changed with debate.


Picking up the pitchfork and stabbing someone is easy, taking the time to sit down and talk with them and counter their arguments one by one giving validation to their opinions and concerns, not belittling them for how they think and feel even when it makes your blood boil. But taking the time to compassionately help them see the more modern way of looking at the world.


Hell Bro, I am just glad I got my 70 year old mother daughter of a southern Christian preacher to agree with gay marriage.


But the thing I am most proud of?


My little girl still calls me Dad and say I am her hero.





You have to care enough to debate a tree stump.

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And I thought I was making epic walls of text... no offense.


I'm a millenial, so I've seen a fair share of stuff in my time. The only celebrity I can recall coming out as gay was one of the members of nsync. I know the vocalist for Judas Priest came out in the nineties, but I had no idea he even existed until a few years ago. In fact, I hadn't even heard of metal let alone Judas Priest at the time that happened. All I remember is things sliding backwards in the 2000s, which is still continuing to the present day. There's a reason why millennials like me tend to be rather pessimist. Our childhood was the golden age of the 90s, and that was followed by the decline that followed and has yet to end. The 2000s was an era of cynicism. Just look at all the grim and moody media that came out in that decade, or how even the pop acts were trying to avoid being TOO happy, seriously. Even today, people still haven't gotten over 9/11 it seems. Point is, if you're a millennial, you've lived in a declining world your whole life. To us, the past literally was better. Yeah, it wasn't perfect, and many of the problems of today originated in the 2000s, but things have only gone from bad to worse. I don't know for myself what came before, and I was too young to understand what was going on back in the 90s. To me, it was just school, toys, and the pop music that dominated in the latter half of the 90s. It literally wasn't until the early 2000s I even found out about the existence of grunge or glam metal, even though I grew up watching recordings of 80s cartoons for some strange reason.


I don't know what you've seen, but its not the world I live in, and I'm close to no longer being 'young' myself. I can't imagine what the world looks like for young adults of today. When I was a young adult, it was the reign of the first black president we ever had. I can't imagine that even happening today. At least I saw America at its peak, the young people of today don't even have that. I hear they're actually shocked at how positive American media was prior to 2001. All they know is the reign of Trump, followed by the reign of a bumbling idiot who is probably going to lose to Trump come 2024, all the while the nation continues to decline. Has the recession of the late 2000s ever ended even? I never heard about it. I know the pandemic did a number on the economy; it did cause a spike in homelessness in my town. Keep in mind, they literally comprise half the population here. It would take a pretty significant spike in their population to be noticeable.


Yeah, if you're a millennial there's simply no reason to be happy, or optimistic in any shape or form. At least when I was young, people were still willing to engage in civil discussions (I still remember the shockingly mature and calm discussions people were having during the 2004 election). Now seemingly everyone is an extremist who refuses to budge, and NOBODY sees anyway this could be resolved. Its honestly scary being an American at times these days, and it could still easily get far, far worse.

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