How to properly conduct a political debate

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posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 12:43 PM
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Now i realize that most of you reading this are going to say to yourselves "well no kidding". If you find yourself saying that - then please realize- this post isnt aimed at you




If we don't want to live in a dictatorship, we must be vigilant to preserve our freedoms. If we wish to preserve our freedoms, we must be informed on the issues. Being informed on the issues requires that we become acquainted with alternative points of view.

The history of the development of civilization can be seen as the history of debates on issues. In democratic societies, there must be public debating. Newspapers have served this purpose and still do to some extent in this country.

However, we seem to have lost awareness of the importance of debating since the days of Thomas Paine. The sixty-second sound bite has created the illusion that the important issues are all brief and cut-and-dried. The importance of debating issues is fading from the public consciousness.

One principle aim of The Truth Tree is to increase awareness of the importance of rational debating. But constructive debating is an art. With all this in mind, the following suggestions are offered.....[truncated]

source

please visit the link for the entire article. Its a VERY good read




I find this to be the most important part:


However, we seem to have lost awareness of the importance of debating since the days of Thomas Paine. The sixty-second sound bite has created the illusion that the important issues are all brief and cut-and-dried. The importance of debating issues is fading from the public consciousness.


and from the article its self, i really think this most applies to the decision 2008 forums:


Emotionalism: Avoid emotionally charged words--words that are likely to produce more heat than light. Certainly the racial, ethnic, or religious hate words have no place in rational debating. Likewise, avoid argumentum ad hominem.

Personal attacks on your opponent are an admission of intellectual bankruptcy. Also, slurs directed at groups with whom your opponent is identified are usually nonproductive. Try to keep attention centered on the objective problem itself.

There is a special problem when debating social, psychological, political, or religious ideas because a person's theories about these matters presumably have some effect on his own life style.

It is unlikely that in an argument over the existence of quarks an opponent's sexual behavior would be brought up and it would be easier to keep attention centered on the problem itself than if the argument was about the importance of the family or whether a liberal or conservative position was preferrable in a political debate.

A suggested solution is to make a general statement rather than one referring specifically to the opponent. In other words, rather than saying "and that's why you are such an undisciplined wreck" say, "a person adopting your position is, I believe, likely to become an undisciplined wreck because ..."


A (Short) List of emotionally charged words and phrases:


  • Liberal!
  • Tax and spend!
  • Conservative!
  • Politically correct!
    (The opponent) is spouting! his (whatever)!
  • All pejorative names for races, sexual preference, ethnic groups, or religions
  • Baby killer!
  • Socialist!
  • Hippy!
  • Fascist!
  • Saying that your opponent "trots out" his argument

(from the originally linked source)



In closing - and after much "soul searching" i've finally realized the over lying point of the many threads that complain about the problems we face on the decision 2008 forums.

I've realized from this article that i share, that i too, was a big part of the problem, if nothing more than from the emotionalism aspect of things


I've learned much from this article, and hope that the rest of you (whom this is aimed at) could learn as well.

I propose that we all Take the pledge (far too many have refused)

and we all realize the importance of denying ignorance. Especially when it relates to The Quadrennial Exploitation Of The Moronic Masses


Comments?


[edit on 8/19/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]




posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:54 PM
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Evidence: Quoting an authority is not evidence. Quoting a majority opinion is not evidence. Any argument that starts with, "According to Einstein..." is not based on objective evidence. Any argument that starts with, "Most biologists believe..." is not based on objective evidence. Saying, "The Bible says..." is not evidence. Authorities and majorities can be wrong and frequently have been.
(from the same source as outlined in the OP)

Here is another trait that we see lacking......a lot.

I'd like to draw special attention to the

Any argument that starts with, "According to Einstein..." is not based on objective evidence.


part.


Certainly puts quite a few threads into perspective, both pro and anti obama and mccain.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


What's a hippy?
I know I could stand to lose a little weight around my bottoms, still there's no need to call me fat.


Good starting point for a good debate.
In the end, just be honest and respect other people and their opinions, is a good way to start communicating constructively.

Most important, remember that even when we disagree, it's not personal.
We debate ideas not people.


[edit on 8/19/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:33 PM
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Great! Glad to see you are finally learning something.

Conservative and Liberal should not be on the list btw.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:41 PM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


My dearest Andrew E. Wiggin, obviously you were not here in ATS durin the 2004 elections when people that didn't agree with the ruling government were call traitors, anti-Americans, terrorist sympathizers, American haters, unpatriotic and even told to move to Canada.


If this boards are to turn anything like back in 2004 you ain't seen anything yet.

Just watch for a wave of members that will be joining during the last two months prior to elections, they will be gone after that, but the sour seed will linger for a long time, we are still tasting the last wave.




[edit on 19-8-2008 by marg6043]



posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 07:12 PM
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in light of all the fresh wave of attacks against Obama and Biden (that carry zero proof, and just conjured and made up lies)

i believe some of you need to take a further look at some of this thread.

Rush Limbaugh tactics have no room on ATS.

If you want to vote for McCain/Palin - fine. You dont have to give me reasons

but stop making *snip* up to make yourself seem more credible

because it doesnt work





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