A huge number of new members have joined ATS, I think it is important to set up a guide to constructive discussion.
Many threads have been trolled, spammed and completely diverted and have become useless considering objectivity.
To change that, I have created this thread to discuss how we can improve our discussion, to help us end threads with conclusions rather than
Point number1 (what is your point)
First you have to understand fully what your point is.
For example, "America is bad".
Point number2 (prove your point)
What do you have to support your point?
What evidence do you have which helped you come to this conclusion?
For example "America is bad because it invaded Iraq for no legitimate reasons (false reasons), and risked millions of lives in the process".
Point number3 (how to counter constructively)
How can you counter the above assertion constructively?
To help you differentiate between constructive and nonconstructive counter,
I will lay the un-constructive counter first.
An Example of un-constructive counter would be:
("Iraq was bad before US invaded and occupied it". ---->Choosing this one
"You are a terrorist sympathizer for making such points"
"You are anti-American and anti-Western not to mention anti-Semite"
"You are an idiot")
Why is the above nonconstructive counter? Because it takes the focus away from the original point, hence," US is bad".
Pointing out that Saddam was worse, is not constructive.
An example of a constructive counter would be to ask certain questions regarding the OP:
"Does US invading Iraq for illegitimate reasons, make US bad?"
"Is US defined by just one small portion of history"?
"Is US defined by just one action?"
"How can US be bad if it is also good?"
You are trying to counter his point, not his evidence which backs his point.
-If the evidence is clearly false, then it is understandable to concentrate on the evidence rather than the point.
-If the evidence is uncertain, tell him how the evidence is uncertain, and leave it at that, or ask him for other evidence which backs his point.
-If the evidence is true, concentrate on the point, rather than the evidence.
Point number4 (If evidence backing his point is true)
If it is true, then concentrate on the point, rather than trying to divert attention.
For Example, "Yes US invaded Iraq for illegitimate reasons, but does that make the U.S. bad"?
For Example, "US has taken a lot of actions which are regarded as good, does that mean US is good using the same logic?"
Point number5 (conclusion)
1. If the opposition is correct, that US also has good qualities, along side the bad ones, then the point of the OP is flawed, and the discussion has
come to a conclusion (even if the evidence is true).
In the above sense, the conclusion is, that yes US has done wrong, but that doesn't make the US wrong, the world is not black and white. In the same
manner, US has done right, but that doesn't make the US right, the world is not black and white.
Add your thoughts regarding a constructive discussion which doesn't lead to the path of trolling, spamming, clear off-topicism etc.
What are we suppose to take in to consideration when we are discussing an issue?
The evidence backing the point?
Thanks for your patience
edit on 20-12-2010 by oozyism because: (no reason given)