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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 31 Jul '12 17:33
    This topic got my attention watching an ESPN show featuring Skip Baylis vs. Stephen A. Smith on a variety of sports topics from boxing to NFL football. Their styles differ considerably, as do the styles of regulars here. Most of the topics there on sports are arguable, so there isn't a right or wrong.

    Does aggression win debates or influence people?

    Is a calm recitation of facts and arguments more or less effective?

    Are some topics decided before the debate begins, regardless of style or content?

    Is the consideration of previous topics disabling to to certain debaters?

    Is anyone's opinion ever altered in these debates?
  2. 31 Jul '12 17:57
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Does aggression win debates
    Who gets to decide when a debate is won? I guess if some admits defeat then the other is the winner?

    Is anyone's opinion ever altered in these debates?
    Mine certainly is. Sometimes it is just 'refined', but sometimes I am convinced of a whole new perspective.
  3. 31 Jul '12 18:03
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Who gets to decide when a debate is won? I guess if some admits defeat then the other is the winner?

    [b]Is anyone's opinion ever altered in these debates?

    Mine certainly is. Sometimes it is just 'refined', but sometimes I am convinced of a whole new perspective.[/b]
    I've rarely, if ever seen a concession or resignation.

    Ideally opinions should be changed. What was it in a debate where your opinion changed that made the change? Was aggression a factor, either in dismissing or accepting an argument. In the cited ESPN show, I'm often so turned off by Stephen A. Smith's aggression that he turns me off from otherwise good points. I am also turned off somewhat by Baylis' squirrely technique.

    I love the neutrality of the gal that moderates.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    31 Jul '12 18:49
    Originally posted by normbenign
    This topic got my attention watching an ESPN show featuring Skip Baylis vs. Stephen A. Smith on a variety of sports topics from boxing to NFL football. Their styles differ considerably, as do the styles of regulars here. Most of the topics there on sports are arguable, so there isn't a right or wrong.

    Does aggression win debates or influence people? ...[text shortened]... topics disabling to to certain debaters?

    Is anyone's opinion ever altered in these debates?
    I don't know about aggression, but I think apparent sincerity influences people and passion/aggression can be taken as proof of sincerity.

    Staying calm is also important. Losing your cool generally means you've lost the debate (unless the debate gets personal, in which case all bets are off).

    The rest of the questions are so broad, the answer has to be yes to each.
  5. 31 Jul '12 19:19
    Originally posted by normbenign
    This topic got my attention watching an ESPN show featuring Skip Baylis vs. Stephen A. Smith on a variety of sports topics from boxing to NFL football. Their styles differ considerably, as do the styles of regulars here. Most of the topics there on sports are arguable, so there isn't a right or wrong.

    Does aggression win debates or influence people? ...[text shortened]... topics disabling to to certain debaters?

    Is anyone's opinion ever altered in these debates?
    A lot of them seem like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3t-DuN8t6U
  6. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    31 Jul '12 23:52
    Originally posted by normbenign
    This topic got my attention watching an ESPN show featuring Skip Baylis vs. Stephen A. Smith on a variety of sports topics from boxing to NFL football. Their styles differ considerably, as do the styles of regulars here. Most of the topics there on sports are arguable, so there isn't a right or wrong.

    Does aggression win debates or influence people? ...[text shortened]... topics disabling to to certain debaters?

    Is anyone's opinion ever altered in these debates?
    Aggression? Not really. More like calm determination.

    I think it's safe to say that I've at least tweaked my opinions when discussing issues with posters here. I just enjoy trying to figure out where people are coming from--I figure people generally share similar goals, even if they disagree about the means by which to achieve them.
  7. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    01 Aug '12 01:09
    It depends on the objective of the debate. Remember, a formal debate is a competitive game in which people often argue for things they don't even believe - the topic and pro and con are assigned by an outside referee and there are rules.
  8. 01 Aug '12 04:58
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It depends on the objective of the debate. Remember, a formal debate is a competitive game in which people often argue for things they don't even believe - the topic and pro and con are assigned by an outside referee and there are rules.
    Yes. This is not a debates forum. It is a politics forum or perhaps more generously, a current events forum. But the forum title is fine.
  9. Standard member Draxus
    Mr. Bombastic
    02 Aug '12 21:48
    I'm an aggressive debater and I change my mind all of the time. My goal when debating isn't to win an argument or convince someone else that they are wrong. Instead, my goal is to understand things better and to be correct.

    Sometimes this means that I change my thoughts about a topic. Sometimes it means that I decide not to care if someone agrees with me or not.
  10. 03 Aug '12 20:32
    Originally posted by JS357
    A lot of them seem like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3t-DuN8t6U
    Yes, unfortunately that's how it seems to me as well.
  11. 03 Aug '12 20:37
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Aggression? Not really. More like calm determination.

    I think it's safe to say that I've at least tweaked my opinions when discussing issues with posters here. I just enjoy trying to figure out where people are coming from--I figure people generally share similar goals, even if they disagree about the means by which to achieve them.
    "I figure people generally share similar goals, even if they disagree about the means by which to achieve them."

    The differences often come down to differing basic premises and viewpoint. Thomas Sowell calls this a person's "vision".

    Visions are almost impossible to shake or move. They tend to be long term, but supported by short term data and results, so rarely are totally refuted.
  12. 03 Aug '12 20:40
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It depends on the objective of the debate. Remember, a formal debate is a competitive game in which people often argue for things they don't even believe - the topic and pro and con are assigned by an outside referee and there are rules.
    Sure, and a good debater can often argue effectively on either side of the debate. In my TV example, Skip Baylis tends to do this, whereas Stephen tends to be predictable and more consistent.
  13. 05 Aug '12 01:00
    Originally posted by normbenign
    This topic got my attention watching an ESPN show featuring Skip Baylis vs. Stephen A. Smith on a variety of sports topics from boxing to NFL football. Their styles differ considerably, as do the styles of regulars here. Most of the topics there on sports are arguable, so there isn't a right or wrong.

    Does aggression win debates or influence people? ...[text shortened]... topics disabling to to certain debaters?

    Is anyone's opinion ever altered in these debates?
    Aggression does seem to have an effect, particularly when it is sustained. An example is Tea Party disruptions of town hall meetings in 2010 around the health care debate, which involved clips and headlines. It was very effective.

    People say they disapprove of negative campaigning, but they always respond positively to it. And that's why it's always done.
  14. 05 Aug '12 12:09
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    Aggression does seem to have an effect, particularly when it is sustained. An example is Tea Party disruptions of town hall meetings in 2010 around the health care debate, which involved clips and headlines. It was very effective.

    People say they disapprove of negative campaigning, but they always respond positively to it. And that's why it's always done.
    I found that the voting in 2010 was equally effective.