1. Walter Solomon says

    Debate as a form of competition, say, for instance, like chess, has its place. Beyond that it really serves no purpose. Furthermore, It should understood by everyone that the best argument isn’t necessarily the correct one.

  2. Hemidactylus says

    As an alternative to debate there’s a nonconfrontational method where you elicit answers from someone that help them figure out how they came to believe something in a manner that doesn’t make you look like an arrogant obnoxious jerk who judgmentally thinks you know more than the other person. This method was developed by…looking it up now…Peter Boghossian. Oh never mind.

  3. John Morales says

    Incremental process.

    Since the bone rain is now officially bad, the next debate becomes whether something bad should be tolerated.


  4. chrislawson says

    @1– Political debates evolved long before rapid transport, electronic media, or common literacy. They were always a deeply flawed method (the word ‘rhetorical’ comes from the ancient Greek rhetores, speakers who were paid by the powerful and wealthy to sway the vote in the assembly; it was not a compliment), but they were the best way of informing the general public up until the 19th century. Nowadays they have become counter-productive because most of the modern media actively promote rhetorical fallacy-pushing instead of structuring and moderating debates to inform and educate.

  5. John Morales says

    Hm. Perhaps that’s debatable.

    Furthermore, It should understood by everyone that the best argument isn’t necessarily the correct one.

    It depends on to the question about which the debate occurs.

    How to maximise the likelihood of a desired goal given the available information about circumstances at hand, for example. The better argument there is, ceteris paribus, the better.

  6. says

    I agree with John; the validity of debate is debatable. Seriously, I am not completely sure what kind of ‘debate’ PZ is talking about. I think he is referring to the farce that he has encountered with the xtian terrorist creationists where they talk in vehement, bewildering, fanciful circles and his clear logic is belittled. That is what political ‘debates’ are: a circus-like farce. There is, also, a formal, scholarly form of debate that is more valid, but not perfect.

  7. says

    What about showing up and turning the typical issues associated with debating into the focus with the debate subject?

    Before my current need to limit things online I basically kept describing the examples of bad behavior I saw as long as the behaviors were present and unacknowledged. They became the de facto topic because they got in the way.
    Naturally there is the obstacle of people acting like that is not the problem even as they keep doing it, but then that problem is literally my actual political concern so I don’t let it go.

    Is something similar possible with these debates? Going through the motions to do something else situationally relevant?

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