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Thread: Debating styles

  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default Debating styles

    What do you consider the most effective debating style for yourself, and for the general outcome of a given topic?

    In many debates, political ones for example, there is a great deal of manipulation involved as well as subtle emotional dialog. People often win the debate based on their ability to use such strategies, rather than on the merits of the facts. This also occurs in the legal system with the manipulation of the jury. It is clearly a common tactic, but one that I generally avoid. The debating style I value is one in which emotional content becomes irrelevant, including both pleasantries and attacks. During my internet adventures, it has been difficult to find debating partners that share that style. It seems that a rational argument does not require any manipulation, unless there is no one available to see reason. The reliance on tactics over facts has always suggested to me an underlying flaw in the debater's reasoning. What are your opinions on this?

    How do you approach debate?
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    clean

    attack weak points

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    Wait, what? Varelse's Avatar
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    Emotion is irrelevant, I try to look for areas of agreement first, and then attack the weak points in the areas we disagree on.
    We are not poets
    We have no right to make amendments

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    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    How do you approach debate?
    Depends on the nature of the debate. What's the goal behind it? If it's just friendly discussion between friends I first seek to understand the context behind the question. After that question the validity of statements made by the other person. Poke holes at everything in order to find the essence of their arguments. Evaluate the merit of those then recompose it together with my beliefs. So in this case it is not about winning, but finding the truth.

    If it's a "debate" with a bullheaded individual... I just attack, shred their points apart.

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    What do you consider the most effective debating style for yourself, and for the general outcome of a given topic?

    In many debates, political ones for example, there is a great deal of manipulation involved as well as subtle emotional dialog. People often win the debate based on their ability to use such strategies, rather than on the merits of the facts. This also occurs in the legal system with the manipulation of the jury. It is clearly a common tactic, but one that I generally avoid. The debating style I value is one in which emotional content becomes irrelevant, including both pleasantries and attacks. During my internet adventures, it has been difficult to find debating partners that share that style. It seems that a rational argument does not require any manipulation, unless there is no one available to see reason. The reliance on tactics over facts has always suggested to me an underlying flaw in the debater's reasoning. What are your opinions on this?

    How do you approach debate?
    There is no opponent in debate, only one that you work with as a team to explore ideas. You argue to seek the truth by exploring ideas and never to drive the point home.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    There is no opponent in debate, only one that you work with as a team to explore ideas. You argue to seek the truth by exploring ideas and never to drive the point home.
    And you practice this... how?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    How do you approach debate?
    I don't like debating, I find the concept of beating the other person a waste of time. I look for understanding the differing view points.

    In those cases where I had to debate, or actively convince someone, my main methodology is emotion. (FWIW, emotion is roughly 3 times as effective as information AND reason in convincing people of something. Proven over and over, especially with voter outcomes. And currently proving true again in my own Strata/building).

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    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I don't like debating, I find the concept of beating the other person a waste of time. I look for understanding the differing view points.

    In those cases where I had to debate, or actively convince someone, my main methodology is emotion. (FWIW, emotion is roughly 3 times as effective as information AND reason in convincing people of something. Proven over and over, especially with voter outcomes. And currently proving true again in my own Strata/building).
    Use of emotions in "debates"... Is it okay to replace it with arguments where you want to win? As oppose to debates to find truth? There are two separate ideas flowing around here.

    What I noticed in people is they either use one technique or the other when they try to convince somebody. The T approach of hitting them with logic or the F approach of overwhelming them with emotions (guilt-tripping, appeal to the conventional sense of how things should be). I found it more effective to mix the two together. Give NT emotions and they wouldn't be able to handle it as well and they relent... give SFs logic... they become overwhelmed and they will accept everything you say. Yes... I'm manipulative.

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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Use of emotions in "debates"... Is it okay to replace it with arguments where you want to win? As oppose to debates to find truth? There are two separate ideas flowing around here.
    I was assuming that we weren't talking about formalized debates with a rule set... In that case, points and counterpoints are more rational, and the emotional content is normally not as important. But nor are you really going to do anything other than 'win'. Both sides are just strategizing with the knowledge they have, nothing else.

    What I noticed in people is they either use one technique or the other when they try to convince somebody. The T approach of hitting them with logic or the F approach of overwhelming them with emotions (guilt-tripping, appeal to the conventional sense of how things should be). I found it more effective to mix the two together. Give NT emotions and they wouldn't be able to handle it as well and they relent... give SFs logic... they become overwhelmed and they will accept everything you say. Yes... I'm manipulative.
    Oh yah, that works well. Delivery means a lot in informal settings too! It's one thing to say each of these lines (this is taken from an actual 'debate' that was had recently - in short, a small group trying to convince a large number of people to vote one way)

    "There have been 10 break ins this month, so we should get an security system"

    "There have been 10 break ins this month, and it has cost us this much, and replacing the keys will cost us this much, therefore over the long haul we would end up saving money and having more security"

    "There have been 10 break ins this month, with strangers walking up and down our halls, lurking in the garage and stealing things from our home. We can’t feel safe in our own home anymore! We need a security system to keep us and our belongings safe - no one wants to come down to their missing or vandalized car, and one of these times, it will be something worse!".


    In most cases, the 2nd is nearly as effective as the first... but the third tends to be roughly three times as effective. Mixing in some facts and knowledge, but loading it with emotion, is often the best way to do it. Also, fear is far more likely to win out than other emotions.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Use of emotions in "debates"... Is it okay to replace it with arguments where you want to win? As oppose to debates to find truth? There are two separate ideas flowing around here.
    Yes, I was thinking these are two different things.

    If you want to win, you have to use what tools you have... and as gatsby says, in politics especially, emotions are a large factor for success. (This is why GWBush beat Gore in 2000, among other things, and even while Clinton was so successful.)

    What I noticed in people is they either use one technique or the other when they try to convince somebody. The T approach of hitting them with logic or the F approach of overwhelming them with emotions (guilt-tripping, appeal to the conventional sense of how things should be). I found it more effective to mix the two together. Give NT emotions and they wouldn't be able to handle it as well and they relent... give SFs logic... they become overwhelmed and they will accept everything you say. Yes... I'm manipulative.
    hee hee. But... it's all for their GOOD, right? As long as you use your powers for good?

    SFs are impressed by authority and like to keep the peace. So treat them kind and give them some impressive sounding arguments that seem to be authoritative in nature, and they'll buy into it, usually.

    NTs are a little trickier. If you have a solid case, you can sell them on it, but they will find the flaws if they can, and they hate being coerced into anything -- they really have to think it's their choice. Emotional overload might do something to them, either muddy their thinking, but it's liable to blow up in your face too. I suppose seduction would work, for the opposite sex.

    As far as NF's go, I don't think I will share any of THAT... in case I need to use it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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