The Art of Debating

The Art of Debating

Constructive debate is an art, but one that is very important to our culture. The free exchange of ideas is supported when all sides are heard fairly, and not shouted down. This does not mean that nonsense ideas are valid, but rather that all ideas and positions have to play by the same rules.

Evidence is crucial. If you have no evidence, then your ideas are likely to be without merit.

Some Suggestions

■Apply the scientific method.
■Cite relevant personal experience.
■Be polite.
■Address your arguments to the idea, and not to the person.
■Organize your response.
■Do not generalize or stereotype your opponent.
■Cite sources for statistics and studies used.
■Literacy works. Break posts into sentences and paragraphs.
■Carefully read what you are responding to.
■Stay open to learning.

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