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Lazzo

Debate League

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Lazzo

For quite sometime I've noticed that many debates simply sputter out and die. No real victor is ever declared and the topic falls farther and farther down the board. (Example: Certainty of Atheism*) To me, this is a real shame. Board members put real time, thought, and energy into their posts which, in the end, are for nought. This needs to be changed.

 

Although it may be unoffical, a group of members (including myself) should organize an effort to create a "league" of sorts (which would be here in the Debates and Dicussions forum) that would give the debates a more competitive nature, and a point. I'm sure debaters that put the time, thought, and energy into their posts would be interested in this idea.

 

The league would consist of full time arbitrators (being as unbias as possible) who look at the posed arguments and decide which is stronger (not the one they necessarily agree with). After a set period of time the debate ends, and then the arbitrator gives his or her opinion on which argument is stronger. The arbitrator will then declare a winner. My idea is not to only have a head on head debates between two individuals, but rather have people sign-up for a debate, and then take a stance on the issue. It would fascinating to see how people work together in presenting and refuting an argument.

 

A "debate league" has been tried before but simply faded out because the time in which it was implemented was terrible due to the lack of participants in the Debates & Dicussions forum. Though not the most active forum, the Debates and Dicussions forum has been the most active it has ever been.

 

In the end, the "league" would be beneficial to all the debaters who feel as if their arguments are continuously overlooked, and that their time is simply wasted posting their well thought out arguments. Opinions on this idea?

 

*Cerbera presented an organized, well thought out argument that, in the end, faded away. By creating a "debate league" such posts would have a purpose. (i.e. to win)

Edited by Lazzo

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Demarest
Board members put real time, thought, and energy into their posts which, in the end, are for nought.

You mean all for thought. A debate is to flush out the pros of both sides of any given coin. To that end, we're ALL victors. Education is a good thing.

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Lazzo

 

Board members put real time, thought, and energy into their posts which, in the end, are for nought.

You mean all for thought. A debate is to flush out the pros of both sides of any given coin. To that end, we're ALL victors. Education is a good thing.

A debate is a dicussion with opposing points. The sides critique eachother with arguments which are supposed to refute what has just been said. In a debate an individual must defend a position while other's try and prove why their own position is more logical. What you describe sounds more like problem solving. Remember, argument is a synonym for debate.

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Otter

No, Lazzo, let us instead discuss this need for resolution. None of these topics form black and white oppositions, and who, exactly, is this arbitrator going to be?

 

I think the idea is coming from a good place (a sense of competition) but the debates here tend to fall more along the lines of discussion in that they stray from the main topic, address tangents, and otherwise transform during their lifetime. The end goal is not to be declared "winner."

 

Bottom line: this is not a highschool debate team.

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Demarest
Board members put real time, thought, and energy into their posts which, in the end, are for nought.

You mean all for thought. A debate is to flush out the pros of both sides of any given coin. To that end, we're ALL victors. Education is a good thing.

A debate is a dicussion with opposing points. The sides critique eachother with arguments which are supposed to refute what has just been said. In a debate an individual must defend a position while other's try and prove why their own position is more logical. What you describe sounds more like problem solving. Remember, argument is a synonym for debate.

The process of which brings to the surface the strong points of both sides whereby the audience will be able to better choose their own stance on the matter having tasted the best of both sides. Not at all different from what I described. A victor would be undeterminable simply becasue there's different paths one could take to make their point and that's merely inherent individuality.

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Lazzo

 

No, Lazzo, let us instead discuss this need for resolution. None of these topics form black and white oppositions, and who, exactly, is this arbitrator going to be?

 

I think the idea is coming from a good place (a sense of competition) but the debates here tend to fall more along the lines of discussion in that they stray from the main topic, address tangents, and otherwise transform during their lifetime. The end goal is not to be declared "winner."

 

Bottom line: this is not a highschool debate team.

I agree with you 100%, I didn't intend to make it sound as if there were only going to be two sides to an issue (actually, I tried not to do that blush.gif ). As for the arbitrator, a select few who wish to be? I posted a vague description of what I felt it should be so it could be built off of and altered.

 

I also did not intend for the entire Debates and Discussions forum to become a "high school debate team." What I intended was to have a competitive edge to some topics. I was, in no way, implying that I wanted the entire forum to be dedicated to competitive debating. That would get rather boring, in my opinion. smile.gif

 

 

The process of which brings to the surface the strong points of both sides whereby the audience will be able to better choose their own stance on the matter having tasted the best of both sides. Not at all different from what I described. A victor would be undeterminable simply becasue there's different paths one could take to make their point and that's merely inherent individuality.

Actually, the victor of a debate is determined on who has a better agrument. It would be far from undeterminable. The winner is not whomever the arbitrator agrees with, but rather who poses the better argument. You can tell, just read through some topics.

 

smile.gif

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Demarest
There's no such thing as a better argument. For example: An issue finds Debator 1 and Debator 2 engaged on the subject. Whatever arbitrator you decide awards Debator 1 as "the victor". But what if Spectator A already knew everything Debator 1 had said, but hadn't considered Debator 2's counterpoints. To Spectator A, Debator 2 was more helpful to fully understanding an issue. Which is why I maintain that everybody wins and no one person is the victor.

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Mortukai

 

Actually, the victor of a debate is determined on who has a better agrument. It would be far from undeterminable. The winner is not whomever the arbitrator agrees with, but rather who poses the better argument. You can tell, just read through some topics.

Dem is absolutely right here. There is no such thing as an inherently better argument. The audience brings as much to the debate as the participants and every debate always comes down to persuading the audience, whether they are actively involved in the debate process or passively. "Absolute truth" may or may not be real, but regardless no human can ever find it because every human sees only what they want to see or what they allow themselves to see, and they only see it in ways which their brain is wired to comprehend.

 

In fact, this very discussion is a prime example. You, Lazzo, think that there is such thing as an inherently "better" argument, whilst Dem and I think that every argument is only as good as the audience thinks it is ("audience" includes opponents who are listening to your arguments). The fact is, without an audience, there can very rarely ever be anyone considered to be a winner, because without an audience the participants will almost never concede to the arguments of their opponents. They may concede points, but usually only to use them to their own advantage, much like a fencer might leave an opening to deliver a deadly riposte. Debating is very much like duelling. It even serves the same evolutionary purpose.

 

But I digress.

 

In conclusion, a "debate league", whilst it might sound cool, like a "justice league" or something, would be, in practice, impossible.

 

However, perhaps a better idea would be to allow viewers of debate topics to vote on people's arguments. Although such a system could easily be abused (as almost any system can be), it would still give a rough guide as to whose arguments are found most persuasive by the readers of topics, and if you wanted, you could use this as a rough measure of who had the better arguments. Perfect? Far from it. Better than nothing? Maybe. Interesting and adding a bit of a competitive edge to debates? Yes.

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K^2

Ok, simple solution, then. If we have a big enough panel of arbitrators, it should be a fairly good approximation of reaction of audience. Then their vote can be counted as a responce of the audience in general, establishing one argument as being more convincing than other.

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Lwekk
For quite sometime I've noticed that many debates simply sputter out and die. No real victor is ever declared and the topic falls farther and farther down the board. (Example: Certainty of Atheism*) To me, this is a real shame. Board members put real time, thought, and energy into their posts which, in the end, are for nought. This needs to be changed.

 

Although it may be unoffical, a group of members (including myself) should organize an effort to create a "league" of sorts (which would be here in the Debates and Dicussions forum) that would give the debates a more competitive nature, and a point. I'm sure debaters that put the time, thought, and energy into their posts would be interested in this idea.

 

The league would consist of full time arbitrators (being as unbias as possible) who look at the posed arguments and decide which is stronger (not the one they necessarily agree with). After a set period of time the debate ends, and then the arbitrator gives his or her opinion on which argument is stronger. The arbitrator will then declare a winner. My idea is not to only have a head on head debates between two individuals, but rather have people sign-up for a debate, and then take a stance on the issue. It would fascinating to see how people work together in presenting and refuting an argument.

 

A "debate league" has been tried before but simply faded out because the time in which it was implemented was terrible due to the lack of participants in the Debates & Dicussions forum. Though not the most active forum, the Debates and Dicussions forum has been the most active it has ever been.

 

In the end, the "league" would be beneficial to all the debaters who feel as if their arguments are continuously overlooked, and that their time is simply wasted posting their well thought out arguments. Opinions on this idea?

 

*Cerbera presented an organized, well thought out argument that, in the end, faded away. By creating a "debate league" such posts would have a purpose. (i.e. to win)

sounds like a good idea, and I would be down to help out however...

 

The debates forum is usually pretty slow so I doubt you would need a large amount of people

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Demarest
Ok, simple solution, then. If we have a big enough panel of arbitrators, it should be a fairly good approximation of reaction of audience. Then their vote can be counted as a responce of the audience in general, establishing one argument as being more convincing than other.

Which would then pose the question: Do we debate to get a silver star by our name or do we debate for the enlightenment of our fellow man? The latter is the better debator wink.gif

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Mortukai

 

Ok, simple solution, then. If we have a big enough panel of arbitrators, it should be a fairly good approximation of reaction of audience. Then their vote can be counted as a responce of the audience in general, establishing one argument as being more convincing than other.

Or, you know, just let everyone who is an audience cast their vote on individual posts... thereby eliminating any need for regulating any sort of arbitration group... and eliminating any need to "approximate" anything. It's a widely known fact among statisticians that the only reason we ever use samples of any size is due to the difficulty of obtaining population statistics, but if we can obtain them... and in this case to do so would be much easier than assembling abitrators... then we should.

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K^2

You yourself have mentioned the possibility of the abuse of such system. Selecting arbitrators, espetially if they are unknown to the debators, reduces the opportunity for abuse of the system.

 

Of course, either way will have some pitfalls, so it probably doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

 

 

Which would then pose the question: Do we debate to get a silver star by our name or do we debate for the enlightenment of our fellow man? The latter is the better debator

But the former is more entertaining, so why not just have both? We can simply keep some free-for-all threads in D&D running for people to express their oppinions for educational value, and some heavily moderated and arbitrated formal debate threads which will be judged.

Edited by K^2

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Svip

I think to keep "dead" debates running each month a member should write reviews of current debates. The reviews should end with a conclusion similar to "needs more arguments" or "seems definitiv closed."

 

Since it may very very likely be subjective opinions about what conclusion it has, there should be at least two members each month writing these reviews - and should be different months each month, so it doesn't go in the same circle.

 

That way people could read the current debates, with new "energy" based on what they read in the review, and perhaps add something to the debate it self.

 

Of course each review will supply with a link to the topics in question.

 

But that is just my suggestion.

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StaticBeing

 

I think to keep "dead" debates running each month a member should write reviews of current debates.  The reviews should end with a conclusion similar to "needs more arguments" or "seems definitiv closed."

 

Since it may very very likely be subjective opinions about what conclusion it has, there should be at least two members each month writing these reviews - and should be different months each month, so it doesn't go in the same circle.

 

That way people could read the current debates, with new "energy" based on what they read in the review, and perhaps add something to the debate it self.

 

Of course each review will supply with a link to the topics in question.

 

But that is just my suggestion.

 

 

I'd like to point out, that from the looks of things, the people most qualified to be the arbitrators, are the only ones doing the debating. dontgetit.gif

Edited by StaticBeing

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Svip
I think to keep "dead" debates running each month a member should write reviews of current debates.  The reviews should end with a conclusion similar to "needs more arguments" or "seems definitiv closed."

 

Since it may very very likely be subjective opinions about what conclusion it has, there should be at least two members each month writing these reviews - and should be different months each month, so it doesn't go in the same circle.

 

That way people could read the current debates, with new "energy" based on what they read in the review, and perhaps add something to the debate it self.

 

Of course each review will supply with a link to the topics in question.

 

But that is just my suggestion.

 

 

I'd like to point out, that from the looks of things, the people most qualified to be the arbitrators, are the only ones doing the debating. dontgetit.gif

That was kinda my plan. It would mean perhaps more boosting and more opinions from those debating.

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StaticBeing
I think to keep "dead" debates running each month a member should write reviews of current debates.  The reviews should end with a conclusion similar to "needs more arguments" or "seems definitiv closed."

 

Since it may very very likely be subjective opinions about what conclusion it has, there should be at least two members each month writing these reviews - and should be different months each month, so it doesn't go in the same circle.

 

That way people could read the current debates, with new "energy" based on what they read in the review, and perhaps add something to the debate it self.

 

Of course each review will supply with a link to the topics in question.

 

But that is just my suggestion.

 

 

I'd like to point out, that from the looks of things, the people most qualified to be the arbitrators, are the only ones doing the debating. dontgetit.gif

That was kinda my plan. It would mean perhaps more boosting and more opinions from those debating.

Well my point is that it would be tough to debate (as the ones who would be arbitrating do), and than declare a winner in the end. It's BIASED.

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