Debate skills?
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26-09-2013, 02:38 PM
Debate skills?
A buddy and I were talking a few months back and he had some very good criticisms for me that perhaps in light of recent conversations on the forum, might be best shared.

I have a habit of trying to be humorous and sarcastic in a way that is sometimes insulting, and this is not beneficial to a conversation (I'm probably much worse in my facebook history at some times more so than others). The result is that in trying to be humorous and/or sarcastic, various things tend to happen

1) Insults add nothing. When the debate devolves into insult, neither side makes any headway at all. This compromises your points, regardless of how good or bad they were/are.

2) passive-aggressive insults are no better. I can't count how many times I have been red in the face from passive-aggressive dismissals of my points. It is wholly dishonest.

3) Sarcasm is all-around useless in any serious conversation, be it in text or conversation. But in text, it is simply not possible to see. Using it will inevitably lead to confusion.

4) allies add to your credibility. When someone reinforces or supports you in an argument, it does not make you correct by default. But it does add to the credibility of your point. If you alienate those who might support you in your argument through insult and/or sarcasm, you are decreasing the value of your point and may find it becoming an irrelevant and useless waste of your time.

5) Break-down of dialogue. Once insult is introduced or sarcasm is confused, or allies abandon you, the conversation simply dies. Why continue to converse with someone when you are only going to be insulted? Or when you can't tell the sarcastic comments from the sincere ones? Or when no one supports what you are saying and you are on an island shouting to yourself?



Clearly these are for conversations that are intended to be serious. And it is clearly hard to resist trolling a troll. I find myself hard-pressed not to troll back. The point is that if you get push-back because you are being a sarcastic asshole or because you are insulting at will without being provoked, don't be surprised. If your passive-aggressive comments aren't well-received, don't be surprised. And when someone gives you genuine feedback and your first response is to get mad and/or defensive, stop and think about what the poster is actually saying and you may begin to see that they are correct.

I've had more than one person on the forum call me out and show me the err of my ways. Thumbsup

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26-09-2013, 02:42 PM
RE: Debate skills?
Eh. We've all been there.

Well, no. I sure have, though. The joys of counter-trolling...

I can think of only a few people I've explicitly insulted here, but my patience for those who refuse to think is finite.

Probably not the best practice, even so.

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26-09-2013, 02:44 PM
RE: Debate skills?
This is one of the best debates I have ever seen, and it is wholly because of Hitchens and Fry. Note that they don't use sarcasm, insult, or passive-aggressive comments to make or refute points. Any one of those might invoke a chuckle or a whole-hearted laugh from those that already agree with them, but it would only alienate everyone else (including those somewhere in-between the 2 sides of the debate).





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26-09-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: Debate skills?
(26-09-2013 02:42 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Eh. We've all been there.

Well, no. I sure have, though. The joys of counter-trolling...

I can think of only a few people I've explicitly insulted here, but my patience for those who refuse to think is finite.

Probably not the best practice, even so.

That's the point. It is very difficult not to do and I am certainly guilty. But it isn't the best tactic. When all else is said and done, ignoring those who can't debate works like a charm.

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26-09-2013, 03:18 PM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2013 03:28 PM by absols.)
RE: Debate skills?
that bc ur true means are urself so u would insist for the other to b like u, and this is where u would look stupid revealed the limited being u r

some means are really the truth, for what u take for granted while all positive values are principally to

then being true so showing being pissed by the other lie or disrespect to rights is a value too, like it is often showed on tv where good debates is about people that start to forget about the camera and stand to hit the other freak

how it is an interesting debate if people should watch others talking like reading smthg, it doesnt make sense

again it shows how u cant mean but urself, ur pretense of being part of a debate

debate is meaning the watchers, the word in french litteraly mean de battre, beat them

so the value of the debate is being present clearly showing its true colors

that is why i dont like to b part of a debate, the other dont motivate me i see better alone, but i enjoy watching some that i respect for saying their mind loud
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26-09-2013, 07:52 PM
RE: Debate skills?
(26-09-2013 02:38 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  3) Sarcasm is all-around useless in any serious conversation, be it in text or conversation. But in text, it is simply not possible to see. Using it will inevitably lead to confusion.

I disagree. I use sarcasm as the goto tool to determine whether an individual is even worth engaging.

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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26-09-2013, 08:13 PM
RE: Debate skills?
I agree with your assessment and conclusions. And judging from the end vote tally, so did the majority of the people in attendance that night. I've watched it many times, especially Hitchens clips. Pretty inspirational.
(26-09-2013 02:44 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  This is one of the best debates I have ever seen, and it is wholly because of Hitchens and Fry. Note that they don't use sarcasm, insult, or passive-aggressive comments to make or refute points. Any one of those might invoke a chuckle or a whole-hearted laugh from those that already agree with them, but it would only alienate everyone else (including those somewhere in-between the 2 sides of the debate).




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26-09-2013, 09:11 PM
RE: Debate skills?
(26-09-2013 02:38 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  A buddy and I were talking a few months back and he had some very good criticisms for me that perhaps in light of recent conversations on the forum, might be best shared.

I have a habit of trying to be humorous and sarcastic in a way that is sometimes insulting, and this is not beneficial to a conversation (I'm probably much worse in my facebook history at some times more so than others). The result is that in trying to be humorous and/or sarcastic, various things tend to happen

1) Insults add nothing. When the debate devolves into insult, neither side makes any headway at all. This compromises your points, regardless of how good or bad they were/are.

2) passive-aggressive insults are no better. I can't count how many times I have been red in the face from passive-aggressive dismissals of my points. It is wholly dishonest.

3) Sarcasm is all-around useless in any serious conversation, be it in text or conversation. But in text, it is simply not possible to see. Using it will inevitably lead to confusion.

4) allies add to your credibility. When someone reinforces or supports you in an argument, it does not make you correct by default. But it does add to the credibility of your point. If you alienate those who might support you in your argument through insult and/or sarcasm, you are decreasing the value of your point and may find it becoming an irrelevant and useless waste of your time.

5) Break-down of dialogue. Once insult is introduced or sarcasm is confused, or allies abandon you, the conversation simply dies. Why continue to converse with someone when you are only going to be insulted? Or when you can't tell the sarcastic comments from the sincere ones? Or when no one supports what you are saying and you are on an island shouting to yourself?



Clearly these are for conversations that are intended to be serious. And it is clearly hard to resist trolling a troll. I find myself hard-pressed not to troll back. The point is that if you get push-back because you are being a sarcastic asshole or because you are insulting at will without being provoked, don't be surprised. If your passive-aggressive comments aren't well-received, don't be surprised. And when someone gives you genuine feedback and your first response is to get mad and/or defensive, stop and think about what the poster is actually saying and you may begin to see that they are correct.

I've had more than one person on the forum call me out and show me the err of my ways. Thumbsup

That's some good self-reflection, right there! (no, that wasn't sarcasm Big Grin )
And I totally agree
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26-09-2013, 09:20 PM
RE: Debate skills?
Fry's "What were you for?" outburst was irony rather than sarcasm as was the 'babysitter' comment.

I'm with Girly on this but only because, in his case, sarcasm is the default position. This makes serious comments more powerful when (rarely) used.

Other than that I think the OP is bullshit written by an imbicile.

Dodgy

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26-09-2013, 10:25 PM
RE: Debate skills?
(26-09-2013 09:20 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I'm with Girly on this but only because, in his case, sarcasm is the default position. This makes serious comments more powerful when (rarely) used.

Default position for whom?

I agree, the best debates come from two people that understand each other. A lot of times two people with different perspectives will tend to not have agreeing argument styles, especially considering the content. To truly appreciate another debater, styles must be established before repertoire is given. Especially on the interwebz.

(26-09-2013 07:52 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I disagree. I use sarcasm as the goto tool to determine whether an individual is even worth engaging.

This is why we can't have nice things.

"It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
― نجيب محفوظ, Sugar Street
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