Author Topic: Rules and Guidelines for "The Debate Room"  (Read 5178 times)

Brion Foulke

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Rules and Guidelines for "The Debate Room"
« on: March 16, 2009, 01:33:44 pm »
Welcome to the Flipside Forums! These are the rules, make sure to read these before posting. They are subject to change, and new rules may be added when necessary.

General Forum Rules

I. Read the Rules For Each Sub-Forum Specifically Before Posting
Each sub-forum has it's own posted rules, and these may differ depending on the sub forum. Make sure to read the rules to a specific sub-forum before you post there. If a specific section has a rule which contradicts one of the general forum rules, then follow the specific rule for that section.

II. Treat Others With Respect
Make your best effort to get along and treat others respectfully. Don't cause trouble.

III. Contribute Constructively To Threads
When you contribute to a thread, try to stay on-topic. Be careful not to take threads on tangents that might cause the thread to be derailed. Try to make sure your post contributes something, it is not acceptable to spam threads simply to pad your post count.

IV. Be Careful Posting Offensive Images
Do not directly post images that might be seen as offensive, such as nudity.  However, it is okay to link to them, as long as you specifically describe the offensive content of your image.

General Forum Guidelines

I. Create Appropriate Threads
Try to create threads in the appropriate section.

II. Forum Language
Please make an effort to keep your posts legible and coherent. Do not overuse "internet speak" or shorthand like "how r u". Swearing is okay, as long as it is not excessive. Some sections of the forum are more leniant about these guidelines than others.

III. How Do I Get An Avatar?
Just click on User CP, Edit Avatar, and upload it from your computer. Images can be as large as 100x100.

IV. How Do I Switch The Forum's Appearance?
There are several templates you can use, on the bottom left corner of the page. The newest one is "Flipside 2.0"

V. Use the Report Button
There is a "Report Bad Post" button on the top right corner of each post. If you feel that a person is breaking the rules, please hit the report button and type a short description of the problem. Please also use this to report spam.

VI. Send Me A PM
If something is bothering you about the forums, or a particular member is rubbing you the wrong way, send me a PM directly and I will be happy to assist you.


Specific Rules for "The Debate Room"

I. Be Civil
It is all right to be aggressive and challenge others, to a certain extent.  Where that extent ends is where you start insulting others.  Please keep the discussions civil.

II. Follow the "Guidelines For Debate"
Before you post in this section, you should at least read these over once.  What these guidelines basically tell you is to use fair arguements.  So for example, if you are using a logical fallacy and someone calls you on it, correct yourself.  Make your best attempt to follow these guidelines and argue as fairly as possible.

III. Language
Swearing is not necessary here, so please keep it to a minimum.  More than any other section of the forum, proper grammar and spelling is of the utmost importance here.  Use paragraphs, keep your points coherent, do not ramble on... these are all things you should be mindful of.

Specific Guidelines for "The Debate Room"

I. What is An Appropriate Topic To Start A Thread About?
This is essentially the debate forum.  Although the header says "Politics and Religion," pretty much any idea about the world around us is fair game.

II. What isn't an Appropriate Topic?
Anything that would fit better in one of the other sub-sections.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 09:48:20 pm by Brion Foulke »

Brion Foulke

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Re: Rules and Guidelines for "The Debate Room"
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 01:34:06 pm »
You are heavily encouraged to read and follow these guidelines when participating in this forum.

The following was all originally posted by Bonebreaker:

* Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
* Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
* Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").
* Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
* Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
* Quantify, wherever possible.
* If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.
* "Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.
* Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, is it testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?
* Conduct control experiments - especially "double blind" experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.
* Check for confounding factors - separate the variables.

This is a list of "logical fallacies" to beware of:
* Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
* Argument from "authority".
* Argument from adverse consequences (putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an "unfavourable" decision).
* Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).
* Special pleading (typically referring to god's will).
* Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).
* Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).
* Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).
* Misunderstanding the nature of statistics (President Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!)
* Inconsistency (e.g. military expenditures based on worst case scenarios but scientific projections on environmental dangers thriftily ignored because they are not "proved").
* Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.
* Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.
* Meaningless question ("what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).
* Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the "other side" look worse than it really is).
* Short-term v. long-term - a subset of excluded middle ("why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?").
* Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).
* Confusion of correlation and causation.
* Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..
* Suppressed evidence or half-truths.
* Weasel words - for example, use of euphemisms for war such as "police action" to get around limitations on Presidential powers. "An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public"