Suggested topics for debate

Discussion in 'Formal debates' started by James R, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Somebody asked recently what this subforum is for, so I thought it might be a good idea for members to think about some debate topics.

    Here are a few possibilities I think might be interesting. Feel free to add any more you can think of. The following are drawn from recent discussions elsewhere on the forum.

    • How should the land in Israel/Palestine be divided between Israeli and Palestinians?
    • Is pornography harmful to a normal sexual relationship?
    • Is the United States winning the War on Terror?
    • Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity is Wrong.
    • Has human evolution stopped?
    • Women are more intelligent than men.
    • Black people are more intelligent than white people.
    • Race has no genetic basis.
    • Does God exist?
    • Japan's "scientific whaling" programme is justifiable.
    • Global warming is a hoax.
    • Intelligent design theory ought to be taught in schools.
    • Is torture as a means of intelligence gathering justifiable?
    • The moon landings never really happened.
    • 9/11 was a conspiracy by the US government.
    • Star Wars is better than Star Trek.
    • The Big Bang never happened.
    • Is atheism a religion?
    • Are scientists blinkered by their focus on empiricism?
    • Faith vs. reason: which is better?
    • Is photographing nude children acceptable?
    • Who deserves to win the 2008 Presidential election? Republican vs. Democrat.
    • Does 0.999... equal 1?
    • Are universities "left-wing indoctrination factories"?
    • Is the US media controlled by Jewish people?
    • Is it wrong to be disgusted by homosexuals?
    • Was Osama bin Laden behind the 9/11 attacks?
    • American English vs. British English. Which is correct?
    • Is multiculturalism a good or bad thing?
    • Should voting be compulsory?
    • Who built the pyramids?
    • Does astrology work?
    • Was the US right to go to war in Iraq?
    • Should the US withdraw its troops from Iraq? If so, when?
    • Philosophy is a waste of time.
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  3. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Ok, but how would these debates be 'formalized' opposed to how theyve already played out in other forums.

    By adhering to rules?
    We know how good we are at that...most of us.
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  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Think we've done some of them. Essentially all good though.

    Oh, and:

    * is the human body like a pyramid?
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Have you read the sticky threads at the top of the thread list for the Formal Debates forum?
  8. Gustav Banned Banned

    slap em into a poll
    should make for fun reading

    what's on sci's mind?
  9. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    No I didnt...sorry.
  10. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    I don't really get this. Why do we need it?
    It sounds like what is going on right now in the forum.
    Plus we have already had a lot these debates already.
  11. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member


    I think the idea is to have a more structured, less trolled discussion.
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Why can't these debates be held under Alpha Rules in the appropriate subforums? We need all the action we can get in Linguistics and I'd hate to see the grandmother of debates on British versus American English held somewhere else.
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    BenTheMan is right. The idea is to have a structured debate, without all the sidetracks and tangents and silly comments that happen in most threads. Also, Debate threads are restricted as to who can participate. This allows for one-on-one debates in which nobody else can intervene (although discussion in a separate thread is still allowed).

    The other point is that I hope the debates here will provoke more thought about structure and substantive comment in posts. In a formal debate, debaters will ordinarily have a long time to consider their posts, and that ought to result in higher-quality posts than in the usually knee-jerk, off-the-top-of-your-head posting that happens most of the time in the other forums.
  14. Lord Hillyer Banned Banned

    Ha - post number ten is most amusing.

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