OK, so this is a new idea here. I’ll try to get things ramped up and going for those interested over the next day or two. I’m relatively certain we’re going to see some ad hominem breakdowns and broken logic.
I will define ad hominem tightly, and it will be removed from posts. There will be no debate about it.
Broken logic, false premises and so forth are going to occur. It will not be my job to remove those or stop them. It will be your opponent’s job to shine the light of truth upon it and your job to do the same. Recognize that your perfection in logic and reason may not, probably not, change your opponent’s viewpoint. Recognize that your opponent may never waiver from his shattered argument. It’s the nature of people to cling to their conclusions. However, you may sway your readers (depending on how many dare venture into such a dry climate). Sound arguments, true premises and good behavior can and will help for those considering the subject matter. Illogical arguments, false premises and poor behavior will do just the same.
We have different skill levels in debate. We have different styles. We have different levels of formality when we write (even within our own posting). I will be the judge of whether an argument has strayed off course and is irrelevant. My failure to recognize your wisdom in matters judging your opponent will be my failure. You do not have to participate. If I botch it enough, and no one wishes to use this feature, so be it.
Precise rules and expectations will no doubt have to be streamlined as we get this thing going – and they will probably vary from thread to thread, certainly based on the consent of the presenters.
At this point, I think I’ll take suggestions for topics. If you want to have a go at a particular member, ask him or her. Ask me, and I’ll ask him or her. If you don’t, I’ll assign it when someone else offers. I’ll post suggestions as they arrive as well. If you see something you want to take a shot at, give me a yell. When we have a pairing, we’ll start something.
I’ll post some general guidelines for structure around Wednesday. If you have thoughts and suggestions, feel free to shoot me a PM.