Are one-on-one debates allowed here?

Suppose that, just as an illustration, I challenged Tris to single combat on the merits of religion and he picked up the gauntlet. Would we be allowed to go head-to-head in a GD thread set aside for that purpose, with no outside commentary allowed?
This is just something I’ve always wondered about, and I finally got around to asking. I don’t actually want to challenge Tris (or anyone else) to debate, but it sounds like it’d be a fun thing for the board to try.

I can come up with a couple of points against such a thing, namely that the Dope (and fighting ignorance) has always been a community effort and that it’d make more work for the Mods. On the plus side, though, I think it would be fun for both the spectators and for those who agreed to participate.

So, have we ever tried such a thing here? If not, does it sound like something people might be interested in?

I don’t think it would be allowed here, but it would be interesting. Maybe in a separate “duel” forum?

I moderate on a board where one-on-one formal debate threads are allowed with separate “peanut gallery” threads in which people can comment. I don’t think there’s any rule here against pursuing such a strategy.

It’s an interesting idea, and would be fun to watch.

How would it work? Would one poster challenge someone else on a specific topic? Would someone independently challenge two other poster to debate between themselves?

At the moment, many threads end up with a very small number - sometimes two - posters debating between themselves, anyway.

I assume that one poster would challenge another in PM. If accepted, they’d hash out the scope of the debate, then contact a Mod to set up the thread with a “the rest of y’all stay out!” instruction. A “peanut gallery” thread, as mentioned by Dio, might be one avenue where everyone else could comment on the proceedings.

One person would start a “proposal” thread either challenging a specific person, or proposing a specific debate topic and asking for an opponent. If the challenge was accepted, then a new thread would commence with just two posters, and a “peanut gallery” thread for commentary by observers.

I think on this board, the proposal thread and commentary thread could probably be combined into one.

You know, I can really see some mileage in this.

We could, for example, ask **Liberal **to advocate conservatism, and **Kanicbird **atheism. Get people to take the position diametrically opposed to their natural stance. We’d get to see just how good people’s debating skills really are.

We’re discussing this in the mod loop now. I don’t see any reason we wouldn’t allow threads like these.

This sounds like it would be fun.

How would you keep other posters from jumping in the debate? Especially if the duel and ‘peanut gallery’ were in the same thread?

There’s no way to prevent other people from posting - as far as I know, we can’t lock the thread but allow two people to keep posting. I think the best way to go would be to have the OP include some text explaining the terms of the thread, and we’d moderate as necessary, which hopefully would not be very much.

I think the idea is that they would be different threads.

Dio said this:

which I took to mean one thread for logistics – the issuing of the challenge, with that same thread later becoming the commentary thread, rather than starting a third thread for commentary – and one for the actual debate.

Exactly. One thread for proposals, and setting up terms which could then become the commentary thread after the debate starts.

You probably can’t technically stop a non-combatant from posting in the debate thread proper, but you can make the rules clear in the OP – have a mod write the OP, outlining the terms and giving a link to the gallery thread.

If someone posts in the debate thread anyway, we have the ability to delete the post or move it to the gallery. I would assume the mods here have the same ability.

There’s a board I go to sometimes with this, I posted in the main thread not realizing and the post ended up in the peanut gallery thread. I think it was automatic (but maybe they just moved it quickly). They use vbulletin.

There was something sort of similar to this a while ago, where Liberal issued a series of threads to explain and then debate his particular philosophical views. It wasn’t one-on-one, but the idea was to follow through all the threads and debate was somewhat more constrained, voluntarily, than normal. That seemed to work about pretty well.

Liberal also suggested the same idea as SoulFrost here. It seemed pretty ignored by the administration that time around.

Almost exactly the same:

Thanks for the credit. :slight_smile: You’re good eggs, the both o’ ya.

Sure you can–you just make the debaters mods for the duration. :wink:

Wait…are you saying they’re socks for banned poster Good Egg? :wink:

[sub]sorry, I couldn’t help myself[/sub]