Looking from above at the SDMB's Great Debates

Looking for jewles in SDMB’s Great Debates is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

If you analyze the interactions, few seem to willingly yield in a debate: for the simple reason that it is a debate. By sheer dint of finding good arguments, they demand and find cites, and they state them; and afterwards hold by them, not because they are good ones, but because they do not wish to contradict themselves.

[Inspired by Les Liasons Dangereuses, 1782]

What a disappointment! I thought “looking from above” meant you had direct feedback from God about our little cyber-squabbles.

True, but such is life.


What’s your point? You sneer at the methodology of people defending their perspectives in debate and not delivering up some delicious pearl of wisdom you can roll around on your tongue. What is your expectation, that a real world group of people arguing a point is going to mimic a Socratic dialog? The SDMB debates can be instructive but it requires some work on your part to parse out the wheat from the chaff. You seem to want be spoon fed and we’re fresh out of high chairs and telephone books.

So, they are debating in Great Debates and you think that is wrong? If you have a better idea, why not join in and lead by example. Astro is right, we aren’t going to do it for you.

If I may…

IMHO, I believe One Cell is observing a tendancy for the debates to resemble sporting competitions where each side attempts to defeat the other. A competitor on one side would no sooner abandon their team than concede defeat until the final bell is rung.

OTOH, an alternative form of debate begins with a supposition and attempts to arrive at enlightenment through challenging discussion. The positions are not set in stone at the beginning, they form throughout the process. In this environment, the motivation to “stick to your guns” is less important.