I recall a mod saying once something to this effect: the Pit is not necessarily just for ranting and complaining; it would be entirely appropriate, for example, to host a heated or passionate debate in the Pit.
Could an administrator give the official position on this?
When people open up threads in the Pit in the scenario Duck Duck Goose describes, it’s usually along these lines (scenario fictituous):
OP’s like this are, IMHO, bad form. You wanna rant? Fine. Just don’t disguise it as a debate. Or don’t hold yourself to such low standards that your GD OP is really only suited for the Pit.
There is, as always, no clear line. A Pit rant will be started, and people will debate the issue civilly. Usually, the debate is an intermezzo to the real purpose: the ranting.
But STARTING a debate because you know it’ll get out of hand, or because you think you can’t word your OP without lapsing into profanity? I’d say if you can’t collect your thoughts enough to word a constructive OP explaining your side of the debate, you have no place in Great Debates, and perhaps shouldn’t engage in the noble art of debating anywhere on these boards.
I remember a debate AHunter3 and I had that grew out of an offhand comment I made in a pit thread here that sparked a knockdown-dragout between her and I that progressively cooled into something well worthy of Great Debates. I know that’s something probably one-in-a-million, but it’s something that created a thread that could only exist in the Pit because over half was pure rant or argument but had a civil debate at the end. So if debate is outright banned in The Pit, that thread would be off-limits as well.
Under current thinking, would AHunter and I have been advised to `get a room’?
The proper behaviour would be:
If you want to start a debate, then start it in the forum for Debates: the Great Debates forum.
If a thread is turning into a debate, then one of the people interested in the issue should start a thread in the Great Debates forum, post a link in The BBQ Pit thread, and continue the debate in the proper forum.
Of course, many a time a rant in The BBQ Pit slowly turns into a debate, and no one is reprimanded for it. But as the forum descriptions on the main pages clearly show, debates belong in a different forum.