There Oughta Be a GD Banning Rule

Perhaps I’m just a GD bigot.

But it seems to me that GD - and to an extent, GQ - have a certain requirement of rigor that’s lacking in other forums. Of course, the mission of the entire board is presumably fighting ignorance, But if someone posts in IMHO and says, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of X - this is just how I feel,” he’s right on target. But in GD - at least as I see it - there ought to be a different standard. Obviously, opions will differ. But most rational debators recognize rational debate tactics and valid rhetorical technique… and the absence thereof.

Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought to myself, to rid this place of a few GD posters that don’t seem to grasp the idea of supporting assertions with factual cites. But… apart from the hysterical cries of censorship that would inevitably arise, it occured to me that the whole board doesn’t need to lose 'em - just GD. They are, after all, perfectly able to participate in other fora.

So - my topic of discussion in this thread: should the SDMB decline to provide GD access to those that cannot properly debate?

  • Rick

I don’t post very often in GD for that very reason (IE: I suffer from cranial-rectal inversion, and I’m most aware of it…:smiley: ). But I DO read GD often, and it seems to me that folks who are good at debating do a pretty good job of taking care of the stupid people. Plus it’s kinda fun to watch!:wink:

I agree with Astroboy on this. Another plus with letting morons post in GD is they provide a good examples of what not to do. And that’s definitely a way to learn how to fight ignorance.

Shouldn’t this be in GD?

Should be.

There should also be a rule that people who post a response in GQ should have at least a bit of experience with the subject at hand, not just an opinion.

It should also rain beer on Thursdays.

I was saying “Should be.” to the OP, not to the post above, which I didn’t see at post time.

This is a perfect example of why the Pit should exist. (you all have seen the various threads discussing the usefulness of said Pit.)

It seems from your last sentence you are saying “ban the stupid fucks who can’t or won’t debate according to “my” rules.”

Do you wish to be the arbiter of whether something is worthy of GD? Then you can “rid this place” of people who don’t fit your idea of a perfect debater?

Sorry, but with all due respect, your post smells of a condescending holier than thou whining attitude.

Klaatu wrote

Nonsense. The two subjects are completely unrelated.

Nonsense. When people waste screen space with their opinionated ramblings instead of fact and logic they are deserving of censor. Wanting to see rational discussions and factual information is hardly describable as “whiny”.

Checking in to agree with Rick on this. GD is the place for debate, not the place for chest-beating lunatics to spout their baseless opinions. In fact, this Pit thread is a parody of an actual GD thread.

I see where your coming from Rick, but how are you supposed to learn unless you have the benifit of trial and error?

Sometimes the best answers come from the unlikeliest sources :wink:

I have to agree with TwistofFate: Ilearned how to debate in GD, from both watching and participating (clumsily, at times). Had Ibeed worried about being banned for being a sub-par debater–which I often was (am)–I’d have never participated at all. Give others a chance to try it out.

It seems to me that peer pressure goes a long way toward keeping GD civilized, overall. Sure, it’s not perfect and we get nutjobs. However, 1) Near as I can tell, 50% of Dopers anre going to write a book any day now, so this nutjob exposure counts as research and 2) It already has to have the highest standards of any general interest site out there.

I suspect we would end up with a buttload of Pit threads asking “Why isn’t Mildest Will being banned from GD?..why isn’t furious jorge being banned from GD?..why isn’t momo being banned from GD?” etc… ad nauseum.

You know some joker would be screaming for banning every time he/she suspected a straw man retort from another poster.

When dealing with idiots in GD I suggest posters trust the readers of the thread a little more. If a person has posted unsupported evidence or used fallacious reasoning point it out. If the idiot asks for explanation, then good. Explain. If they keep doing it, declare victory and move on. If you’ve done a good job other posters will see that you have made your point. Staying on track whilst disposing of ill conceived arguments and factoids is itself an important technique of debate. The difficulty in GD is not the idiots, but the hubbub of people trying to achieve different things. Some want to wipe the floor with an opposing viewpoint whilst others wish to understand the source of disagreement. And of course, some want to rant and some want to troll.

This is good advice.

I waver between the feeling that if an unsupported assertion is not challenged, or lies debunked, the casual reader will believe that the membership accepts them as true… and the feeling that, as hawthorne suggests, such nonsense is immediately obvious to the casual reader.

The trend above seems to be that forum-specific banning would cause more trouble than it’s worth. I can certainly accept that.

Klaatu, I’m glad you prefaced your comments with “with all due respect” - else I’d have felt that you didn’t respect me! :slight_smile: My only comment is that while it’s true I have some ideas about debate – it’s also true that debate has some universally recognized rules. If we were playing chess, we might quibble on whether I could touch a piece and then not move it, or whether my constant farting was a deliberate attempt to distract you. But neither of us could contend that we could move a pawn six spaces in one move.

So it’s not “debate my way” I was interested in, so much as “debate according to the generally recognized rules of debate.”

  • Rick

Whatever rules might govern debates in GD would be subject to debate, would they not? And you could hardly insist that, in the course of debating the rules that might govern debate, all participants follow the rules that are under discussion, since those who disparage or find fault with those rules would argue that the rules work unfairly against them in their attempts to defend their position that the rules are not good rules.

In any other debate, this metadebate would tend to make its appearance whenever the rules were invoked.

Frustrated by this situation, we would of course hie ourselves to GQ, where we would find that when cited references and evidence appear in support of a claim, someone would posit that the evidence does not necessarily support the conclusion, and would ask that the claimant provide evidence to bolster the conclusion that the evidence bolsters the conclusion.

(Informally, we already have the rules that you suggest. No one gets banned, but they do get panned)

I find GD to be a fabulous learning tool - there’s more content there than in most of my college classes. And I do agree with hawthorne - I suspect there are a lot of people who read much more often than they post. Watching the trolls/nitwits is often very instructive, since they quite often bring a list of corrections and cites. When I read the cites (as often as time permits), I then come away with a greater understanding of the topic at hand.

If there were no morons to provoke cites and explanations, I’d have learned a lot less. While you may not be able to fight the ignorance of the thread’s resident dipstick, you might be fighting mine.

[unrelated hijack]
Libertarian - could you drop me an e-mail if you don’t mind? Your address isn’t listed, and I have a question/comment for you that doesn’t belong on the boards. (No flaming, I swear.) Thanks!
[/unrelated hijack]


I just sent you an e-mail to which you may respond.


As to the argument at hand, I am becoming more open to the arguments against. To those opposed, what do you recommend be done about invaders like Lolo and EternalStudent?

Perhaps I’m just a Pit bigot.

But it seems to me that the Pit has a certain requirement of rigor that’s lacking in other forums. If someone posts in IMHO and says, “Wouldn’t it be nice …”, he’s right on target. But in the Pit - at least as I see it - there ought to be a different standard.

For example, if someone initiates a Pit thread, yet their OP includes:

  1. nary a single obscenity
  2. no references to felching
  3. Hi Opal!
  4. no actual or implied threats of violence towards or sexual activity with person(s) real or imagined

they should be allowed posting privileges only from a keyboard shoved up the anus of a colitic musk ox.

So - my topic of discussion in this thread: should the SDMB decline to provide Pit access to those that cannot properly rant?

Sorry, Dinsdale, but the other purpose of the Pit:

(emphasis added) makes no requirement of ranting or foul language. (It is like unto the 2d Amendment except that it is clearly a separate sentence with no quibbling over the dependence of the clauses.) For that matter, I am rarely enticed to use obscenities, references to felching, greetings to OpalCat, or threats even when I do participate in one of the rants of the Pit.

(Nice parody, though.)