Thread idea/question

Has there ever been a debate thread where Dopers argued their pet political/social issues, but did so intentionally from the opposite position that they personally hold (e.g. gun control, abortion, capitalist markets, vaccines, etc.)? I understand this is a type of preparation some debaters use to hone their skills as it encourages debaters to carefully consider opposing viewpoints.

Where would such a thread be located?

Seems like an interesting thread.

In the old days it would go into Great Debates, but in the past few years we have tightened up that forum quite a bit in order to improve the quality of the debates. I’m not sure if this fall afoul of the rules against insincere debating or not.

Let’s ask the GD mods if they want it in their forum. If not you can put it in IMHO.

Paging the GD mods: @raventhief @What_Exit @Aspenglow

I lean towards IMHO on this. It doesn’t really feel like what GD is at this point.

How do you keep it sincere, and not a mockery of the other position?

I agree it’s a better fit in IMHO, with the caveat that if the contemplated thread intends for posters to take political positions, it should probably go in P&E.

It has definitely been done, and I participated in it. We were charged with crafting strong position posts that take the opposite position from the one we actually hold.

Can’t bloody FIND it at the moment. I posted to it at least twice, once with a pro-life abortion argument and once with an argument in support of psychiatric incarceration.

I think it would be difficult, but that seems like it would be the challenge of such a thread. Can you make a compelling argument that is the opposite of your actual belief?

If it ends up looking like mockery then the clear answer is that you can’t. Hopefully people can. It sounds interesting.

It does remind me of a couple of debates I was in during high school, where you were given a position to defend (you couldn’t pick a side yourself). I was lucky to get positions I believed in.

This sounds like it could be fun, but, since the arguments being made would be insincere by definition, somewhat fraught with peril. And I would certainly hate to be quoted years later, out of context, as having previously endorsed some reprehensible position.

Sam Stone proposed this once, didn’t know it was already attempted.

Not my cuppa tea, but I can see why people would be interested. However, I don’t think I would be able to successfully convince someone that I was sincerely debating: my capacity for snark and asides will be my undoing.

I don’t have a problem with such a thread existing as long as it’s prominently labeled what is going on.

I would find it hard to participate in myself, because I think I would have to lie about actual facts to do it. My beliefs come from my understanding of the facts. And I’m not comfortable with lying. Or good at it.

I like the idea, but who would I be arguing against? This board leans left (me included), so if we all started swinging from the right for discussion purposes, who would be taking the left position? There are very few conservatives around here these days, and I am not sure we’d get any one of them to play along. Would it matter?

If we were to do such a thread, I’d suggest that it would be done best by the poster first naming their actual, true position, before then proceeding to give their playing-devil’s-advocate position.

I think the thread I participated in was in fact started by one of the board’s conservatives. Sam_Stone definitely a possibility.

I’m annoyed because I can’t find it.

I was interested to see this. I have sometimes argued in favor of opinions that I don’t support. Usually just out of contrariness, but I explain to people that it is useful because it reminds me of just how worthless opinions are. Including my own.

I don’t feel like anyone has bothered to listen to me and the points I was making if they can’t make my arguments for me, in their own words. And I don’t see why anyone would keep wasting time trying to explain their viewpoint if I can’t show that I’ve followed along and that I understand it. So of course people should be able to argue a viewpoint that they don’t actually hold. That’s how you show that you understand it.

I agree. It doesn’t feel like a great debate. Interesting exercise, but not one that I would probably engage in.

Was it this?

Yes!! Clearly you’re more adept at Googling than I am.

Ironically, you’re now staking out a position I don’t hold and couldn’t argue for. :wink:

Looks like the thread Shagnasty started in 2015 didn’t gain a whole lot of traction. Most posters simply stated a position opposite their own view and little actual follow up debate took place.