The Demanding One

Always a Critic

How to Win a Debate on the Internet

Posted by alexahentay on April 18, 2007

“Attack the message, not the person”arguing on the internet-retard

The most important tenet of a winning debate, and one most users cannot understand. A visit to any forum/message board will quickly verify this most basic of concepts. Too often, debates devolve into name calling and worthless banter, “flaming,” if you will. He who is able to stick to the facts and address the original issue will always fare better. Trust me, asshole, ad hominem attacks are not needed.

There are 5 basic rules to follow in any e-bate.

  1. Attack the message, not the person.
  2. State your purpose.
  3. Stick to the facts.
    1. Support those facts using tEh internet.
  4. Organize your argument using proper sentence structure, grammar, and paragraphs.
  5. Know when to hold em and when to bold em.

1. Attack the message, not the person.

Listen douchebag, you’re wrong about Barry Bonds being on steroids, and your fucking cock is 3 inches long.

Barry Bonds is not on steroids. The only evidence out there is hearsay and this society was founded on the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty;’ not the other way around.

Which message more effectively conveys the user’s point? Once this first rule is mastered, the rest of the rules will fall into place. When personal insults are left out of the equation, one must back up their statements with facts and rational thought!

2. State your purpose.

In order to begin, your audience must know exactly where you stand on a particular issue. Aside from letting the audience/opponent know what you’re about, this purpose statement will help drive your argument and prevent you from veering off course. It is good practice to spell out exactly what you believe and how you will go about proving/supporting it.

3. Stick to the facts.

Support your argument (you did take a position didn’t you?) with facts. This means personal experience and opinion should be used sparingly; unless, however, you personally injected Barry Bonds with steroids. If it cannot be backed up with logic and various sources easily found on the intarweb, don’t bring it up. If someone said it, it is not evidence. Use facts, not people, opinion, or the bible!

That brings me to my second point; use the internet! Although easily accessible, the information on the internet can be incorrect. Try to screen your sources. What that means? Second and third your sources. Try to cite only legitimate publications. It helps if the website you are citing is backed by a reputable company. Again, do not cite people, cite facts; proven scientific facts and possibly theory.

4. Organize your argument using proper sentence structure, grammar, and paragraphs.

This rule is important for two reasons. One, if you post a remarkable statement disguised as a huge run on sentence, your audience will not receive the full message. Most will stop reading and this leads to my second reason. The grammar nazis, some of whom are your opponents, will point out the flaws in your spelling, sentence structure, etc., completely diverging from of the actual debate. Although you may have the winning side, it must be presented in a winning fashion!

5. Know when to hold em and when to fold em.

So you’re backed into a corner and your argument has more holes than 50 cent. This is when you break out the big guns; CAPS LOCK, exclamations!, epithets, poor eBay sales, anything. Or you can embrace reality.

It is ok to be wrong. It is not ok to launch a barrage of ad hominem attacks and raise a straw man argumentonce you realize you’ve been defeated. The best part of a well-played debate is the shared knowledge, and raised consciousness of the group. Rarely does the defeated assess what it is they have learned and what techniques they need to work on. On the same hand, after congratulating oneself on a job well done, the victor would do well to evaluate what he/she learned in the process.

There is nothing more surprising than seeing someone say, “Hey, I think you’re right. Thanks for pointing that out.” This completely throws off the opponent and also lets the audience know that one is not only skilled in debating, but dignified in defeat.

digg this story

Advertisements

6 Responses to “How to Win a Debate on the Internet”

  1. I love your site! 🙂

    _____________________
    Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

  2. Great post as usual…. I look forward the next article.

  3. i’m quite often bouncing all across the internet the majority of the day which means that I possess a tendency to read a bunch, which unfortunately isnt usually a beneficial option as almost all of the sites I find are composed of unnecessary nonsense copied from several other sites a trillion times, but I have to compliment you because this website is frankly quite informative and also provides a lot of unique substance, so cheers for smashing the fad of solely copying other individual’s websites, if you ever wanna play a couple of hands of myspace poker together just email me – you have my email 🙂

  4. CrapBag said

    LOL! This line of yours just cracked me up!

    Listen douchebag, you’re wrong about Barry Bonds being on steroids, and your fucking cock is 3 inches long.

    Barry Bonds is not on steroids. The only evidence out there is hearsay and this society was founded on the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty;’ not the other way around.

  5. latonya said

    Sign up with adsense for free, then place the adsense
    code on your blog. It should be something that is going to interest a lot of people.

  6. extra said

    I truly do have faith in each of the thoughts you could have offered in your posting. There’re quite persuading and can surely do the job. Even so, a articles particularly swift for freshies. Would you be sure to prolong these individuals just a little coming from when? Thanks for the submit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: