Hello fellow forumers! Today, I will be explaining how to enact in a healthy debate, and try to fix some errors that can easily happen when things in the debate get heated! In this analysis, we will go over many common errors that can occur when doing debate topics on this forum, and I will detail how to fix these errors so that these forums remain civil and logical!
Providing an Argument
This is the most important part of starting any healthy debate on the forums. Make sure that your argument is supported by evidence and reasonable rhetoric. Rhetoric is defined the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques. There are three appeals that can be used to compose your argument, and we will go over the benefits and drawbacks of each appeals in the argument
Logos is using logic to prove your points. This is the most important form of argument to be used on this forum, and in this forum, this appeal should usually be the one that can provide the most effective means of convincing a fellow forumer to agree with your viewpoint. While this is very important to a good argument, it is also probably the most difficult to achieve effectively. Using stats and figures, logical cause-and-effect, and reasonable analogies are some of the most important pieces of evidence to prove your argument.
Ethos is the use of ethical appeal to convince an audience of the author's credibility or character. While Socrates himself said that this was the most important appeal, this is just not always the case for the forums. Unless you know the intricacies of the game itself, or you know how the programming of the game works, then you can not usually use this appeal to full effect. This is the weakest of appeals on this forum for the sole reason that we are just fellow fans of this game and not usually
game marketers, advanced statisticians, or highly educated programmers. If you are one of these things, you can then easily use ethos to help appeal your arguments.
Pathos is using emotional reasoning to support your argument. This is the most dangerous of appeals, and it should be made sparingly on these forums. Using pathos is quite effective, but it is also the most volatile, and it can backfire quite easily if used incorrectly. If you can only use pathos to prove your point, then you should most likely not create that argument in the first place. Overall, use pathos only if you have a good amount of logos to back it up.
So, using two or all three of these appeal is effective in making your argument good. I would personally recommend that you first use logos to make your point sound, and you can then sprinkle in some pathos or ethos to make your point solid.
When providing an argument, watch out to not make some logical fallacies when proving your point. A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning that renders an argument invalid. Here are some fallacies that can be made when formulating an argument.
- Circular Reasoning is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with (X is true because of Y, then Y is true because of X). This is a very easy fallacy to spot, and it makes the argument not have any actual reasoning in the entire thing. An example of this fallacy is "Clash Royale rigs the matchmaking by matching people against hard counter decks. But why does Clash Royale provide hard counter matches? They do it to rig the matchmaking."
- A False Alternative is misformulating a problem as a choice between two (or more) alternatives, when there exist other alternatives that have not been considered (You have a choice between A and B. A is obviously unacceptable, therefore you must do B.). This is quite a common fallacy used when a person tries to "fix" the game, and they say that their solution is the only way to do it. Here's an example of this fallacy: "2v2 leavers are such a pain to deal with, so I devised a solution. Ban anyone who leaves the game once. Do you want there to be 2v2 trolls who leave the game, or do you want this action taken against them?"
When providing an argument on the forums, varied sentence structure is a must. People do not want to read sentences that end up sounding all too short or too long. Also, use of varied vocabulary is also a way to keep your audience engaged, but try to not confuse people with it. It just takes practice and experience to provide a nice sounding argument, and just talking amongst forumers achieves this. These are essential to keeping an audience through an entire argument without losing them or boring them.
This is something that should be kept in mind: you want to entertain as much as you want to inform and persuade. If you don't provide enough engagement for your audience, you will not persuade them to your side. That's an important part for any good start to a discussion.
Offering a Rebuttal
Now, when you find an idea that you don't agree with on the forums, you should speak out and try to offer your own viewpoints to the discussion. When doing this, you want to make sure that you can first back up your own viewpoints with evidence and facts (see above), and you also want to use appeals when providing your rebuttal (also see above). When making a rebuttal, also keep in mind that emotional appeals should be kept at a minimal, as it can cause discussions that are uncivil.
When addressing an argument, make sure to address either specific points of an argument, or address all of the argument. Do not misquote or generalize the argument, and make sure not to make generalizations in your own rebuttal as well. People will catch on easily and point out when you do not address any of the actual points in your argument.
Make sure that you remain civil, and do not make these logical fallacies when creating your rebuttal. Here are some of the fallacies:
- This is any attempt to discredit a view by calling attention to the character, actions or personal circumstances of those who hold it rather than the reasoning they provide in support of it. This fallacy can happen occasionally through the forums, and it makes the argument go out of hand easily. Never use this, and if you can provide actual rebuttals, you shouldn't have to. Here's an example: "You say that matchmaking isn't rigged, but that's just because your a SC fanboy who listens to whatever they say!"
- The Red Herring is distracting attention from an issue by introducing an irrelevant issue or one that is only superficially related to the one being discussed. This is basically what happens whenever a topic is derailed from the current point on hand, and this can sometimes happen when a person cannot find any rebuttals to the current argument. Here's an example of this: "While you say that matchmaking is rigged by losing streaks, you forgot to mention the rigged matchmaking that is caused by hard counter decks!" As you can see, while the original topic was rigged matchmaking by loss streaks, the topic derailed to matchmaking by hard counter decks.
- Now that you have learned what certain fallacies are, you should know what this one is as well. The fallacy fallacy is discrediting an argument because the speaker used a logical fallacy. This can be used easily, and some might not consider it wrong, but it still is a wrong way to offer a rebuttal. Here's an example: "I don't agree with your viewpoint at all because you used an Ad Hominem attack on me". Now, this does not actually address any of the points in the argument, so it's not the right way to debate.
So, now you have learned how to provide an argument and offer and rebuttal effectively and without faults. I hope you can use this advice to debate on the forums civilly and without any issues!
Now, obviously, you can also use this in real life situations as well, from persuading your mother to let you go out with friends or writing a persuasive essay to your teacher. Keep this in mind, and you can find out what techniques people are using to prove their argument. Now, while I might not have the ethos to tell you this information (my name is MathChamp after all
), I hope that I can provide the information in a logical manner to appeal to logos.
If you want a complete list of logical fallacies, here's where you can find them
. There's 146 of them, and that just goes to show how easy it is to accidentally give faulty reasoning.
Thanks for reading! This is the EnglishChamp, signing out!