The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Faculty of Science and Engineering - Te Mātauranga Pūtaiao me te Pūkaha
Waikato Home Waikato Home > Science & Engineering > BioBlog
Staff + Student Login

rules of rational debate

In my idle moments (haha) I visit a number of different science blogs - both the posts and the comments threads can be educational and entertaining as well. Sometimes, for particular topics (vaccination being one, but anything to do with 'natural health products' can almost be guaranteed to set things off as well), the discussion can be derailed by one or two commenters who seem unwilling or unable to follow the normal rules of a rational debate. This can make it really hard to keep a discussion on track & must be frustrating for others trying to follow the thread of ideas.

Anyway, while browsing Peter Bowditch's Millenium Project I came across a poster encapsulating those rules. I thought I'd share it here, not least because these rules can apply to debate in a classroom just as much as they can to a face-to-face, one-on-one discussion and an internet forum or comments thread. (Click on the graphic for a higher-quality image.) I can see myself applying some of these statements in some of the threads I visit :)

 

| | Comments (4)
Share via Email Share this on Twitter Share this on Google+ Share this on Facebook

4 Comments

Wow, if I print this and hand out copies, I'll hardly ever need to talk to some people I know!

So this would be a Good Thing???

It might be better to change that right hand box, the one with the 'no' arrows, to: "This is not a discussion. However, I might still wish to talk to you, for my own amusement, or for trying to understand why you hold your viewpoint, but please don't pretend we are discussing anything."

I agree Marcus. You could continue conversing, either though the discussing aspect might be gone.

By the way, the graphic isn't showing up any more. (Same both here and at sciblogs.) You coudl try change the URL for the image to http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/history/2011/0108debate.jpg

I've taken to copy images and holding a local copy, as some of my old article now feature "empty" images.

Leave a comment

August 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Recent Comments

  • Grant: I agree Marcus. You could continue conversing, either though the read more
  • Marcus Wilson: It might be better to change that right hand box, read more
  • Alison Campbell: So this would be a Good Thing??? read more
  • Renee: Wow, if I print this and hand out copies, I'll read more