How to Properly Debate on Philosophy Forums

When on a philosophy forum and discussing a philosophy topic that is dear to you, conversations can get heated and there is nothing worst then getting ripped on for not having a logical argument to other posters.

Things You Will Need

Your brain is the only thing you really need but it also hleps to have references handy.

Step 1

Philosophy Rules of Engagement

They are a few main rules to keep in mind when depabating about philosophy and they are:

Clarity - When debating, you must make sure that all key concepts and words are clearly defined otherwise, the people you are debating with could misinterpret your meaning.

Quoting - Quoting an authority is not to be used as evidence as you are debating philosophy. On top of the, many autorities have been wrong in the past. Evidence is show facts and statistics like, "89% of people who believe in god make less than $30,000 a year according to xxxxxx."

Emotions - Emotions are good but can get in the way of the philosophy topic at hand. Emotionally charged words that are insulting will not prove your point but will instead make things worst. Avoid them like the plague.

Causality - Dont blunder by asserting a causal relationship where A was the cause of B because B happened right after A.

Innunendo - I have nothing against politicians but dont talk like one by saying something peorative without coming right out and saying it based on popular prejudice.

With this information in hand, you are now ready to go to philosophy forums and debate your point of view concerning a philosophical topic like a politician.

Just remember to be humble as you take your win and learn from losing.

Tips & Warnings

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when debating philosophy:

Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
Argument from "authority".
Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).

Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).

Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).

Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.

Meaningless question

Confusion of correlation and causation.

Using incomplete truths - newspapers do it a lot when they quote people.