I am creating this post as a guide to some of our newer members as well as our older members to mature debating. Feel free to add anything you wish to the guide. These are basically some unofficial rules I came up with on the top of my head to explain exactly what I mean when I say a "Mature Debate"
UNOFFICIAL RULES OF THE MATURE DEBATER:
1: Proper spelling and Grammar
This might not be the most important rule but it is definitely the one that is broken the most. There is a spell check button for a reason, so please use it. You might not think it is all that important as long as you get your point across but most people will take you a lot more seriously if you use proper grammar.
2. Legible posting
This goes hand in hand with proper grammar and spelling only it is a lot more important. While you can still get your point across with poor spelling and grammar, if no one can read your posts then you can't even get your point across. I encourage all debaters to proof read all of their posts before they send it. Read it out loud to yourself. If it is awkward to say, chances are it is awkward to read.
3. Attack opinions not people.
I cannot stress this enough people. This is a debate forum. It is a place where people get together and argue their opinions. You are bound to get angry. You are bound to say to yourself, "My God I think this person just made me dumber" but PLEASE keep yourself from calling that person names. You will gain much more respect as a 'mature debater' if you outsmart them rather than insult them. Attack them with facts not names.
4. Don't just give us your opinion! Back it up!
This could be just newbies looking to add a quick post to their post count but I have seen a growing number of people saying what they believe but not telling us why. Instead of saying "i think alcohol iz teh sux" say "I believe alcohol is a bad drug because it is one of the top causes of all accidental deaths in America...." and so on...And if you want to be an even better debater then back up your back up information with sources so that we can see that you didn't just pull that out of your butt.
5. Keep it Short Simple and TO THE POINT!
I have seen too many people beat around the bush in their posts. They start off on topic and suddenly shift to something completely irrelevant. Maybe this has something to do with the ADD generation or something but it is getting a bit annoying. Just tell us what you think, give us something provocative to think about and be on your way. We don't need to hear your life story or what you ate for dinner if you know what I mean. Keep it short, simple and to the point.
6. Don't get offended (added by Chibisuke Chan89, June 15th)
Because really, there's no reason to. What should you care if people think your religion is a sham, or don't think you exist, or whatever it is you're disagreeing on. Hell, even if it comes to flaming, there's no good reason to get actually offended...
7. Don't twist around people's words (added by The Tao Of Bill, June 25th)
This has to be one of the most annoying forms of arguing your point. This is how my ex girlfriend would fight with me. Basically if you know what a person means don't try to make it sound like they meant something totally different and out of context. I am aware that misunderstandings are bound to happen and sometimes it's hard to know what everyone means in their statements all the time but if someone clearly explains what they meant and you still refuse to drop your twisted version of their post then you are guilty of this rule. While it can be funny at times it doesn't get you anywhere in a debate because everyone knows what that person really meant and everyone knows you are just being annoying about it.
8. Keep an open mind(added by The Tao Of Bill, July 29th)
This applies to any debate where neither side can prove the other wrong. The strongest example of this is the age old science vs religion debates. Because neither side can be proven correct, if you go in acting like there is no possibility whatsoever that the other side is right then all that does it make you look like an asshole. Not to mention if you take it too far and call another religion a fairy tale or something to the liking, you might find yourself on the wrong side of a warning. You can have strong feelings about the correctness of your side but you must accept at least the slightest chance that you could be wrong.
That should be a good enough list to start with. Again, if you have anything to add please do so. Let's bring some standards to debating at TheHylia!*
*Adapted & Abridged version of the original post by The Tao Of Bill