Rules for Debate

I did not put this blog out for a debating forum. However, if you feel like you must debate me on a particular point I make, here are the rules I personally abide by, and that I will expect you to abide by as well.

1. Make sure that you are very clear with your points. Being vague is not in vogue when it comes to debate.

2. Be sure that you have your facts in hand before making a point pro or con the issue at hand.

3. Let your stance be known ahead of the debate, and whether or not you are wanting to debate your stance.

4. Never think that you are above answering questions. A person who is not willing to answer questions should not be willing or able to ask questions or make statements.

5. Be clear with the direction of your questions/statements. If you want a specific person to answer or address the points you raise, you must let them know as much.

6. Do not allow emotions to cloud sound judgment and logic. If you cannot make your point without appealing to your emotions, then it is best that you not make your point at all.

7. Do not make a "broad-brush" statement without the facts to back it up. You may have an opinion on the matter being discussed, and you are certainly free to; but without facts, your opinion is irrelevant and useless.

8. Opinions are fine, but facts matter. If the facts do not help your opinion, find a new opinion.

9. Leave room for you and your opponent to leave the debate with their honour intact. Not every debate is for blood.

10. If you must "go for blood", be sure that you are willing to reap the consequences if you are wrong. Do not complain when someone uses your tactics against you.

11. If you find that you are wrong in the argument, be willing to admit it. Nobody likes a sore loser, and you will gain no respect for later debates.

12. When debating the Bible, make sure that you define your terms. If you are unsure of the terms, it may be best not to use them

13. If you do not wish debate, but merely be given an explanation of certain things, do not argue at all. Accept the terms and explanations given and move on. It is assumed that you have followed Rule #3 for this.

14. Seeing as you claim to be a Christian, do at least try to act like one. Debates can be forceful, while being Christian at the same time.

15. Whatever attitude you would like your opponent to have, you must start with that attitude. Do not begin with a vicious attack, then expect a sober response.

16. Know both your topic and your limitations. If your brain doesn't know what you are doing, your opponent won't either.

17. Often times, humans do not know what they are thinking until after they have said it. A debate does not work this way. Be clear with your words and your intentions.

18. Use palatable words; you may have to eat them later.

19. Always treat your opponent with respect - whether or not they return the favour.