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Protocols of Debate

We've tested out these protocols and have had very good success.

  1. We can enter into one of three modes.
    • Teaching
    • Learning
    • Arbitration
  2. One topic must be defined or a question must be stated clearly
  3. Exactly two sides of the stated proposition must be taken by the “student” and “teacher” role
  4. If a “teacher” makes a statement, he/she must defend it. There is no need to ask why the questioner is asking, what is the questioner’s belief, how others are wrong, or any off-topic replies. These violations must be called by the arbitrator and explicitly cited.
  5. If a student asks a question, he/she must allow the teacher to articulate their point. They may defer to the arbitrator to rule on whether or not the question has been addressed appropriately.
  6. The answer to the question the student has asked must directly relate to the question, not go into preaching mode or spout unrelated statements.
  7. An arbitrator must adhere to the protocols of debate. That is their primary function and not to take sides or give their own opinion on matters. They can clarify questions and set the expectations for the debate. The arbitrator is also the consistency checker.
  8. Each person must stay within the topic until it is answered or agreed to be deferred.
  9. If the teacher contradicts or changes an earlier statement even with a clarification, the student reserves the right to iterate through the points previously discussed. If not, the same point must not be beleaguered.
  10. Each statement can branch off into other sub-debates and a tracking mechanism will be in place to identify fallacies, unethical tactics, or circular arguments.