10 Commandments for Rational Debates

rational debates

Faced with a huge argument ahead of you. Before getting into the thick of it, however, you and your opponents should establish certain boundaries to keep your debate rational. Knowing some basic commandments will let you delivery your points and thus – master the art of handling disputes and debates. 

The ten commandments of rational debate can be applied in deductive essay writings as well.

‘Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole’.

Do not lose the whole scope of data in order to defend whatever you stand for. Ignoring the general trend that is present in this or that argument may lead to your fiasco.

‘Thou shall not attack a person’s character but the argument itself’.

Nothing personal, just business. The winner of any argument does not see the opponent or his negative points. Instead, he has a clear viewpoint on what is being said. Make sure to construct your arguments in accordance with that simple rule. Do not cross the line.

‘Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make it easier to attack’.

Do not be shy or selfish to ask your opponent to repeat his claims. This will provide you with a solid awareness of the facts on the other side. When writing a deductive essay, make sure to get a better understanding of the facts to use them appropriately.

‘Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause.’

If something happened before, it is not necessarily related to the argument or anything that stands behind it.

‘Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true.’

This is what we call “begging the question’ that is about assuming the conclusion of a certain argument. The fallacy is of an informal nature, when an arguer provided the conclusion to be proven within the argument premise. As a rule, its presence within the premise is hidden.

‘Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance that the claim must be true or false.’

This is what the debate aces tend to call ‘the appeal to ignorance’ – the situation, when the ‘lack of contrary evidence’ plays a crucial role. In other words, you are asserting the proposition is true for the reason that it hasn’t been proven false yet.

‘Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities.’

When there’s a golden mean in an argument, it will be hard to reduce the debate to ‘black’ or ‘white’ only.

‘Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true.’

The fallacy is committed every moment an individual argues an idea based on absolutely irrelevant appeal to its popularity.

‘Thou shall not assume ‘this’ follows ‘that’ when ‘it’ has no logical connection.’ 

When the matter concerns formal logic, this is the argument attached with the conclusion that doesn’t flow from its premises. In such case, the conclusion should either be true or false, but the reality is that the argument is fallacious since there’s a certain disconnection between the conclusion and the premise.

Thou shall not lay the burden of proof onto him who is questioning the claim.’

Let’s say your best friend claims he has made it to win the street races, then challenges you to prove him wrong. The burden of proof is on him entirely, not you or anyone else. He is the one, who has made the extraordinary claim.

The commandments pointed out above might be useful for the people, who think they’re doing great in politics and the ones who just like  dispute online.

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