Debate anyone?

Convince Me – Debate Online is a new site I came across that provides a forum for debates to take place.? In their words, is the ultimate debating website. First off it’s free to join. You can create any number challenges, and compete in any number of debates that other users create as challenges. Compete for votes, a winning record, and points. It’s your chance to convince the world that you are right! If you get a certain number of points, and have a winning record, you can also have the chance of competing in our Debate Playoffs, with a chance to win a grand prize in the Super Bowl of debating!

If you don’t want to compete, and are just interested in debating your opinion along with others, you can create open debates. These have no winners, losers, or points but the general public can still vote on the subject.

It’s an interesting concept, albeit one that’s existed in a limited fashion ever since the first online forum hit cyberspace.? What’s unique about convince me however is the way its formatted so there’s a way of tracking “winners” or “losers” in debates.

One of the unique features is that in open debates there is a “I’m convinced” button where if someone has written an argument that convinces you to their side you can click it and they receive a “convince” point.? Those with the most convince points have their arguments moved to the top of the list.? In theory it should help to present the most convincing arguments at a glance but in practice it doesn’t seem to be doing the job – I did a quick glance at the top debates and it seemed to me that the top arguments were poor at best – of course that opinion is fairly subjective in nature.

While the site will probably attract a certain breed of people who like debating and trying to convince people of their arguments I really don’t think it would be a good idea to quote from the site as a statistical resource for seeing where the “majority” of people stand on a certain issue.? Among the “debaters” making serious and thought out arguments there are a lot of rather flippant comments as well which are obviously from people who are just trying to be humourous.

Is it for everyone? Nah, probably not – but for any forum administrators having problems with people who love starting up arguments – refer this site to them and see your problems go away… ;)? – well maybe…

What makes the site interesting for me is that in reading through the various arguments and comments people make, I gain perspective on the way people think on different issues.? From a pastoral perspective, this becomes really helpful on the hot-button topics like abortion, the existence of God, and gay marriage.? It’s enlightening to see the wide variety of popular opinions and beliefs people have developed regarding these topics and in some cases the resources that they use to support those opinions.? This better equips me to understand the different responses people may have when I address those same topics in various conversations I have and makes me think through some of the positions I have taken.

Definitely a site I’ll visit every once and a while!

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