Off Topic: Debates

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If you're anything like me, chances are you'll probably be spending a little bit of time today tuning into the presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It's too gargantuan of a debate not to. But I'm also the kind of person who enjoys the energy of it all, as well as how they're are organised, structured and executed.

In actual fact, the lead-up to the debate is often more fun than the debate itself.

But I don't want to get into the nitty gritty about what's going to happen between those two; there'll be a thread for that. Instead, I'd like to use today's off topics to discuss debates more broadly.

What debates have left a mark on you? What moments do you remember that really left a mark, that changed your position on things?

Here's a few moments that come to mind for me:

  • Ronald Reagan's line about his opponent's youth and inexperience.
  • The year the "worm" was first introduced to Australian televised debates.
  • Keating's line about "fairies in the gutter".
  • It's not a debate moment per se, but that bloke who threw the shoe at Howard on Q&A.
  • Another thing is the kind of people who talk to others like they're always in a debate, or the ones who approach everything like a form of debate.

    I can understand the appeal of that, questioning everything, breaking everything down to first principles and building up the foundations of an idea again. It can get a little tiring socially though, especially if you've had a long day and you somehow find yourself in the centre of quasi-intellectual combat.

    What do you think?


    Santos vs Vinick is the gold standard for debates.

    how the hell is Hillary keeping a straight face when she has to listen to Trump crap on well proven falsehoods, she has to be stoned, thats the only way humanly possible for someone to stand so stoic in the face of such aggressive hysterical dribble.

    Eh, I'm not one for political debates. Philosophical debates, however, can be awesome. Used to watch a bunch of theological debates, too, but most of them boil down to one side sticking to "you have no explanation for X, therefore you can't disprove our baseless explanation for it," or the other side sticking to "if you're correct, why do bad things happen to good people?", both of which are pointless rhetoric and have no place in a debate, imo. That said, there have been some amazingly well-reasoned theologians, fighting well-reasoned arguments with well-reasoned responses and counterpoints, and those can be really thought-provoking.

    It think it's hilarious that the moderators arent allowed to fact check and let us know when either side tell lies and that somehow thats a good thing.

    I don't get it at all.

    Why would I want to listen to what people that are paid to lie would say.

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