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Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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In Justice We Trust

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Guide to Civil Debate and Discussion


This being an Ace Attorney fansite, it’s pretty easy to picture yourself as Phoenix Wright or Miles Edgeworth when arguing over something with another user. The problem is that you’re not. The person you’re talking to is a real human being with real feelings, and the kinds of put-downs used in the games can really hurt if you use them against a real person. This kind of behavior is unacceptable here. Let’s consider the following situation: You’re discussing the object in the spoiler box below with another user. The two of you disagree on what to call it. Approaching the matter improperly can easily lead to hurt feelings (and possibly a ban). The goal of this guide is to help teach you how to keep your debate from ending in such a manner.
Spoiler: Which is it?
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  • Respect your opponent. Disagreeing with someone is not an excuse to be rude to him/her. Every position deserves to be heard and taken into consideration. Even if you think a certain position is stupid, you should calmly point out its flaws. Lacing your argument with insults and personal attacks will just encourage your opponent to get defensive. If you can argue a point, you can argue a point without being a jerk about it. If you’re getting fed up with your opponent’s arguments, you should stop and take a break from debating. Don’t post anything on the matter until you’ve calmed down. If you lose your temper and lash out at your opponent, you might be taking a break whether you want to or not (translation: be nasty enough and you’ll be banned).

  • Choose your words carefully. You can offend your opponent even without directly insulting him/her. Even if you think it’s really obvious that it’s a stepladder, you implicitly ridicule your opponent by saying as much. If you say something’s obvious, that implies that anyone who doesn’t see it is stupid, blind, willfully ignorant, etc. That which might be obvious to you might not be obvious to your opponent. Likewise, calling the ladder viewpoint stupid implicitly calls your opponent stupid for adhering to it. It’s rare for anyone to mean any harm when ridiculing someone’s argument, but as the Judge said right before giving Phoenix a penalty in 1-4, “not meaning any harm” and “not doing any harm” are two different things.

  • Some arguments can’t be won. While the question of whether it’s a ladder, a stepladder, both, or neither is one with a definitive answer, there are other questions that are matters of opinion rather than fact. For example, is it a good ladder/stepladder? Opinions can be based partially in fact, but they’re also a matter of personal preferences. It is quite common for an argument over something like this to be a result of differing opinions. “That’s [just] your opinion” is neither admitting defeat nor declaring victory. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that the disagreement is not something that can be resolved as things stand. An opinion is not something that you can force a person to change—not even if all the evidence is on your side. You can point out every flaw in the design, but your opponent might still think of it as a perfectly good ladder/stepladder. In cases of differing opinions, it’s best to let the matter drop.

  • Respect differences in opinion. That which you consider bad might be something your opponent considers good—or at least tolerable. This goes back to the matter of respecting your opponent. Maybe you don't like metal ladders/stepladders, but your opponent does. If that’s the case, constantly complaining about what material the ladder/stepladder is made out of will only serve to annoy your opponent. For that matter, you should never say something specifically to annoy your opponent. That kind of behavior is known as trolling and can warrant a ban. Regularly bashing something someone is fond of can also fit into this category, depending on the intent. We won’t punish you for sharing legitimate criticisms of something, but at the same time, going into a thread where people are positively discussing something and constantly trashing it doesn't help discussion.

  • Attack the argument, not your opponent. This ties back in to the "respect your opponent" bit. Having a different stance on something does not make your opponent inferior to you in any way. If there is a flaw in your opponent's argument, you should point out the flaw (without being rude about it, of course), not berate your opponent for failing to notice the flaw himself/herself. Your opponent can only adjust his/her position if he/she is aware of the flaws in his/her argument. Failing to notice those flaws does not make your opponent stupid.

  • You do not have permission to return fire. This guide is here to help discourage rudeness. If your opponent is being rude, that does not make it okay for you to be rude. Report his/her behavior if you feel it warrants reporting. If you feel you can't respond civilly, just don't respond. Flaming your opponent for flaming you will just lead to both of you getting in trouble. As far as the rules are concerned, who started it is irrelevant.

  • Don't be afraid to stop. You shouldn't expect an argument to end with a clear winner and a clear loser. If you no longer feel like debating the matter with your opponent, just don't respond to their latest statement. Failing that, just say you're done for the time being. This isn't admitting defeat, nor is it declaring victory. Arguments aren't always fun, and sometimes keeping up the argument just stops feeling worth the time and energy you would have to put into doing so. For that matter, if your opponent does this to you (i. e. stops arguing), let it go. Maybe you've given him/her something to think about and he/she needs time to ponder it on his/her own. Alternatively, maybe he/she no longer feels able to continue the debate without getting rude. Whatever the case, accept his/her decision to leave the debate and don't rub it in. An opponent leaving without admitting defeat can be annoying, but so is an opponent that insists on continuing an argument when you're sick of it.

Bottom line: we’re not a Yahoo! or YouTube comments section. Play nice and be cool.
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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Do you see the black one...or the white?

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I'm glad you actually put this up. I love a great argument with civil debates and discussions, but it's when guidelines like this aren't followed that irks me. I understand disagreeing sides, failing to agree with others, but people forget to be civil because they must always be in the right. I don't get into as many discussions as I used to because it seems that more and more, the ethics of a good debate just aren't followed anymore. Finding someone respectable to argue with now is so very far and between. Again, thanks for bringing this to attention. As crazy as the internet is, we need to be reminded of this at times.
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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Wriggling piece of plywood

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I hope everyone takes their time to read this. Also,

Quote:
This being an Ace Attorney fansite, it’s pretty easy to picture yourself as Phoenix Wright or Miles Edgeworth when arguing over something with another user. The problem is that you’re not.


Preach.
(......Ack! I've run out of snide comments!)
Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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A Kirby and AA fan

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This may be awfully nosy, but I wonder if something specific happened for this guide to suddenly be written.
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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Infinite Ammo? Try INFINITE GUNS!

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Nurio wrote:
This may be awfully nosy, but I wonder if something specific happened for this guide to suddenly be written.


He he I wonder :kristoph:

Still these guidelines can only improve this site.
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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[Whip the cream!]

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So very valid points written in such a clear way - I definitely hope everyone will read this.
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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A Kirby and AA fan

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Pierre wrote:
Nurio wrote:
This may be awfully nosy, but I wonder if something specific happened for this guide to suddenly be written.

He he I wonder :kristoph:

Still these guidelines can only improve this site.

I agree...
I just strangely somehow feel kinda partly responsible...
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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What is my liiiife?!?

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Nurio wrote:
This may be awfully nosy, but I wonder if something specific happened for this guide to suddenly be written.


Short answer: No.

Long answer: Noooooooooooooooo.

But if you're wanting a more helpful response, the staff drafted it simply because we were already going through the rules to re-write them and the suggestion was made that now would be the best time to make a guide to debating.

On that note, I'd like to remind everyone that there are certain topics that were not created for adversarial debating. Those are generally any kind of character or pairing 'fan club' topics. If you don't like that character or pairing, it would be best to stay away from that topic. There's already topics out there where you can debate the merits or demerits to your hearts content, so let them have their super positive love-in.
Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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I totally agree with what these guide says,though I have to admit I was just about to ask the same question as Nurio...glad everything's alright though.
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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Winter Flag Trademark

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*snickers* As if everyone here will read or skim through it. Only a few or some will do, but the rest will just practically ignore it. :redd:
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This account is dead. Link to my DeviantART.
Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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Ace Pointer wrote:
*snickers* As if everyone here will read or skim through it. Only a few or some will do, but the rest will just practically ignore it. :redd:


Bad for them,they're the ones who will look like trolls and be banned.
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Re: Guide to Civil Debate and DiscussionTopic%20Title
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Athena Internet Defense Force

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I can win any argument, just you watch.
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