Debate Free Culture

May 5, 2006

Why we are here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nelson Pavlosky @ 1:48 am

I decided to start this blog after reading Brian Flemming’s appearance on DebateBlog, a blog for debating themes related to Christianity. I was impressed by the debates on that blog, and I think that it is a compelling format. (As an aside, Brian Flemming is an advocate for free culture, a conviction that is distinct from his atheist convictions.)

For the first few debates I hold here, I expect to have a serious disadvantage. Why? Because free culture is a philosophy which involves a lot of concepts, history and words with which the general public is not familiar. The word limit, which limits explanation and expansion of terms, concepts and backstory, will give an advantage to those who defend the status quo against those who fight to free culture. (Naturally, this advantage will not appear when two different flavors of free culture activists debate one another, so I expect those debates to be more evenly matched, at least in terms of working within the space constraints.) My hope is that these debates will aid me in tightening my rhetoric and compressing my arguments into a smaller space for future debates. To give myself a rest, I will sometimes feature “guest hosts” and merely moderate their debates.

I would just like to say that I have problems with the concept of antagonistic debate. I believe that our culture has trained us to think and converse in ways that encourage conflict and combat rather than cooperation and collaboration. For an excellent analysis of this problem, I would like to refer you to The Ways Of Peace by Gray Cox… it is available gratis at that link. This is something that is outside my power to change, unfortunately. So long as our culture expects us to “win” antagonistic debates, we must become adept at playing that game. That said, nothing would please me more than if in the course of these debates the “opponents” came to find that they had more in common than they have to fight about, and if everyone became the best of friends… even if this is a boring result for our readers. I assure that I will not select debating partners who are already inclined to agree with me or one another on the points up for debate, however, so don’t worry.

Blog at WordPress.com.