In My Opinion: Change the Game or Change your name

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173
edited October 27 in General

CD Posters,

I think I found the answer to our concern of low user-ship. To possibly understand the low participation in these forums are right before our eyes. This is in no way a reflection up chairman Jan or any of his dedication and sacrifices (time, mean, energy or influence). It's not for a lack of interesting topics, it's not for a want of time in many of the current few users cases, or thoughts to express. The truth be told, it's not even the "elementary" name calling, as repugnant as it is. Nor is it the minus passion or lack of convictions. It is the name: "Christian Debate". How it was chosen I am void of its history. I do know that the current CD doesn't provide what is stated. The forum lacks the qualitative substance that its name demands. When true debaters comes to this site, it's a turn-off and a joke. The qualities of a good debater include the ability to speak clearly, think quickly, clarify arguments, provide examples, maintain persuasive speech, and maintain a professional tone. Do the current user possess the skills that true debates demands? It's not that I am being needlessly critical or mean-spirited, but soberly reflective. Here are my reasonings:

  1. Visitors to the site should reasonably expect the core users to be "Christians". A term generally understood, but not mutually defined by its limited current users, at least not recently.
  2. Vistitors should expect to follow a pattern of debate texts of structure, arguments, and counter-aruguments.
  3. Her or she should be able to identify and recognize the neutral mediator.
  4. One should see and follow the basic five steps of a debate.

The five steps are as follows:

  • Introduction. Express your message and why it's important to your audience, as well as yourself.
  • Statement of fact. Break down the general thesis of your argument into smaller parts. ... 
  • Confirmation, or proof. ... 
  • Refutation. ... 
  • Conclusion

Wherein one may find in the aforementioned, laid-out, in a few cases, it's one-sided. It's not always for a lack of cooperation, but for a lack of skills. No one need to be offended or alarmed. Every Christian or one professing to be one, is not trained, skilled or a gifted debater. It's not a prerequisite to being a christian. Believers are expected to give a reason for the hope within. This is a far cry from being a skilled debater. A Christian or a non-christian, skilled in debating, beholding such, it's a turn-off. He or she is first seek to identify which of the four types of debates are being used. There are four types of debates that are commonly used. These debates: 

  1. The Lincoln-Douglas debate (the two men debate).
  2. The Rebuttal debate
  3. The One-Rebuttal
  4. The Oregon-Oxford  that is also called as the cross-question. Formally or informally,  happens in scenarios.

Is there such thing as debate "solitaire". Can one debate with one's self? A debate is a discussion or structured contest about an issue or a resolution.

A formal debate involves two sides:

  • One supporting a resolution and
  • One opposing it.

Such a debate is bound by rules previously agreed upon. Debates may be judged in order to declare a winning side. Debates, in one form or another, are commonly used in democratic societies to explore and resolve issues and problems. Decisions at a board meeting, public hearing, legislative assembly, or local organization are often reached through discussion and debate. Indeed, any discussion of a resolution is a form of debate, which may or may not follow formal rules (such as Robert’s Rules of Order). In the context of a classroom, the topic for debate will be guided by the knowledge, skill, and value outcomes in the curriculum.

Structure for Debate (brief overview)

A formal debate usually involves three groups:

  1. One supporting a resolution (affirmative team).
  2. One opposing the resolution (opposing team).
  3. Those who are judging the quality of the evidence and arguments and the performance in the debate. The affirmative and opposing teams usually consist of three members each, while the judging may be done by the teacher, a small group of students, or the class as a whole. In addition to the three specific groups, there may an audience made up of class members not involved in the formal debate. A specific resolution is developed and rules for the debate are established.

Is it possible, may be we need to change the name back to "Christian Discourse", Christian Dialogue, or to "Christian Discussion", if we can? Perhaps, to a name that's more inclusive of those that are unskilled in debate tactics? A new name search can be conducted if the "power-to-be", sees light in my suggestions by way of observations. Or maybe, we can add a new category on how to become a "Master-Debater".

Let keep it real. Is not a name or a sign should give an indication of its services or the content within? Do our Are our current make-up of users capable of fulfilling what is advertised ("debate") to others? Is the current name ("Christian Debate") is an objective or a present reality?

No one need to take offense. I am not trying to take over or change everything. Like in any business or quest to attract users or customers there needs to be some kind of Introspection, Intraspection, Extrospection, evaluation, analysis, etc. The current CD shouldn't requires less.

As I stated sometime ago and worth repeating here:

I know the name of this site is called Christian Debate. Do we have to debate everything?  I hope this doesn't means non-debaters are not welcome and there's no room in these forums for them. Can't one simply make a contribution to the topic, rather it's developed or not? Why there seems to be no room for one to supply materials for those who bent on debating, to supply fuel as one shovels wood chips into a furnace. Must every thought be a finished product? From the pattern of things, no minds are changed or seems willing to be changed. We're all amateurs when it comes to God's knowledge and wisdom. CM

SOURCE:


I am compelled to refer to another of my earlier posts:

"I am not a debater, trained as a debater, known as a debater, studying debating, or am I a son of a debater. From what I have experienced, there are many others share my status, in these forums, rather they care to admit it or not. I am a proclaimer of biblical truth. Yes, I am aware of the name of this site ("Christian Debate")...

"It's appropriate to ask at this point. Are the users of this site compelled to adhere to the high school or collegiate debating rules? Are we saddling this cite and these forums with rank debating guidelines? If so, are we shooting ourselves in the foot? Are people turned off before they come on board? No one wants to enter a public form where they would feel inadequate, unskilled or "picked on" because portions of their journey or belief system is still evolving. I personally don't feel this way, but I can imagine others feeling so. Are we aware that there are many for readers of these forums and than those who, actually, participates? When the name changed from "Christian Discourse" (Old CD), Christian Discussion", to "Christian Debate", I was concern that the later name sends out a message for ONLY people with speciality or universal skills in this area. This is plausible when one has a viable pool or people group to draw. What's in a name? A name carries weight long before a person experiences the good therein... I know it could be frustrating to have so much training and skills as a debater with no one to match wit with. A skilled debater among so many non-debaters, what a predicament to be in! 


"Reality Check: which is more likely to happen first? Non-debaters becoming skilled debaters or skilled debaters being patience with the non-debaters?...

What meaningful suggestions can you contribute on how to make the forums more accurately reflective of its name? Yet, at the same time, what can we do to be inclusive of unskilled debaters? Or, should CD limits its users to skilled debaters?

You may ask, why this, why now? I would respond and conclude with the following:

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.”

A new day, a new way. What do you have to say? -- CM

Comments

  • JanJan Posts: 269

    Sorry about the late reply. I've been wanting to reply for many days, but the workload from seminary doesn't leave me much time to get involved as much as I like to.

    "Christian Discourse" would be my personal preference, but that's a trademark held by Faithlife, and they don't allow me to use it, becuase of the plans to bring back the original Christian Discourse site. (My personal opinion: never gonna happen. But they still hold the trademark, and won't allow using it...)

    So the remaining options are, if we want to retain the acronym CD, Christian Debate, Christian Dialogue and Christian Discussion.

    But let me quote Shakespeare: A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.

    The name is actually not so important. What we need is good topics (which we do have), a lot of content (which we also do have), and a style and culture that sets us apart from similar site (which I believe we also do have).

    So what's lacking? Not enough engaged users. And surprisingly, the root cause for that is the same as the effect: not enough engaged users. Research has shown that new users are attracted to communities and platforms only if there's already a substantial amount of users there. It's a chicken and egg problem. The usual advice one gets for these problems is faking user accounts to make a community seem more vibrant. However, that's something I consider cheating.

    Instead, let's try original Christian Discourse users back. I'm all set on recovering the content of the original Christian Discourse threads, and creating sort of an archive. I do need Faithlife's approval for that. Maybe I could start early next year. That would definitely attract some of the original users back to the community.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    Faithlife holds an actual registered trademark on "Christian Discourse"?

  • JanJan Posts: 269

    It's been like two years since I had an email exchange with them... They probably just ased nicely then not to use the name "Christian Discourse".

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    Seems to me that they have no claim to the name (legally), they haven't used it in two years, I would just match the name with the site.

  • JanJan Posts: 269

    But they have the legal rights to the original content on christiandiscourse.com, which I want to recover and host. So I'll play nicely.

    But I'll ask them again about using the name.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    Thanks, Jan, for your response to my concerns.

    @Jan said:

    "The name is actually not so important".

    I would slightly disagree with you, Jan. Like any other business, a name (and/or symbol) indicates what is offered and who can benefit. One can soever possess rich qualities within, but a fit name (sign) serves as an invitation to experience the richness behind the name. I am reminded of the old Zenith TV advertisement: "The quality goes in before the name goes on". On the other hand, people should have reasonable expectations of services in light of the name or the invitation. I agree with you about the current CD:

    "...good topics (which we do have), a lot of content (which we also do have), and a style and culture that sets us apart from similar site (which I believe we also do have)".

    Are these rich "topics", "content", and "style/culture" are presented in a "real" debate format? Opposing or criticizing something (or everything) is not a debate as stated in my last post. The true nature of debate require time, interests, committed people, monitors, and adherent to fix rules. Is not a debater of any stripes should expect such?

    Even with the current name, "Christian Debate", what do we mean? Christians debating various topics? Or do we mean, "Christian Topics" debated by Christians, New Agers, Atheists, Agnostics, Arians, deists, humanist, Skeptics, etc.? Are these forums to uplift Jesus or to help Satan "carry his water"? Are these forums vehicles to proclaim biblical truths or a waste land for every religious zealot to dump their asinine-toxins upon Christian doctrines, under the guise of biblical interpretations/opinions)? Regardless, lessons can be learned and truth can be had. One may have to wade through a lot of unchristian verbiage in getting to the truth.

    This brings me to another of your points I am embracing with a healthy skepticism:

    "...let's try original Christian Discourse users back. I'm all set on recovering the content of the original Christian Discourse threads, and creating sort of an archive. I do need Faithlife's approval for that. Maybe I could start early next year. That would definitely attract some of the original users back to the community".

    I don't know the history or reason(s) why the first CD was discontinued. Even if you were to secure "the original Christian Discourse threads", there is no guarantee that the former users would return. I know you didn't promised such, but what, forced the termination of the first CD? Was it due to its content or a lack of users?

    However, I readily agree that "the original Christian Discourse threads" made available as a "sort of an archive" would be attractive. It would be a treasure trove of religious thoughts, views, ideas, truths, Christian standards, facts, and attitudes, from the sublimed to the ridiculous. I hope everything works out for the best of everyone. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 478

    I am sure that more than some Christians enjoy watching moderated turn based formal debates. This is something we do not have on these forums. If, we had moderated turned based debates and then when those debate were over we allowed for members (other than the debaters) to voice their opinions, give feedback, ask questions, or comment that might turn out to be more inviting than what we have at the moment.

  • JanJan Posts: 269

    Nope. It can be recovered from archive.org, but it will be a pain to do so.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    Mitch,

    Thanks for your input to this thread. I don't know what you mean by the "more than some Christians". Are you referring to a diverse of non-Christians, addressing Christian topics or an increase of Christians, or people in general? Do we not have quite a bit of viewers, but not participants. I thought one of the objectives of CD (old/new) was to get as many people involved by participation, over watching. I know somethings can still be learned and taught this way. However, I think it's better to play in the than to watch it. In my view, it's preferable to be one of the eleven members of the football team on the field than one of the seventy thousands in the stands, watching (spectators). Christianity is best gasped by doing (participating) than watching others expound on the word.

    Even if you had the "more than some Christians" who enjoys "watching moderated turn based formal debates", where would you find the debaters? Will they be equally skilled and committed to the debate rules? Where are they now? Who will moderate them? This is a task (ministry) that requires time, many people may not have to produce the quality that's demanded.

    If one has the time, what about the spectators? Will they commit the time to read both sides? Would they be able to follow the skilled exchanges? Would the observers have the Christian background-knowledge to comprehend the terms to follow the arguments? Much truth can be lost in arguments and counter-arguments. If all of this were in place, what's the purpose of debating? Is it to show one's knowledge and skills or give a witness to biblical truth? Is it to honor the Lord or to inflate one's ego?

    To some degree, you would need skilled participants (debaters) and skilled observers (spectators). If your idea were to be implemented, CD would become a specialty forum -- debaters only! Where would the "common-man" go? Where would I go? I am not a debater. Where will the non-debaters go? CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    Well, the common man would go to the umpteen other Christian forums there are lol. This is not the only site in the game, surely you realize that. There's also nothing really unique about this site, at all. (No offense Jan)


    There is truly nothing that sets this site apart from any other site which is probably why it doesn't really gain much traction. Why go to a site with only a handful of users when there are others with hundreds of active users?

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    Reformed,

    If you're not on other sights, that makes it unique. If you are here ("a site with only a handful of users when there are others with hundreds of active users") and on other sights, this makes CD unique, all the more. You see you add value. Who is to say the sights "hundreds of active users" aren't fake? Besides, bigger doesn't automatically means better.

    "...The common man would go to the umpteen other Christian forums there are lol".

    This is true, on its face, but not as easy or smooth as said. When one had better, it's hard settling for less. To go elsewhere, if the current CD ("Christian Debate") goes hardcore-debate, it would be like a divorce. So much have been shared over the years, how can one simply walk away? Especially, using your expression, it would be unbearable. In the real world can you imagine a man divorcing his wife telling her to go "the umpteen" others?

    If CD goes into a hardcore debate mode, given your past responses and posts, you may have to take heed to your own counsel and consider, "the umpteen other Christian forums". True debate has strict rules and a mediator. I don't know if you be comfortable in the format. Hey, prove me wrong that you could...

    There's also nothing really unique about this site, at all. (No offense Jan)

    I don't have to or am trying to speak for Jan, but he doesn't appear to be petty and childish. He can take your candor. Speak freely. Some men are what they are, men. They have "put away childish things" and attitudes.

    There is truly nothing that sets this site apart from any other site..."

    At this juncture, I would disagree with you unless and until, you can produce samples of several Christian Forums subjects, members, categories, data, substantive topics, freedom CD affords the users, etc.

    I hope, I am being the voice of reason for CD to remain inclusive of the "common man". CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    Just curious, have you been a part of any other boards? Trust me, this one is nothing special.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    Reformed,

    "Curiosity killed the catbut satisfaction brought it back".

    More importantly:

    1. Is not the Bible a Human/Divine product and Holy men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit?
    2. Is there no absolute truth in the Bible, e.g. Jesus, is the Christ (God)?
    3. Is it necessary to debate absolute truth in the Bible?
    4. Why debate Bible truth? Is it a lack of faith?

    Did Jesus debated the truth of the OT with the Scribes and Pharisees, in the temple or with his disciples in teaching them?

    Brethren, are we helping or hurting the cause of God with the drive to debate the Word? CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 478

    Even if you had the "more than some Christians" who enjoys "watching moderated turn based formal debates", where would you find the debaters? Will they be equally skilled and committed to the debate rules? Where are they now? Who will moderate them? This is a task (ministry) that requires time, many people may not have to produce the quality that's demanded.


    Exactly CM! I think you have gotten my point although you may have perhaps missed my sarcasm. Of course this isn't happening here and will mostly likely not happen here. And, as one can tell from the amount of active members very few individuals find these types of highly repetitive and argumentative discussions attractive enough to join in. OR maybe people simply do not know about this site?

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    Brethren,

    1. What does the chairman (Jan) wants for CD? This is the starting point.
    2. Do we need new members or a new attitude and behavior?
    3. What do you suggest we do? Be realistic in your views in light of your time and commitment.

    You can't want for this sight what you are not willing to give, do, or commit yourself. "Don't talk the talk, if you're not willing, to walk the walk". CM

    PS. It takes a crowd to draw a crowd. The question is, what are they doing? CM

  • JanJan Posts: 269

    What does the chairman (Jan) wants for CD? This is the starting point.

    I created CD to continue the idea and spirit of the original CD, which I had the impression was what everyone wanted when we started back in the day.

    Do we need new members or a new attitude and behavior?

    Does it have to be either/or?

    What do you suggest we do? Be realistic in your views in light of your time and commitment.

    Back to the roots! I'll try to get FL's approval to use "Christian Discourse" and to create an archive with the original content. I'll do that early next year. Once that's done, let's create a new thread in the Logos forum, in which we take turns posting over the period of a week or two. That forum is heavily frequented by many former CD users, some of whom used to ask about the whereabouts of their CD content in the past.

    The advantage of a small forum is, that it doesn't take many new users to double in size. Just three or four medium committed users would make a big impact.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    Chairman Jan said: "I created CD to continue the idea and spirit of the original CD, which I had the impression was what everyone wanted when we started back in the day".

    CM questions:

    1. What was the driving force to start the original CD? In Jan's words, "the idea and spirit of the original CD"?
    2. Did it started with Bob? Notwithstanding, can we stop speculating and reach beyond the current users and reach to the person(s), quotes. the decision-makers or the atmosphere prior to the cancellation of the original CD?
    3. Why is this truth seems to be enshrouded in mystery? Someone knows the real reason(s). A service was discontinued. A person of authority, made that decision for a specific reason(s) to take effect at a specific time. Why?

    Jan, would you invite (if you know) the person of authority at Faithlife, who made the ultimate decision to cancel the original CD, to share here or submit a statement of reason(s)? Let the renewal begins in earnest to build upon service rooted in the Word. CM

    PS. Until then, remember, "the more you know of your history, the more liberated you are". Maya Angelou

    SOURCE: Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/history-quotes

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