A debater is defined as one who argues. But a debate and a debater is more than that. A debate is also about exchange of ideas; it is intellectual sparring, not with swords but with opinions and knowledge. Healthy debates have not only triggered new thoughts and discoveries – they have literally kept democracy alive.
The art of debating is not easily learnt. It fits like a glove to those who know how to voice their opinions, but to others who are stage-shy it’s a toilsome trek up the learning curve. But as I learnt in school, debating is a skill that everyone should cultivate.
My colleague looked at The Top Three Sites To Debate Topics With Others. We take this further with a few more debate websites that will help you entrench your stand should a topic worth debating arises.
Debatepedia is a wiki encyclopedia of pro and con arguments and quotations in important public debates from around the world. Think of it as the Wikipedia of debates where you can search and find provocative and timely arguments on anything that affects us. The site is a collaborative resource which uses the same wiki technology that goes into sites like Wikipedia. Check out theto see all the debate categories covered by this online debating resource.
The International Debate Education Association (IDEA) is an educational initiative. It is the mother organization for all debate related activities around the world. It is an independent membership organization of national debate clubs, associations, programs, and individuals who are active in debating. It has a lineup of exciting tools (as seen in the screen) like debate news, debate topic database, Debate Tracker, discussion boards, IDEA Radio etc. that help foster debating activities. The previous Debatepedia is also an IDEA initiative.
The format of Debatewise is designed so that you can contribute (and read) on both sides of an argument before arriving at an informed decision. Readers can also vote on the debates that are running. The best debaters gather karma points and a mention on the leaderboard.
Debategraph is an interesting way to look at debates and complex issues which give rise to it. Debategraph does it all through visualization maps. Each issue is represented by mind maps. Clicking on the mid maps opens up the many arguments around the issue. You can go deeper into the topic by expanding the outlines and burrowing into related topics. Debategraph is a Creative Commons project aimed at giving you a 360 degree look with the many public and private maps on the site.
In their own words, Intelligence Squared is the global forum for live debates and is dedicated to creating knowledge through contest. Intelligence Squared films live debates as they happen and broadcast them across networks around the world. The interactive site is a repository for all these high-quality debates and if you haven’t caught them live, you can stream them now. The debates are run by eminent speakers from diverse fields who take apart the issues of the day on this forum.
Debate Central [No Longer Available]
With the noble aim of providing students from disadvantaged and low-income school districts access to the best debate material, Debate Central hopes to give them the necessary knowledge toolsets to compete successfully. Debate Central is an online resource created and maintained by the National Center for Policy Analysis for high school CX, LD and PF debaters. The site has some handy downloads for understanding the different debating styles. Also, the site is updated regularly with debate training workshops held around the U.S. If you are a serious debater, participation in the forums on the site is a must.
We Debate It is a small but readable site that triggers the amateur debater in you. You can offer your opinion on any of the issues (ranging from the trivial to the serious) raked up here. You can start contributing without a sign-up and you don’t need serious debating skills either…just an opinion will do.
Debating is knowledge sport. If you have seen the film, The Great Debaters based on the life of Melvin B. Tolson, you can realize that debating can lead to social change too. Have you ever debated an issue anywhere – in high school or the local drinking hole? If you are a serious debater, do you think these debate websites can help you sharpen your edge? Let us know. We love debating in the comments.
Image Credit: Shutterstock