I know what I said yesterday about not wanting to bore anybody with my arguments with other bloggers, but lately I’ve been thinking about a concept a few of us came up with several months ago, the concept of power commenters. After Deacon Duncan declined to participate in the debate I invited him to have with me, we had one post where we actually attempted the format, then pretty much set the whole idea on the backburner. Yet, as I did then, I think it’s a valid idea that could function as a sort of “intellectual broom” for the blogosphere, especially if we can find a few more qualified participants.
Here are a few previews from the initial dialog between myself, Lifeguard, MS Quixote and Dominic Saltarelli, continued from here. Brad is currently absent:
…I was thinking more along the lines of there being certain elements in the GH that are decidedly non-Biblical, rather than simply a reduced set of Biblical attributes.(Dominic Saltarelli)
I think that DD could have made that distinction a little clearer…
…it appears DD desired to set a baseline hypothesis without reference to Christianity in order to construct an analytic framework from which to ultimately analyze the claims of Christianity… the GH, as proposed, does not represent a baseline common to all Christian faiths as is necessary to critique Christianity as a whole. (MS Quixote)
Although by no means do I imply my Power Commenters agree with me in full (actually, Quixote does), we can still clearly see that it's not exactly the same story as over at DD's, right?
As stated in the introduction, the eBate is a real-time, one-hour long online debate between myself and another writer. I'm saddened to say, my opponent for eBate #1 – Deacon Duncan – has eschewed my invitation.
Nonetheless, life goes on, and without further adieu, I'd like to introduce TWIM's first four Power Commenters: MS Quixote, Lifeguard, Brad and Dominic Salterelli. As stated before, neither Brad, Lifeguard or Dominic Salterelli argue belief: All three are skeptics of the atheist variety, as the last thing I wanted was a bunch of Power Commenters who argue belief, inviting charges of padding the jury. Better, all three of them have shown a consistent and objective willingness to both agree and disagree with me, in the complete absence of insults and personal remarks. The same goes for MS Quixote, only he does argue belief – Calvinist Christianity in particular.
As stated in the introduction, the eBate is a real-time, one-hour long online debate between myself and another writer.
In the introduction, I said I would look for some folks to volunteer as moderators, but I've realized what I was really looking for were qualified people who can assess the debate once it has concluded, and pronounce judgment. So in essence, I was really looking for judges, it seems – but then again – maybe the distinction is mostly semantic. To me, a moderator describes an authority figure whose purpose is to control an open forum. I'm looking for qualified people to stay out of a closed debate until it's over, and then offer their reasoned opinions. At any rate, I've found what I think are three reasonable volunteers: Commenter Brad, MS Quixote, and Lifeguard, who recently resurfaced over at his blog, The Meme Pool.
This is just a short post to introduce an idea I've been tossing around. Many good ideas spring from necessity. In online debate, I've seen a definite necessity for a streamlined approach. Blogging is like debating at a party. Sure, some good points get tossed out, but then somebody goes to grab a beer, then somebody else asks them something, then next thing we know the party's over, nobody's resolved anything except for a couple of fights, and there's a new party just a few days later.
The idea behind the eBate is simple: I'm willing to give Guest Posting status to others for the purpose of a controlled debate. The idea is an hour long 1-on-1 exchange about a pre-agreed topic, with comments off until the eBate is finished. I'm also going to employ at least one moderator from each side of the debate.
So, who will be first? Who will be the moderators? We'll just have to wait and see!