As the day approaches for our debate (pun intended), we have- I believe- finalized a package of rules that ensures a level playing field.
The structure of the debate is as follows;
- The moderator will introduce himself and then each person will have an introduction of up to 3 minutes. This introduction is for the purpose of talking about our background and may even touch on some general statements about what we believe and intend to demonstrate in the debate. The moderator will be charged with ensuring that this time is not used as a preemptive strike or defacto addition to the opening arguments. Anything that goes beyond an outline would be deemed as taking unfair advantage. I will deliver the text of my introduction to the moderator, and post it on this blog, before the debate, Brenda can do likewise if she wishes.
- Brenda Johnson will deliver her opening statement of up to 10 minutes.
- John Benko will have a maximum of 5 minutes to rebut.
- We will then take a brief commercial break.
- John Benko will deliver his opening statement.
- Brenda Johnson will rebut.
- Commercial break #2
- Brenda will ask question #1
- John has 2 minutes to answer.
- Brenda has the option to offer a 1 minute rebuttal.
- Second question is John's and the opponents will go back and forth until 8 total questions have been asked and answered.
- Commercial break #3
- Brenda will give a closing summation of up to 5 minutes.
- John's closing summation will follow.
- The opponents have the option to take audience questions if applicable.
Ad Hominem (to the person) attacks are prohibited. This will include an attempt to poison the well via preemptive characterizations about a person's positions as being fallacious before said arguments are even presented.
If, however, an argument is presented that the other person finds to be logically unsound, the person opposing the argument must explain why. The moderator will ensure that the accusation that an argument is fallacious is a sincere one and not merely a tactic used to gain advantage. This is to say that the opponent must sincerly believe that the argument is a fallacious one and attempt to demonstrate such and not use this as a foil.
No vulgar or profane language will be tolerated. Using such constitutes forfeit of the debate.
No purposeful evasion of direct questions is allowed.
No talk over or deliberately rude behavior.
The two sides are very passionate on this subject and we are each 100% convinced of the rightness of our respective position. Nevertheless, every precaution has been taken to find an unbiased moderator and to put together a package of rules that ensures a fair debate. This first debate will be hosted on our show but we will attempt a simulcast to Brenda's show.
We may be doing future debates and her show may be the venue for some of them. That has not yet been worked out.
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