Are You Up for a Debate?
Should the Internet be free?
Will carbon taxes work?
Are working moms putting their children at a disadvantage?
Will democracy work in the Middle East?
All these questions, plus a gazillion more are up for debate at OpposingViews.com. Debating is generally ineffective, when it’s the Average Joe doing the spouting off. OpposingViews.com has overcome the nonsense by having *experts* provide the actual fodder for the debates. The arguments and counter arguments are written by folks who really know what they’re talking about. Ok, I thought, lets see where this is going…
At first I was skeptical, this site is going to be a recipe for disaster. There are so many debates, so many arguments… there’s no way this cannot degrade into a terrible flame war. I bit - I created an account, and if you want to contribute to the conversation, you ‘ve got to create an account. The first thing I was asked to do was abide by Civility 101. No inflammatory conversations, no profanity. In essence, I had to promise to play nice. Or get kicked out of the sandbox. Good touch.
With so many possible topics up for debate (some of them very timely and newsworthy), the next worry I had about the site was the caliber of the *experts* who do the actual debating. The audience can comment and vote etc., but it’s the experts who actually carry the weight of the site. I was expecting some very radical groups to be part of the expert panel. Sure, some are radical (PETA), but many of the experts I had actually heard of, and were groups and individuals I had heard, read or watched. Meaning: not nut cases.
I looked into one debate: *Should the internet be free*? Despite the expert on the *YES* side being recognized as a leader in the field, the argument had little to do with *free* and more with the internet being a *right*. Some of the logic was flawed, but interesting nonetheless. The expert for the *NO* side fared little better, and focused on free market economies with little government involvement. I t felt like an argument about net neutrality, as opposed to whether or not the internet should be free (it shouldn’t).
Now, when you pop over to the Net Neutrality debate, it hits the nail on the head. The arguments are provocative and capture both sides of the coin very tidily. Discussion surrounds big telco vs innovation. Regulation vs choice. Good arguments that stuck to the subject that was being debated. I’m looking forward to working my way through gun laws, abortion and the legalization of marijuana. Contributing to the site is easy, voting is easy and the results of some of the votes are going to surprise you.
A+ site for folks looking to see what the rest of the world is thinking about on specific topics of interest.