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Archive for June, 2008

Top 10 Religion Debates of All Time  

Ever since mankind has been roaming the Earth, people have been philosophizing on the role of religion in their existence and wondering if there was an “intelligent being” that put them here on this Earth.  Whether it was the Christian God, the Muslim Allah, the Supreme Being of Scientology, the Flying Spaghetti Monster of Pastafarianism, or the evolution of the Atheists, people will argue until they’re blue in the face about their religion.  To me, only one thing is for sure, nobody really knows what happened because none of us were there.  But don’t let that get you down, there are plenty of arguments for and against all sorts of different religious beliefs.  From the highly believable to the “you can’t seriously believe that, can you?” and everywhere in between, CreateDebate presents to you the top 10 Religious Debates of All Time. 

 10.  Was Ra, the Egyptian Sun God,  the father of all the Pharaohs? Ra, the Egyptian Sun God
Ancient Egyptians believed that Ra was the Sun God, commander of the sky, earth, and underworld.  He is the most central god of the Egyptian pantheon. Most Egyptians believed that Pharaohs were the sons of Ra and erected solar temples and obelisks in his honor.  However, some Egyptians did not believe that Ra created the Earth but didn’t have an appropriate outlet to vent their frustrations (especially if they preferred their heads to remain attached to their body).   

9.  Was Haile Sellasie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopa God incarnate? 
Rastafarians believe that Haile Sellasie I is the living God incarnate, or the Messiah, who will lead the people of Africa and African diaspora to freedom.  Rastafarians believe that exiled Africans will one day return to Ethiopa with the help of the Messiah to escape the oppression caused by Babylon.  The Rastafarians movement was started primarily in Jamaica, although the ranks of Rastafarians throughout the world is estimated to be near 1 million strong.   

8.  Is Scientology a cult?
The Church of Scientology, originally founded by L. Ron Hubbard, believes “that Man is basically good, that he is seeking to survive, [and] that his survival depends on himself and upon his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe” (from Church of Scientology’s statement of beliefs).   However, many people believe that this Church is a cult that was set up as a tax shelter for Hubbard’s Dianetics book profits and that is primarily intended to extract large sums of money from their celebrity cult members.  

7. Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?
This debate was popularized by the highly successful (and highly controversial) book “The DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown.   The book claims that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, had a child, and the Church covered it up through the years for self-serving reasons.  While Brown has stated that the book is fiction, it has caused much debate and controversy, especially within the Roman Catholic Church. 

6.   Are Mormons Christians?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the Spring of 1820 after publishing the Book of Mormon, one of the faith’s scriptures, which Joseph Smith said he translated from plates of gold that were buried near his home in a place shown to him by the angel Moroni. Many traditional Christians reject Mormonism as a Christian religion, claiming that the story of Joseph Smith and the Golden Plates is fiction and that he was not a prophet. 

5.  Was the Flying Spaghetti Monster responsible for intelligent design? Flying Spaghetti Monster
 The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (CoFSM) was founded in 2005 by Bobby Henderson to protest the teaching of intelligent design in school.  Bobby parodies the theory of an intelligent designer by professing belief in a supreme creator made of spaghetti and meatballs. The CoFSM has gained a huge following, primarily on the Internet in response to the Christian movement to teach intelligent design in classrooms.

4. Is Islam a religion of violence or a religion of peace?  
This debate has received much attention, not only on CreateDebate but throughout much of the mainstream media since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  While Islam’s central tenets preach, several extremists have taken passages from the Qur’an such as, “Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.” (8:39)” to mean that Muslims are called to kill any non-Muslim to ensure Islam is the supreme religion of the land.   

3.   Jesus Christ: Fact or Fiction? 
Christianity claims that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who was sacrificed to absolve believer’s sins so that Christians could receive eternal life.  The Christian Bible teaches of many miracles performed by Jesus of Nazareth and of his resurrection from the dead.  However, many people dispute that he was the Son of God and that the writings of the Bible are embellished stories chosen by the Church to further their mission.   

2.   Was Mohammed a pedophile?
The Qur’an (Mohammed’s testimonies) and Hadiths (other’s reports on the life of Mohmmed) depict Mohammed marrying a 6 year old girl for his third marriage.  Many people believe that this practice (uncommon in present day) should be viewed as pedophilia.  What do you think? 

1.   Do you believe in God?
This debate still reigns as the Most Popular debate on CreateDebate thus far.  Many people define themselves by their religious beliefs (or lack thereof), which is why it deserves the spot as the number one religious debate of all time.   It seems to me that everyone, no matter what gender, nationality, ethnicity, or age has an opinion on this topic, and they love to share it.

At CreateDebate, we strive to offer an easy to use website to debate any topic that you want; whether it be religious, political, sports, or any other topic you’d like.  We are quickly building a strong community and are rolling out new features almost daily.  If you’re interested in online debating or just want to learn more about what people are arguing, check out CreateDebate

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Written by Bryan

June 30th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Town Hall Chat Information  

The first ever CreateDebate Town Hall Chat will take place from 4-5 PM EDT on June 26, 2008. The entire CreateDebate team will be on hand to discuss the topics submitted by everyone as well as any other agenda items you’d like to discuss.

We look forward to connecting with the CreateDebate community and understanding more about what you like, what you don’t like, and suggestions for how to continually improve CreateDebate.

Accessing The Town Hall Chat

In order to access the Town Hall chat, simply click here and you’ll be taken to the chat room. The official chat will start at 4 PM EDT and will last about an hour, but the transcript will remain on the site in case you have to miss it.


We’ve received a lot of agenda items from you all and we want to make sure we address your questions. We also want to make sure we leave plenty of time for Q&A, so we’ll try to keep the
agenda light.

For starters, we’ll try to address the following:

  • Rewards Points
  • Debate Voting
  • Giving “props” for a good argument
  • CreateDebate Roadmap

We’re hoping for a big turnout, so be sure to mark your calendars, tell your friends, and bring all of your great ideas on what we can do to continue to make CreateDebate the best social debating site on the Internet.

If you can’t access the link above, the URL for the event is http://www.createdebate.com/townhall

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Written by Loudacris

June 25th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Introducing Debate RSS & XML Feeds  

We’re happy to announce that CreateDebate now offers fully customizable RSS & XML debate feeds. Now you can integrate a personalized debate feed into your blog, your website or your Facebook/MySpace profile. You might also want to use a news reader or RSS aggregator to watch for the exact kinds of debates that interest you!

To simplify the feed customization process, we just launched a new tool that makes it very easy to build the perfect feed. Just click here and use the drop-down selectors to specify the kinds of debates that your feed should include. Once your feed has been built, you can paste the URL into any web or client application that accepts RSS or XML feeds.

Here are some helpful resources to get you started:

RSS is a simple way to syndicate content, stories, and information. It lets you easily subscribe to a website or the sub-sections of a website that you’re interested in. All you need is a news reader to display them. If you don’t already have one, you should check out Google Reader.

To add a personalized feed to your Facebook profile, check out Blog RSS Feed Reader. Our CreateDebate profile uses this application. It’s maintenance free and very easy to set up.

For your MySpace profile, check out RSS Reader. This application makes it very easy to add your debates to your profile. You may only want to display the debates that you’ve created.

To add a custom feed to your blog, look no further than your dashboard.  WordPress, Blogger and TypePad all offer a means by which you can integrate RSS feeds into your blog. To extend the functionality of your blog, you might want to add a plugin or widget that will give you greater control over how the RSS feed is displayed. If you use WordPress, you may find the KB Advanced RSS Widget to be helpful.

If you operate your own site, you may want to take advantage of our XML API, which offers more information and greater flexibility. The API documentation explains the parameters and values that can be used to query our servers. It also explains the XML specification that is used to return the results.

Remember, all our content is under a Creative Commons License, which means you are free to mix and mash our debates into whatever app you’re building. If you are a developer interested in building a CreateDebate widget or application, we would love to hear from you! If you have questions or comments, please contact us.

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Written by Loudacris

June 23rd, 2008 at 8:12 am

The First Ever CreateDebate Town Hall Chat  

Mark your calendars now!  The first ever CreateDebate Town Hall Chat will take place on Thursday, June 26th at 4 PM EDT.  The CD team will be on hand to answer your questions, listen to your comments and suggestions, and explore any topic you’d like to discuss.

Have a topic you’d like to discuss in the Town Hall?  Post it to the Town Hall debate at any point up to the 26th and we’ll try to address it.  As with everything on CD, the meeting will be totally driven by you, the CreateDebate community.

We look forward to connecting with you all in the first of many Town Halls to come.  Be on the lookout for a communication coming soon regarding the event.  Until then, we’ll keep working hard to ensure CreateDebate remains the top social debating site on the Internet.

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Written by Bryan

June 20th, 2008 at 8:10 am

Argument Tags  

We are very excited to introduce our newest feature: Argument Tags. Now every time you create a new argument you can create a set of keywords or tags that summarize the main point of your argument, so you can let other users easily identify what your argument is about. Tags enable you to categorize your argument when it may fall outside the bounds of the sides of a debate or when you want to summarize the main point of your argument in a popularity contest.

Tags are displayed on the right side of each debate where you can see the overall score for each tag as well as view all arguments with the same tag (example: Which is the best superhero movie?). Also, the top three argument tags are displayed for Popularity Contests while you’re browsing debates so you can get a sneak preview of the debate, and see which arguments are winning.

Please send us feedback on this new feature. We love hearing from you!

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Written by Paola

June 18th, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Top 10 Tips for Creating a Great Debate  

After almost a month in Public Beta, we’ve noticed that some debates take off in popularity and remain in the Most Heated debates page for days, while others never even make it close.  Many of you have asked what you can do to increase the chance that your debate gets noticed and gets the attention of other debaters.  To that end, we present to you the Top 10 Tips for a Great Debate:   

10.  Make the debate title controversial.  This probably seems rather obvious but having a controversial topic that stands out from the rest will encourage people to click on and debate it.  

9.  Choose the right type of debate.  Is it a debate that can be broken down easily in two sides?  If so, choose a 2-Sided Debate.  If not, choose a Popularity Contest.  Not setting up the debate properly is a recipe for an empty debate.  

8. If it’s a two sided debate, pick clearly distinct points of view for each side.  Yes vs. No, Black vs. White, Democrats vs. Republicans are just a few examples.  Whatever you choose, make sure that they’re clearly opposing points of view.  

7.  Embed a link or a video as a central point for people to focus on during the debate.  This will ensure the debate stays on topic and does not wander into oblivion.  Make sure the link is from a reputable source so it will ground the debate in reality.  

6. Invite your friends to the debate.  Use the “Share This Debate” feature of CreateDebate to invite your Allies, Enemies, and anyone else in your Address Book.  Inviting friends to a debate ensures they know about it right away and can be one of the first to post their opinion.  

5. Add Research to the Debate.  Use the Research feature of CreateDebate to add RSS feeds regarding the topic being discussed. This is a great way to inform your users of the various points of view on the topic being debated.  

4.  Add an Argument.  Add an initial argument to one side of the debate that is well thought out and that clearly states why your side of the debate is the correct side. If you need help crafting a great argument, check out our previous blog post on How to Write Strong Arguments 

3. Proofread your argument for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Nothing makes an argument weaker than a bunch of sentence fragments, misspelled words, and grammatical errors. Use the Spell Check feature of CreateDebate just to make sure your argument is correct before posting.  

2. Add references.  Back up your argument by citing reputable sources. Be sure to include a link to the source so others can view the entire text you’re referencing.    

1. Build debate traffic.  Submit your debate to the top social news sites (i.e. Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Mixx, del.icio.us, etc).  CreateDebate makes it easy for you to share your debates by using the “Social Bookmarks” tab in each debate.  Once you post the debate to the sites, leverage your network to move it in to the most popular categories where more people will view it and hopefully debate your topic.  If you need help learning how to make stories popular on Digg, check out this article loaded with great advice.  

Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to getting a debate listed on this page.   

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Written by Bryan

June 4th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Top 10 Digg Tactics  

Social content sites like Digg are the catalyst of viral marketing. If you write a blog or operate a website and your content makes the front page of Digg, you can expect lots of good things to happen: about 60,000 unique visitors in the first 24 hours, a hefty amount of referral traffic from secondary websites, and a large number of high quality editorial links that will boost your search rankings.

In a perfect world, interesting content would be all that it takes to become popular on Digg. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.  Unless you operate a large site with tons of traffic or your blog already has a loyal base of readers, you need to understand how to give your submission the right kind of nudge. You have to become familiar with the unwritten protocols and practices of Digg.

Since CreateDebate launched into public beta, we have been doing our best to execute a viral marketing plan. Our goal is to introduce new people to our site via relevant & interesting content. In the last 30 days, various content from our blog has landed on the front page of of Digg, reddit, delicious, Mixx, ShoutWire and StumbleUpon.

One of the things that we have learned is that when it comes to generating explosive traffic, Digg reigns king (at least until Yahoo!Buzz begins accepting content from new, smaller publishers). If your content becomes popular on Digg, it will almost assuredly become popular on several other social content sites. It doesn’t always work the other way around.

Digg is an ecosystem and in order to get something from it (traffic), you’ll need give something to it (interesting content, not  advertisements).  For all of the Digg noobs and budding social marketers out there, we thought it was time to share a few insights from our playbook.  Here you go, the top 10 Digg tactics:

10. Join Digg – Yes, you should sign up for an account.  To really join Digg, though, you need to read and participate on a daily basis.  You should begin to track the popular content, especially in the topics where your content will compete. You may find the Digg RSS feeds to be helpful.

9. Monitor the Comments – Understanding the Digg culture is paramount. You should make it a habit to always read the first few comments every article that you check out. A well-planted, snarky comment can go a long way when you are trying to solicit diggs.

8. Learn How a Story Becomes Popular -  The Digg upcoming section may seem daunting but understanding how it works is essential.  In the base case, it takes about 24 hours for a submission to become popular.  During that period, the submission will have the opportunity to achieve a number of milestones (i.e. becoming Hot in Topic).  Each milestone will put the link in front of more people, thereby increasing its chance to be dugg.

7. Track Power Users – The power users, the people who use Digg the most, are the influencers.  They aren’t hard to find, go to the front page and start checking out some profiles.  On the bottom-right, you can see their stats.  Find people have made at least 50 stories popular. Bookmark their profiles and check back frequently. Do your best to befriend them.

6. Become a Fan – Add friends, hundreds of them.  Don’t do it all in one sitting, remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day.  You should get in the habit of adding at least 20 new friends per week. Start by adding some power users, then add their friends and so on.

5. Build Your Buddy List – A lot of digg soliciting goes on behind the scenes, especially via IM.  Coincidentally enough, many diggers list their IM information in the About blurb on their profile.  Parse through a bunch of profiles and compile a list of screen names. Don’t just bombard these folks with digg requests though. Take the time to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships.

4. Build Your Profile – If you want to become a Digg power user, you need to look like one. Your profile should show lots of fans, friends & diggs. When people ask you to digg one of their submissions and it turns out to be interesting, take it a step further and make that story one of your favorites.

3. Submit Smart – Choose the topic that you will submit to wisely. Some topics are much more competitive than others. Of course, you need to make sure that you are submitting to an appropriate topic or casual web surfers may not have a chance to find your submission on their own.  Analysis has also shown that when you submit also plays a key role.

2. Send Shouts – Digg shouts are the single best way to solicit diggs. Of course, you can’t just send shouts to anybody, that’s why you need to add friends to bolster your network. When you send shouts, remember, its a two-way street. If you expect others to digg your content, you’ll need to regularly check your shouts and digg the stories that you find interesting. Don’t be afraid to remind others that you have dugg their stories. Most importantly, don’t keep sending repetitive shouts. Nobody likes a pest.

1. Submit Interesting Content – All of the Digg tactics in the world won’t help you unless you have some worthwhile content to submit.  At the end of the day, every digg that your submission receives will be from a intelligent, free-thinking individual. Nobody like to see crap hit the front page.

On a final, unrelated note, I’d like to give a quick shout-out to sarahintampa who maintains an interesting tech blog and wrote a great review of CreateDebate 2 weeks ago.  If you haven’t already checked out CreateDebate, please do so.  We are a new site, built from scratch on the ideals of collaboration and democracy, and our community is growing quickly!

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Written by Loudacris

June 3rd, 2008 at 8:39 am