People love to debate, discuss, and generally shout at each other, and a popular staple of many an online forum is a thread dedicated to passionate arguing over this, that and the other. Most forums have their own speciality – I remember one which loved a good discussion of the finer points of philosophy – while others will just take them all. So next time you want to spark up some interesting discussion on your internet forum, try these ideas for size.
1 – Religion.
By far the most common thread, a good discussion on religion can lead anywhere, but will usually come back for bit of old-fashioned fundamentalist bashing. Good topic starters include “Christians – Delusional or Divinely Inspired?”,”Morality Without Authority”, and “OMG AL ATHIESTS R FAGZZ!!!11!one1”. If the conversation slows, try bringing up the discussion of the naming of different styles of non-theism, atheism and agnosticism. Alternatively, mention that science has quite clearly proved the whole Bible wrong. Be careful, however, not to source any arguments in this thread with anything but the KJV Bible. It’s the only true representation of God – an out-of-date archaic old fart.
2 – Paedophillia.
A bit off the wall, but if you have a few of the more liberal types around, you may well find yourself with a good discussion going. Intriguing enough that it’s hard to enter in with a repetoire of answers to all your opponent’s questions so you may well get to see a good debate between your better members. Start with ideas such as “Pedophillia – Drawn-Out Execution or Mere Painful Castration?”, and watch how quickly the topic gets on to how to spell Paedophillia.
3 – The American Election.
Most politically-minded forums will tell you that there is definitely an ‘American Election Period’ every four years, and we’re coming up to one now (Kim Jong-Il for American President 2012). However, this is actually false. For an American Election Period to start, it is usually considered necessary for the previous period to have ended, and this never happens. Remember, a good debate should be completely full of rhetoric, and have little to no actual fact in it as possible. And as soon as the results of the 2012 election are announced, it’s time to begin discussing the 2016 election. If conversation slows, you’re doing it wrong. Or your forum is predominantly British.
4 – Americo-Centricity.
Immediately after your discussion on American Elections has hit the four thousandth page and crashed your website, it’s time to start thinking about setting up an Americo-Centricity thread, although your members will probably have already done this for you. Make sure you have a plentiful supply of three-post-members who will gladly post patriotically, shout at your resident Communists, comment that America is a Christian nation and will then never be seen again. Invaluable, and you just wish they’d stay longer, if only to reply to your highly coherant, well-sourced, and generally fantastic post that rips their entire argument to shreds. If the conversation is dying down, it’s time to ask yourself if your forum has too many Americans. Get a few Dutch posters in. They might even start a thread in a language that no-one can understand just for themselves.
5 – Homosexuality.
Of course, this ties in with Christianity, but try to get a thread about homosexuality on its own. Award prizes to anyone who can come up with any sort of argument against homosexuality that doesn’t include the words ‘God’, ‘Unnatural’, or ‘freaks’. Good topic starters include “Homosexuality – Even Satan Thinks It’s A Bit Weird”. If the conversation is starting to die out, bring out your top guns – homosexual Christians. Nothing beats two Christians scrapping over the finer details of sin.
6 – White Nationalism.
Being as everyone on the internet is white, American and male, it may come as a surprise to you that White Nationalism is one of the least supported positions on the internet spectrum. However, if your forum is big enough, you will get at least one White Nationalist. Remember to point out that there is no White Nation, that there are no differences in race, and that Godwin’s law doesn’t count when dealing with White Nationalism, so you can bring out Nazi references as many times as you like. If conversation is slowing, just bring out some more Nazi references. And mention that there’s a Black man in power.
7 – Abortion.
There is little that beats abortion for fiery opinion, and, what’s more, it’s one of the few conversations that most internet users (ie, the men) are at a massive disadvantage to discussing. However, this won’t stop many brave souls, who will valiently cry out for the rights of babies not to be killed. Remember, fetuses are parasites, not would-be people, and women have died for these rights. Also remember that whenever a pro-choice argues that it is a mother’s decision, what they actually mean is that they wish to devour the baby’s dead body in a disgusting Mayan sun-worship ritual. If conversation is slowing, make sure that every time you refer to a fetus you call it a ‘baby of limitless potential’ and every time you refer to abortion you call it murder. Preferably institutionalised. People like long words.
8 – Apple vs Windows.
With Steve Jobs’ death, this can be a slightly insensitive topic, but I doubt your forum members will mind much. To recap, Apple is the pretty one, and Windows is the one that you can play games on. Apple and Windows fans will both rage passionately about their respective operating systems. If the conversation dies down, mention Linux. This also automatically grants you the right to use as many ‘geek’ type smilies as your forum has, and others that it doesn’t, in all your posts from this moment on. It may not win you girls or respect, but then what do I know, I’m a blogger…
9 – The Personal Debate.
Some of these debates apply to everyone, and will be enjoyed by almost all members of your forum. However, sometimes you might find that the best discussions are when a lone ranger comes to your forum and proceeds to insult everyone everywhere while also making an enourmous campaign about something most people wouldn’t give a second thought about. For example, the British Empire. Be wary, and ensure that the banhammer and the sword of DEAT are not too far awaym, but also sit back and enjoy. Other supporters of the topic may come out of the wordwork (make a note of their names) but your genuine lone ranger will quite happily argue all by himself, and indeed use this to his advantage by continually complaining about oppression. The conversation is unlikely to slow down too much, but if there is too much of a problem, just permaban everyone who ever posted in any thread ever started by the lone ranger and be done with it.
Try it. Just try it and see.