Those seeking to participate in online debate should read Charles’s Rules of Argument.
I used to violate every single one of these … often. I probably still do so from time to time. That’s probably my time in student government coming home to roost—I would restate my point after rebutting every question. I know it drove people nuts. Heck, it drove me nuts. It also won me a lot of debates back in the time when debate-winning in SGA was very important to me and, I altruistically believe, to the student body.
That said, this is why I tend to shy away from doctrinal discourse online. Most people hold their religious doctrines so close to the vest that assailing the doctrine ends up assailing the believer. Some say that attacking what you consider to be false doctrine is good—“iron sharpening iron”—and while I might agree, I’m not out to make folks cry.
Not anymore, anyway.