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#1
05-07-2008
Default The Debate Section Preliminary: Read Before Posting

I'm going to combine a few of the stickies in this section to clean up a bit. Firstly, we have Froggy's guide to being a good debate section poster:

Quote:
To make a good post in the debate section, there are several important things you should keep in mind.

Quoting
In an online debate, things can move away from the original topic rather fast, so someone coming in late may make a seemingly random statement. To ensure that your post reaches its full potential, quote whatever you are responding to. This is unnecessary if you have the next post, but whenever I put too much thought into a post, someone tends to nab my spot

Of course, there are special cases of quoting. Observe:
Quote:
Originally Posted by n00ber Mcn00bington
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncyclopedia Reader
Debate is a secret cult known for its attempts to convert the world to the worship of Cthulhu. Its headquarters can be found beyond the borders of the known universe in the Californian, Texan, and Georgian Galaxies. The loudest, most obnoxious competitor wins, and hand movements are generally wild in an attempt to smack the opponent in the face so their jaw may no longer function.

Debaters advance the cause of the Great Old Ones by speaking in a language which no one can understand and throwing ungodly amounts of paper at the opponent's mouth in an attempt to cause them to choke, die, and stop screaming.

There are many forms of debate including policy debate, un-policy debate, sensible educational debate, Learning Disabled Debate and Executive Debate. No one can understand anyone who does any of them. The members of the debate cult are collectively known as Master Debaters.

First year debaters are trained by locking 20 of them in a closet for a month without food, and allowing the survivors to join the cult. Debaters are strongly committed to free trade in various substances, most notably kittens all of which are 100% legal for anyone at any age.

The concept of Debate originated in Oxbridge University, where it was first played in 1702 as a game to while away time in between tutes, classes, lectures, homoerotic initiation ceremonies, and being vigorously buggered by one's English tutor. The game was quite different back then, being played to settle arguments, win bets and for shiny pennies. While accounts at the time imply that the rules have changed quite heavily, nobody is quite sure what they used to be. This is possibly because the people writing accounts of the game were drunk. Initially Debate was condoned by the university as a means for students to exercise their brainpower and improve their lithe, supple, boyish torsos. It was, however, found to detract significantly from important activities such as study, drinking Pimms, and twatting about in punts. This caused it to be banned, nearly doubling its popularity.
No, they throw the paper to give them paper cuts!
It's not immediately apparent what n00ber Mcn00bington is talking about. Not only that, but there is a great deal of wasted space. n00ber Mcn00bington should have edited the post he quoted by deleting stuff he didn't respond to.
Observe:

Quote:
Originally Posted by n00ber Mcn00bington
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncyclopedia Reader
Debaters advance the cause of the Great Old Ones by speaking in a language which no one can understand and throwing ungodly amounts of paper at the opponent's mouth in an atempt to cause them to choke, die, and stop screaming.
No, they throw the paper to give them paper cuts!
This post gives a much clearer sense of what the poster was trying to say. It also follows a good rule of thumb. The poster posted something around 20% as long as what he quoted. The bigger the thing you quote, the more you should say about it.

In the event that something you've already posted would fit well somewhere else, quote yourself and move it to the other topic. Make a note underneath about how you thought it fit in there. Feel free to do this with other people's posts, so long as it doesn't change their meaning.


The Mega Post
Every once in a while, especially in a topic starter, someone will make a Mega Post. It is generally well organized and spaced, to make it easy on the eyes. It does, however, present a challenge to respond to.

There are several acceptable ways to respond to a Mega Post. All of them follow this guideline: Do NOT tackle the whole thing at once. People will need to reread the Mega Post several times to know what you're talking about, and this will probably get them rather irritated. Instead, tackle it ideal by ideal. Either break apart the Mega Post into many regular sized quotes, or type within their post, bolding, italicizing, or making your words a different color to show where you added stuff.


Content
This is the most important part of your quote. Researchers disagree about what makes for the best comment, but all agree that thought has a positive correlation to good posting. (Source: none).

Content does not mean making a long post. Content means a post that says something meaningful and at least somewhat on topic. If what you are saying in your post is not relatively well known, it may be helpful to link to a source. Links provide great opportunities to share knowledge with others. [/cliché]

Quote:
Originally Posted by n00ber Mcn00bington
The moon does not exist!
This post has potential to be a good post, but it lacks explanation. We are all very sure that that statement is wrong, and with no explanation, flaming will ensue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by n00ber Mcn00bington
This post allows the reader to see the reasoning behind this thought. It also allows them to check whether or not the source is valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n00ber Mcn00bington
halo 3 is going to be teribul. bunjy dusnt no wat there doing!1
This post is terrible. n00ber Mcn00bington doesn't know what he's doing. Typos are ok. They happen, and should be corrected after spotted using the handy dandy edit button. Internet slang is also acceptable, so long as it does not obscure the meaning of what you are posting. Blatant disregard for the English language is not ok. It hurts the reader's eyes and his/her brain has to work overtime trying to interpret what the poster meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n00ber Mcn00bington
Halo 3 is going to be terrible. Bungie doesn't know what they're doing!!
n00ber Mcn00bington might get flamed to a crisp, but at least he won't get attacked on his spelling. If you have a decent sized post, it may be useful to paste it into Microsoft Word, or any other thing with a built in spell checker.

Word choice is a very effective way to get you ideas across. Keep in mind that that is the purpose of words: to convey ideals. If you go out of your way to use large words, not only will it look unnatural, but the words may give a spin you didn't intend to have on it. Don't use a big word when a smaller one works better there. And NEVER misspell a rare or large word if you're trying to look smart, or it'll have the opposite effect. Spell-check, spell-check, spell-check...


Posting Etiquette
There are a few standard rules for posting etiquette.
1. Do NOT modify a quote to change its meaning without explicitly saying what you did.
2. Do not flame anyone unconstructively.
3. Admit to being pwned if you have been pwned. No one likes a sore, stubborn looser.
4. Attempt to keep the topic on track. Deviations are fine, but bringing up totally irrelevant stuff is not.
5. Respect people's beliefs. This doesn't prevent you from ripping the belief apart. Just do so in a way that doesn't attack the person who believes it.


Humor
This is the big loophole. All of the above rules can be bypassed by a good helping of humor.

Jokes are relative. Something that one person finds funny might not be funny at all to another person. Some might find it offensive. If you believe something you say as a joke may be offensive to some, attach some sort of disclaimer. Remember: Jokes are funny. Jokes that aren't funny aren't jokes; They're one way tickets to flamesville.

Humor is also a great tool for debating. A laughing person is more likely to think about what you're saying than a mad person is. If what you're saying offends someone, it may be helpful to add a veil of humor to ease them into the thought.

Humor is also a major component of ownage. While it is possible to pwn someone in a debate without humor, it makes it oh so much sweeter. When used propperly, not only does it highlight whatever it is you're pointing out, it helps the other person realize the pwnage, enabling him to do the customary ritual of defeat.


RESEARCH

This is a debate forum warning.

Research the topics you are going to be typing about BEFORE you start posting about them. I am sick of seeing people talk out of ther asses about things hey havn't read one thing about.

This creates fights and flaming where a simple interenet search could of saved you and us from the aggrivation of our laziness.

If the topic is over your head. . . just say that. Voice your opinion with a disclamer like " I don't really understand this but this is my opinion".

Do not start rambling about pink unicorns and fluffy bunnies when talking about abortion or aliens and global warming.

Get to a library or learn how to search periodicals and journals. Use a dictionary for the big words and then you can talk about such things with an confidence that will bring you respect and not a ban.

Concluding Notes

Don't be a n00b.


That is all.


Go ahead and debate whether or not these are good guidelines for posting, and what things are missing.


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#2
05-07-2008
Default

Next is NiceGuy's guide to deductive/inductive arguments:

Quote:
These are formal ways of determining the validity of your argument.

A deductively valid argument means that IF the premises are true THEN the conclusion MUST BE true.

An inductively valid argument means that IF the premises are true THEN its conclusion is MORE PROBABLE THAN NOT

A little vocabulary for you: An inclusive OR is one that means you can have A, B, or both A and B; and exclusive OR means that you can have either A, or B, but not both. A syllogism is a pattern of reasoning. A conjuction is an AND statement, a disjunction is an OR statement.

I'll try to give examples as we move along.

DEDUCTIVELY VALID ARGUMENTS

Affirming the Antecedent (Modus Ponens)

IF P, THEN Q
IF I am right, THEN you are wrong
P
I am right

Q
You are wrong

Denying The Concequent (Modus Tollens)

IF P, THEN Q
IF it is raining, THEN I need an umbrella
NOT Q
It is not raining
NOT P
I do not need an umbrella

Hypothetical Syllogism (Chain Reasoning)

IF P, THEN Q
IF you fall, THEN you will hit the ground
IF Q, THEN R
IF you hit the ground, THEN you will scrape your knee

IF P, THEN R
IF you fall, THEN you will scrape your knee

Disjunctive Syllogism - This utilizes the use of an inclusive OR

P OR Q
Either you have milk OR eggs
NOT P
You DONT have milk

Q
Therefore, you have eggs

Conjunctive Syllogism

NOT BOTH P AND Q
It can't be raining AND not raining
P
It is raining

NOT Q
It's not raining

Inductively Valid Arguments (Fallacious)

Affirming the Consequent

IF P, THEN Q
IF Jane leaves Tommy, THEN Tommy will commit suicide
Q
Tommy commited suicide
P
Jane left Tommy

Denying the Antecedent

IF P, THEN Q
IF you scrape your knee, THEN you fell
NOT P
You did not scrape your knee
NOT Q
You did not fall

Fallacy of Omitting the IF

IF P, THEN Q
IF Q, THEN R
R

False Disjunctive Syllogism - This utilizes the exclusive OR

P OR Q
You need eggs OR milk
P
You have eggs
NOT Q
You don't need milk

False Conjunctive Syllogism

NOT BOTH P AND Q
NOT P
Q


If there are any questions/comments, I'll answer them here.


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#3
05-07-2008
Default

And here is Marked's link to a site on web page evaluation:

Quote:
Evaluation Criteria

http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html

I. Authority

Is there an author? Is the page signed?
Is the author qualified? An expert?
Who is the sponsor?
Is the sponsor of the page reputable? How reputable?
Is there a link to information about the author or the sponsor?
If the page includes neither a signature nor indicates a sponsor, is there any other way to determine its origin?

Look for a header or footer showing affiliation.
Look at the URL. http://www.fbi.gov
Look at the domain. .edu, .com, .ac.uk, .org, .net


Rationale
1. Anyone can publish anything on the web.
2. It is often hard to determine a web page's authorship.
3. Even if a page is signed, qualifications are not usually provided.
4. Sponsorship is not always indicated.

II. Accuracy

Is the information reliable and error-free?
Is there an editor or someone who verifies/checks the information?

Rationale
1. See number 1 above
2. Unlike traditional print resources, web resources rarely have editors or fact-checkers.
3. Currently, no web standards exist to ensure accuracy.

III. Objectivity

Does the information show a minimum of bias?
Is the page designed to sway opinion?
Is there any advertising on the page?
Rationale
1. Frequently the goals of the sponsors/authors are not clearly stated.
2. Often the Web serves as a virtual "Hyde Park Corner", a soapbox.

IV. Currency

Is the page dated?
If so, when was the last update?
How current are the links? Have some expired or moved?

Rationale
1. Publication or revision dates are not always provided.
2. If a date is provided, it may have various meanings. For example,

It may indicate when the material was first written
It may indicate when the material was first placed on the Web
It may indicate when the material was last revised


V. Coverage

What topics are covered?
What does this page offer that is not found elsewhere?
What is its intrinsic value?
How in-depth is the material?

Rationale
1. Web coverage often differs from print coverage.
2. Frequently, it's difficult to determine the extent of coverage of a topic from a web page. The page may or may not include links to other web pages or print references.
3. Sometimes web information is "just for fun", a hoax, someone's personal expression that may be of interest to no one, or even outright silliness.


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#4
05-07-2008
Default

Finally, NiceGuy's guide to fallacious arguments:

Quote:
Since this forum thrives on fallacious arguments, I think it's important to list some of these so that others can better recognize and hopefully better avoid using them. I'll do some of the common ones, since there's about 42 known ones.

APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims in subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.

Example: 1. Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S.
2. Person A makes claim C about subject S.
3. Therefore, C is true.

Claims made by a person who lacks the needed degree of expertise to make a reliable claim will, obviously, not be well supported. In contrast, claims made by a person with the needed degree of expertise will be supported by the person's reliability in the area. (Real life example: Kent Hovind)


APPEAL TO TRADITION: Appeal to Tradition is a fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that something is better or correct simply because it is older, traditional, or "always has been done." This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

1. We have always done X.
2. Therefore, X is correct.


APPEAL TO POPULARITY: This fallacy tries to support a conclusion about a policy or point of view by citing the extensive acceptance it enjoys. The root mistake in this fallacy is failure to pay attention to what the reasons are, if any, for why the majority thinks the way that it does.

1. Everybody (or a majority, etc) thinks that X is right
2. Therefore, X is right.

This is closely related to APPEAL TO COMMON PRACTICE, which is more of a blame-deflecting device; the root of the fallacy lies in a failure to give a real reason why the questioned practice should be continued. Since everybody (or a majority, etc) is doing X, then it is not so bad for us to do X.


STRAW MAN: The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:

1. Person A has position X.
2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
3. Person B attacks position Y.
4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

Example: 1. Person A says abortion is ok.
2. Person B says abortion means killing babies (distorted version of the definition of abortion)
3. Person B says "Person A is a baby killer"/"It's not okay to kill babies."
4. Therefore abortion is not ok.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.


BEGGING THE QUESTION: Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true. This sort of "reasoning" typically has the following form.

1. Premises in which the truth of the conclusion is claimed or the truth of the conclusion is assumed (either directly or indirectly).
2. Claim C (the conclusion) is true.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because simply assuming that the conclusion is true (directly or indirectly) in the premises does not constitute evidence for that conclusion. Obviously, simply assuming a claim is true does not serve as evidence for that claim. This is especially clear in particularly blatant cases: "X is true. The evidence for this claim is that X is true."

Some cases of question begging are fairly blatant, while others can be extremely subtle.

Examples of Begging the Question

1. Bill: "God must exist."
Jill: "How do you know."
Bill: "Because the Bible says so."
Jill: "Why should I believe the Bible?"
Bill: "Because the Bible was written by God."

2. "If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law."


SLIPPERY SLOPE: The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed. This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim. This is especially clear in cases in which there is a significant number of steps or gradations between one event and another.

Example: "You can never give anyone a break. If you do, they'll walk all over you."



AD HOMINEM: An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting).

The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).
Example of Ad Hominem

1. Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?"
Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can't believe what you say."



APPEAL TO IGNORANCE: More of a general fallacy of FAILURE TO MEET REQUIRED BURDEN OF PROOF; or, the idea that something is true because it can't be proven false. This is the issue of what is REQUIRED in order to support a claim sufficiently. An example is those who defend their belief in God's existence by saying that no one has been able to prove that God does not exist. Such as this thread here.



More of these can be added, as there are very very very many of them. I will stop now so that others can comment, or add; these are just the ones I found most common amongst the forum.



edit: New ones added

Appeal to fear- A fallacy in which the writer uses an emotional appeal by playing on one's fears.

Example: Buy a car with a guidance system, and you'll never be lost in a place full of snakes.

Red Herring- This fallacy occurs when one introduces an irrelevant issue to distract others from the real core of an argument.

Example: More women are working outside the home, and the divorce rate continues to rise.


It Could Be Worse Fallacy: This argument is used to "prove" that anything is acceptable, because it could be worse. It is much the same argument travelling in the opposite direction.

X is better than Y, therefore X is acceptable.

Y here is some (intensely) disreputable or undesirable character or system. Classically, it's better than nothing, or at least it's not...

A relative measure with Y is not enough to make absolute statements about X. Merely being better than whatever horror Y may be is not enough to make X desirable.

God of the Gaps Fallacy - Using gaps in knowledge to fit in one's belief in a deity. Example: "I don't know, therefore God" and "That is too complex to have arisen naturally, therefore God." This is a brand of Argument from Ignorance (Incredulity) and is primarily used by theists attempting to exploit gaps in scientific knowledge about the universe to fit their God in. Remember that the greatest minds in science have done the same thing (Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton) so it must be recognized as something fundamental that happens to people at the limits of their knowledge.

ANECDOTAL FALLACY: Let us suppose that you wish to buy a new car and have decided that on grounds of economy and longevity you want to purchase one of those solid, stalwart, middle-class Swedish cars.either a Volvo or a Saab. As a prudent and sensible buyer, you go to Consumer Reports, which informs you that the consensus of their experts is that the Volvo is mechanically superior, and the consensus of the readership is that the Volvo has the better repair record. Armed with this information, you decide to go and strike a bargain with the Volvo dealer before the week is out. In the interim, however, you go to a cocktail party where you announce this intention to an acquaintance. He reacts with disbelief and alarm: "A Volvo! You've got to be kidding. My brother-in-law had a Volvo. First, that fancy fuel injection computer thing went out. Had to replace it. Then the transmission and the clutch. Finally sold it in three years for junk."

Would you still buy the Volvo?

The Anecdotal Fallacy occurs when a recent memory, an unusual event, or a striking anecdote leads one to overestimate the probability of events of that type occurring―especially if one has access to better evidence of the frequency of such events. For instance, in the Thought Experiment, if the vividness of your acquaintance's anecdote about his brother-in-law's experience is enough to change your decision to buy the Volvo, you have committed the fallacy.

Special Pleading

Person A accepts standard(s) S and applies them to others in circumtance(s) C.
Person A is in circumstance(s) C.
Therefore A is exempt from S.

This is the same one, but worded differently from another fallacy website.

Rule: Xs are generally Ys
x is an X.
x is an exception to the rule because it is I (where I is an irrelevant characteristic).
Therefore, x is not a Y.


Cracks in Wall Fallacy

A common fallacy in which person B rejects person A's point by simply pointing out a small and irrelevant flaw/loophole in his/her point.

For Example:

Person A presents argument X
Person B counters argument X by pointing out a small and irrelevant flaw in it which does not address the X as a whole. (Possibly a loophole in Person A's choice of words.)
Therefore person B must be correct.

Example 2:

Person A: "X and Y are not similar, X has underwent several major Cs (where C is an occurrence that defines X)"
Person B: "Oh yea!? Y underwent 2 Ds (where D is a much less important occurrence that also defines Y but in a different way)
Persona A: "But the 2 Ds are nothing in comparison to the multiple (lets say 30) Cs X underwent!"
Person B: "The definition of Nothing is "Zero, Zilch, non-existent", the 2 Ds I presented were indeed something, therefore your argument is false and I am correct"

FALSE DILEMMA/DICHOTOMY/FALLACY OF TOO FEW ALTERNATIVES: This is the fallacy of overlooking or not considering other [valid] alternatives. It does NOT mean there must be more than two alternatives, sometimes that's all you need. What matter is whether an alternatives which ought to be considered has been left out.

Example: Person 1: "You can either have an abortion, or raise the child."
Person 2: "I can also give it up for adoption."


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#5
05-07-2008
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This should really filter out the nonsense alltogether hopefully; helpfull for some of those that love debating or have a valid opinion yet lack the evidence to support their claims or can't as well articulate their ideas.

Nice contribution Lemon
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#6
05-07-2008
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BORAT IS FOLLY View Post
This should really filter out the nonsense alltogether hopefully; helpfull for some of those that love debating or have a valid opinion yet lack the evidence to support their claims or can't as well articulate their ideas.

Nice contribution Lemon
Thank NiceGuy, Froggy, and Marked.


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#7
09-09-2008
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Here's one more fallacy which I can't believe we forgot about:

The Invisible Man Fallacy
A fallacy in which in order to prove their claim, Person A challenges the Person B to first disapprove their claim; when in fact they have not given any argument/evidence to prove their point in the first place.

Example:
Person A: I believe invisible people with magic powers exist.
Person B: What? No they don't!
Person A: Oh yea!? Well prove that they don't!
Person B: ...
Person A: Exactly, therefore I'm right!
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGuff
...you're a terrorist sympathizer. I'd rather be an idiot if that's the choice. At least I'd be a person, though stupid, who is at least on the right side of morality. God doesn't care if you're stupid or not, he does care if you are evil or not.
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#8
11-03-2008
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The newer people need to read this.
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#9
11-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llcontrall View Post
The newer people need to read this.
Not so much newer as people that don't know how to base an argument....(I'm just saying this cuz I'm newer )
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians
who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
DC Talk, "What If I Stumble"

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Subtract from HAble's ReputationAdd to HAble's Reputation HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000 HAble IS OVER 9000
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#10
12-06-2008
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Froggy is a master debater.


Hehehheheehehe.
Xyox is gay
 

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