Why Debate?

Why Debate?

The proper outlook on debate is not about you being able to destroy your opponent but that it will perfect your ideas and arguments and remove error in your own ideology by exposing it to criticism. Peaceful debate is essential in any society, government, church, family, etc. If we struggle with debating peacefully, it is more beneficial to overcome that then to just avoid debate altogether. The presence of such a struggle indicates something about ourselves. Typically it means we are not secure in our beliefs. Or perhaps it means we haven’t fully thought our beliefs thru and therefore cannot articulate them well, which is also insecurity. The benefits of peaceful debate are worth overcoming our hesitations, whatever they might be. After all, overcoming them would certainly be personal growth.

Some might contend that they avoid debate because of a concern of making the other person mad. While we shouldn’t try and debate an angry person, however, if you strive at being a peaceful debater, you can develop the skills to notice when things are too hot and therefore cool the atmosphere down. You as the peaceful debater can control the temperature and keep the debate productive. Such skills are possible to learn and having them are invaluable. It helps one to focus on issues and not persons. Learning that separation is incredibly powerful not just to the debate but in all aspects of your personality and life.

We need to eradicate pride. This is probably the hardest thing to do in debate but the most liberating and important. Being willing and able to admit when wrong and not gloating when winning is gold. After all, the truth seeker is about knowing truth, not protecting his precious pride. That’s one of the benefits of debate, it challenges your ideas and perfects them if you allow it. I have experienced this to be true many times. Good arguments are arguments that have been tried and tested and improved. Learning the weaknesses of your beliefs should be considered a great opportunity.

If more people practiced peaceful debate, error would be squeezed out of existence. Error and lies thrive in uncontested territory. Truth wins the day. While lies and error can exist for a time, the beauty of truth is that it will always prevail in the end.

So challenge ideas with debate. Expose your beliefs to criticism. Learn logic and apply it. Logic is beautiful. To the honest truth seeker, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Don’t misconstrue this to mean that your mind should be so open that you never believe anything. Quite the contrary. Debating means you believe something, something quite strongly. In fact, being unwilling to debate might mean you don’t believe something very strongly.

Lastly, debate and discussion are vital. Why? Because it gets people to think. And thinking is good. Error and lies hate thinking people. It’s the biggest threat to propaganda.

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