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Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examines consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn't the case or rhetoric which is a technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior "context" and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic.
1. To debate, disagree, or discuss opposing or differing viewpoints.
2. To have an argument, a quarrel.
3. To present (a viewpoint or an argument therefor).
Is "debate" or "conversation" the most useful form of public discourse?
While debate brings rigor to analysis, it is essentially confrontational. Talking of debate can be misleading and counterproductive - part of the problem - when there is a need to build ideas and to seek creative solutions interdependently. For by its very nature a debate is a contest, a game, with winners and losers defined by who is right and who is wrong.
Inviting people to contribute to a debate is to set up adversarial positions which are attacked and defended. When this happens the aggressive and antagonist models of interaction which apply in most 'advanced' democracies are inevitably set in train. This often means no agreement or consensus, no positive 'next moves', and consequently no progress.
To converse, rather than debate.
Persuasion and agreement are irrelevant when people converse, as are right and wrong, and the more the diversity of opinion the greater the likely emergence of imaginative solutions. For conversing is the fount of creativity, respect, trust and goodwill, all of which are prerequisites to peoples adapting harmoniously to change.
Participants in a conversation come to appreciate that all have something to contribute to building a more accurate picture of reality and building a good solution. In this context people who disagree with us need to be very carefully listened to because their critiques help us see things we might otherwise miss. Keeping the spirit of mutuality and respect alive as we converse about our different views, then, is the way of allowing all the differences -- which are valuable to creating the best thinking -- to come to the surface and be carefully considered. When the people who disagree are finally satisfied, then we know we have something that everyone can participate in building.
What is the difference between arguing and debating?