November 10, 2005
I can remember when debate was what intellectual people did when they discussed. A debate is (according to Dictionary.com)
1 To consider something; deliberate.Ironically, the obsolete definition is given as "To fight or quarrel."
2 To engage in argument by discussing opposing points.
3 To engage in a formal discussion or argument.
Unfortunately, we've missed the point of debate. Debate is about us vs. them, our side against their side. We go into debates not to learn, but to win. So now, when we want to emphasize our respect for "the opposition," we discuss.
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