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The purpose of debate

Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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5/3/2013 7:29:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In the beginning, debate used to be about winning. It's a simple goal and it motivated people to new heights, but systemically, it took away the integrity of debate if people were focused solely on the win.

Next, it became a pursuit of truth. We take our ideas and throw them in the gladiator pit until one remaining one rings true. We put all our intellect into making the best possible arguments possible and assume that the truth will shine like a gold nugget in a sifting pan. However, we slowly began to realize that there doesn't seem to be a truth, no matter how hard we try.

Later on, and for the longest time, we give up on the pursuit of truth and change our goal. The prime goal of debate seems now to be the betterment of ourselves as debaters. We challenge ourselves by challenging others, hone our skills and increase our knowledge. We debate for the thrill of debating and to make ourselves better debaters.

What if there's something else? What if it isn't enough?

What would happen if we collectively decided that the main goal of debate should be to seek agreement? What would happen if every debate and every argument on the forum consisted of debaters who were solely focused on finding a point of mutual agreement above all other values?
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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5/4/2013 6:29:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't believe there is any evidence whatsoever that confirms debating has gone through periods of development and change. I believe it has always been a mixture of everything that you have said with no universal movement from one goal to the other. People will debate for their own purposes. There is no common goal.
Music composition contest: http://www.debate.org...
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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5/4/2013 9:33:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 6:29:34 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I don't believe there is any evidence whatsoever that confirms debating has gone through periods of development and change. I believe it has always been a mixture of everything that you have said with no universal movement from one goal to the other. People will debate for their own purposes. There is no common goal.

I meant on this site, specifically. I've seen the progression.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.