Debate, whether on campaign trails, in apologetics, in online discussion forums, at dinner parties, or in general, is less about persuading others that our views are right, says one analyst on the Argumentation Theory. He said debate surprisingly often leads to "epistemic distortions and poor decisions".
"Skilled arguers, however, are not after the truth but after arguments supporting their views."
His theory is that we argue simply to hone the skill of arguing.
Another article describes how debate tactics usually focus more on decreasing the validity of the opposing point than proving the validity of our own points. (The lesser of the two evils case.) Campaign ads use mudslinging, because it is successful.
Although we learn new things in debate, rarely do we change positions. In fact, the first article I mentioned stated that we actually cement our positions with confirmation bias.
Why are you here? Have you fulfilled your mission?
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