Debates – For Agreement or Argument?

I am an ardent, enthusiastic, ecstatic follower and participator of debates and I do love the energy that flows in a debate, the arguments placed on the table, the questions asked, the dynamic movement of blame from the opposition to the defenders, the sharp pointed statements, the accusations, the sudden backtracking, the alarmed expressions of the cornered victim, the helpless flailing of arms and feet (metaphorically and very literally, but sometimes, physically too) when they realize that their mountain of made up accusations, facts and figures have started to crumble down, it’s all an adrenaline rush for me.

But today, in a prominent local newspaper I read an editorial,”Should debates end in an argument or agreement?”. I just stared at it for a while, because I realized that that statement could itself hold the key to a particularly interesting, exciting, exhilarating, invigorating and enlightening debate as to what people actually expect from these debates.

For me, these debates neither hold promises of arguments or agreements, they are actually a medium where I get together with people having a true, well-defined but varied opinions about a common topic to share our views and to decide which of us or rather, which of our opinions ring true and are based on solid facts. For me, a debate is merely another source of information, a medium where I can walk in another person’s shoes and look at a common destination from a different viewpoint.

Thus I realized, that a debate should start with an argument and end with an agreement, because a debate should end only when we have reached a common solution, a common thought and an enlightening view. A debate should merely shed light upon the facts that we may have skipped through, the fact that we may have thought are not necessary, the facts that could have changed the way we thought about the world.

We all are humans, we all make mistakes, we all have ideas, thoughts, feelings and tendencies to favour some and dislike others. But sometimes, we should understand what is good for the society as a whole, for the country as a whole, for the world as a whole and accept it and work for it.

A debate should inspire the feeling of togetherness, and should not sprout differences among a group.

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