Debate Carefully


A few rules on how to debate meaningfully. Some or all of them may be obvious to you; yet, I often forget about them. So I'm writing down this little help booklet for me. And maybe for some of you.

  1. Listening is more important than speaking.
  2. If you know someone isn't going to listen, don't debate. They're not worth your time.
  3. Distill carefully the arguments from the person. Don't mix these up, as it may mess everything up.
  4. Assume everything can be defined in multiple ways. Even though, in reality, many things can't.
  5. Neither of you know everything about the topic. Leave place for uncertainty when you're not sure about something. It's better to admit than lie.
  6. Assume the goodwill of the person you're debating against. Otherwise, it will be hard to utter anything comprehensive.
  7. Respect everyone and everything at all cost. The ultimate value. The ultimate rule.

Many things to debate these days. Remember, be civil, be human.

We can't loose our humanity.

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