Debatable

Fred Clark has a great post on magic tricks and the art of debate, which he starts off by saying ““Debate” is a parlor trick.” Here is a sample:

When Ray Comfort challenges someone to a debate over the truth of Christianity, I wince because I am a Christian and I know that Comfort is most likely going to “lose” that debate, leading some to the mistaken conclusion that this indicates something meaningful about the truth or untruth of what I believe. When William Lane Craig challenges someone to a debate over the truth of Christianity, I wince because I am a Christian and I know that Craig is most likely going to “win” that debate, leading some to the mistaken conclusion that this indicates something meaningful about the truth or untruth of what I believe…

“Debate” can carry you only until you encounter a situation in which your tricks don’t matter. Or until you encounter someone who knows better tricks than you do.

Click through to read the rest, including what he considers to be more important skills than those of winning debates.

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    Some debaters — perhaps W.L. Craig among them — aren’t there primarily to win, but to propagate ideas. Which seems to me to be a worthy aim.