View Full Version : Debates and arguements, your opinion?

13-02-06, 19:03
This is just a curiosity thread/poll, while going slightly off topic during a matter of opinions with a particular member, we disussed the negativity of an arguement over a debate. I personally believe that having an arguement with somone is a more negative form of conversation on average than having a debate with somone, the other member seems to believe that an arguement and a debate are essentially the same thing.

I would like to hear other peoples opinions on this to help me make up my mind on debates and arguements concerning this matter.
Please answer in your honest opinon :) .

13-02-06, 19:14
It seems to me that an argument deals with personal issues and emotions, and a debate is supposed to be based on logic and fact. Someone offering an argument often has a personal stake in the issue, whereas a debator likely does not.

I also feel like it's necessary to distinguish between arguing with someone (a) and offering an argument (b). Argument (b) can be part of a debate, but argument (a) isn't.

I'm sick of the word argue now.

13-02-06, 21:24
Debates use arguments to attack their points. Both debates and arguments can be perfectly civil however.

14-02-06, 00:29
I agree with sabro. And debates can involve personal stake -- for instance, the presidential debates. Those can also involve mud flinging and name calling.

14-02-06, 00:34
I agree that it DOES happen, but I'm thinking what SHOULD happen. A debate for the presidency shouldn't have all the muck-raking and name calling that goes on. It should be about the candidates' stances on issues. Instead, everything has become about a person's "character," which more often than not is a mere facade anyways.

I guess I'm an idealist. Nice guys finish last after all.

14-02-06, 00:47
I agree with you that it shouldn't happen, but they're still called "debates." I still think of arguing as being essentially the same as a debate, but now that I think about it a little, perhaps an argument does offer more in the way of emotional involvement. Even still, I don't see much deviance in nuance, connotation, or meaning.

14-02-06, 01:50
I think although presidential stuff and that kinds of official things are called 'debates' they can often be more like arguments as you say with all the mud-flinging and name-calling etc. etc. But they are called 'debates' because I guess they originated in the official framework of a debate which calls for certain structure like proposer, seconder, etc even if they degenerate into an argument.

I think arguments are more negative way of discussion than debates. Debate is based on logic and reason, argument more on emotions. Also in an argument there is rudeness and personal attacks, whereas in a debate supposedly it should go free and outside of that kinds of stuff. :okashii:

On the other hand, there is also the use of the word 'argument' as a noun to mean something else, to mean your line of reasoning, such as you might say in a discussion, "Well, my argument is this", meaning that you're about to set out your reasoning. In that sense you are meaning 'argument' as your thoughts train for persuasion - not as some kind of verbal schemozzle.

14-02-06, 02:06
I agree with Kinsao for the most part, but ultimately this all boils down to semantics.

Dictionary.com lists them as synonyms, so it really only depends on a person's feelings. If the word argument means negativity to you, use it as such and explain that feeling if a dispute/debate/argument on the MEANING of the word debate ever arises.

As an aside, I've taken part in debate competitions, and found them to focus on minor parts of an issue, rather than the main point. It seems to me an argument would be more focused. That's probably more a result of the judging, however, and less of an indidcation as to which has what connotation.

14-02-06, 03:49
To us at school "imposed" such idea - " In dispute the true is born "... The Real life has shown - " In dispute is born ":r the best case - "compromise", in the worse - "hatred"... If thus people use "arguments", it or " a chess party " or " pieces of a dirty "... All this both in that and in the other variant - me is not comprehensible... There is ancient, for a long time an a forgotten way of dialogue - monologue... Everyone results " the monologue ", stating sequence of that idea which he wants to inform in this monologue... And all... In the answer he can hear other monologue on the same question... But only a monologue... In this ancient system " development of idea " has been incorporated first of all... " The list of the points of view " is made of monologue on that or other question...:angel:

Mars Man
14-02-06, 16:01
Interesting response there PRAZMATIC san. Parts of it could possibly use rewording in order to make the point clearer.

Yes, these two words, 'argument' and 'debate' of course can be synonymous, but only intersect there. They are different at other places.

From my experience in growing up in the southern states of America, we would use the word argument when two people got into a 'scrap' over something--a fuss. In such a situation, yes, I'd think that more negative things come out than positive.

Otherwise, as has been pointed out, in an academic--and most who run for president may not be so academic in style--situation, argue and debate are in the same family. In such cases, there is strict format to what and how it is done. Just my two bits.....

14-02-06, 18:05
Hmm, i just noticed somthing interesting- it says at the top of this section "Opinions Debate interesting issues and compare cultural or psychological aspects with other members.", so technically this is not a section for arguements?

14-02-06, 18:50
As MeAndroo says, they can be synonyms. But I think in common speech, 'argument' has the connotation of 'dispute', except when we use it in the sense of "A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood". Debate, on the other hand, is more about "discussing opposing points." I could engage in a debate where I argued the opposite of what I actually believe (it's fun to do that sometimes!), but in an argument I would be defending my actual position on a matter.

Debate is superior to argument, IMO.

15-02-06, 04:49
Mars Man san :angel:...
As an example:
By a youth I frequently practised such situations - came in an orthodox monastery (or any other religious currents, for example - Tibetan the Llama) and finding there the person who knows the Bible (the doctrine of the Buddha), conversation on this or that theme started with it. It was important for me to understand, as far as my perusal corresponds to accepted "perusal". People strenuously started to prove to me " the point of measurement ", leaving without the answer " disputable themes ". To two, three questions I led them to to these "themes" and "saw" their attempts to explain to me it. (In turn I never spoke nothing about how I have read it.) But their monologue contained at times so much the various and inconsistent information, that in me the real understanding of that conducts people to this or that belief began to be formed. Passing disputes, I learned such sides of the Bible(dB), which these people in the aspiration to convince in the belief at all did not notice me. The result - I has only become stronger in the perusal and has opened even more information in support of it. And the second result - anybody (!!!) never (!!!) has not asked me - " and how I understand this or that part?... " And who knows, there can be my monologue would give the person too any other perception?...:angel:

18-02-06, 19:50
Reading the above-- I would submit that debate is a subclass of argument-- that a debate is an argument that follows a particular format designed to maximize discussion and the exchange of ideas. (although debates contain arguments.)

I would also submit that who ever makes a statement in a debate is responsible for that statement- for ascertaining its truth and correctness, for supporting it if challenged and if it is a salient point in their overall argument for proof if their argument is to be taken seriously. In an argument, you can say whatever you want and are under no obligation to back it up.

One would also be responsible for the context of the statements they make- either in providing for them, or in understanding the implications of what they have said. Thus any thoughless, insulting or harmful comments should probably be charged to the party making them, and not the party injured. In an argument however, you are incouraged to insult, degrade, deny, ridicule, humiliate, denigrate and trash your opponent.

19-02-06, 01:13
What there is "truth" and how it to measure - from what to estimate " this algorithm " truths? From opinion of one person?... From opinion of one million people? From opinion of billion people? From "Scriptus"?...
And from what fragment of this "Scriptus"?..., etc............................................... ..........
From similar questions it is possible to create discussion on tens years of discussion...
And the answer it will not be found... Only new and new questions will be created...
It " illusion of imaginary light "...
It seems to us, that we try to understand something... And in a reality we only make new forms of questions and new forms of answers...
In monologue we state the understanding something...And is all...:angel:

19-02-06, 10:17
@ Sabro - I agree with your distinction, but could it be phrased like this: in a debate the object is to present the most rational and logical argument in order to convince an audience, whereas in an argument the object is to win at any cost?

19-02-06, 10:22
Sounds about right. Lets see if that will swim.

19-02-06, 13:05
I voted "other".

The common use of the terms "debate" and "argument" are a bit different than their technically correct english meaning, but for the sake of simplicity, I'll stick with the "common use" definitions here.

As far as common usage goes, the main differance is that a debate is more of an intelectual exercise while an argument tends to have more emotion behind it.

I generally prefer debates to arguments (though they're much harder to come by), but I don't consider an argument to be more negative--just more like a fight than a chess match...

...then again, most people consider fighting "negative", don't they? :D

19-02-06, 18:35
Definite connotation that way, Reiku-- but both can be used for exploration- for forensic examination of thinking and reason-- to explore some one else's point of view and to clarify one's own.

20-02-06, 01:49
:blush: Question - and who has entitled to achieve my change (or someone's) opinion?... Especially - using those or other arguments?... The God has made me free to choose, but He did not allow anybody the right to force me those or different ways... Only the God can open in me - what is necessary for me...
It is not necessary to substitute the right of the God the right, using rendering of this or that influence on mine (or whose) opinion...
P.S. Sometimes, reading many statements at a forum, I involuntarily look at " badges of the countries " - at me such sensation, that I read " textbooks of methodics from Lubianka"...:hey:

Frank D. White
20-02-06, 02:09
I'd get more joy out of banging my face into a wall then arguing or debating; hate any type of confrontation.

Uncle Frank


20-02-06, 12:17
Well, it is true that in a debate, you can take the opposite side to your real view, to discuss an issue as an intellectual exercise, but in an argument you tend to go with your real feelings on the matter...

... although 'an argument' is part of a debate in that you present an argument to support your case. :mad:

21-02-06, 02:43
What can I say?

English sucks as a form of communication.

:blush: Question - and who has entitled to achieve my change (or someone's) opinion?... Especially - using those or other arguments?... The God has made me free to choose, but He did not allow anybody the right to force me those or different ways... Only the God can open in me - what is necessary for me...
It is not necessary to substitute the right of the God the right, using rendering of this or that influence on mine (or whose) opinion...
P.S. Sometimes, reading many statements at a forum, I involuntarily look at " badges of the countries " - at me such sensation, that I read " textbooks of methodics from Lubianka"...:hey:

Now there's a misake I see a lot of people making.

It seems like everyone veiws disagreement as an attack on their belieifs--as though you are trying to "force" someone to accept your opinion.

But unless you're a mind control expert, you can't change anyone's opinons--only provide them with your opinion and let them choose for themselves which they prefer.

It's not attacking what someone beleives--it's giving them more options.

Sadly, most people get defensive and never even listen to what you have to say.

22-02-06, 09:48
What happens when you come to an end or an impasse? Can you agree to disagree? Do you have to have the last word?....hmmmm...

22-02-06, 16:53
First and foremost, it's 'argument'.

It depends on what type of argument you're talking about. There really isn't a black and white view to whether it's equivalent to debate or more or less positive than conversation.

In its simplest terms, argument is just stating reasons for your beliefs. Whether you realize it or not, everyone uses it often in everyday life. For instance, "I think Japanese is a cool language, as..." would be an argument.

So basically, it can be equally or more positive than conversation, because you might be more interested and involved with something rather than just everyday talk.

But, sometimes two people can have a large disagreement over something. Then it can get negative when they use an aggressive tone, e.g. "That's ridiculous! What on Earth are you talking about? This clearly supports what I think..." There's a solution to this though - reaching a middle ground, where both sides are happy.

And about whether it's equivalent to debate, once again, it depends. Often 'debate' is reserved for controversial and heated topics whereas trivial matters like "Why is sushi so tasty?" would not be a debate. But then again, it's all subjective and people can use 'debate' for everything involving discussion.

So there you go. And for the record, I voted 'Other'.

23-02-06, 03:44
Even when the person faces to "impasse" the God gives him "revelation"... It is necessary only to learn to live " outside of streams of causeless ideas and the thoughts "... And the God - unique "expert" of me and for me... It is necessary only to learn to follow those "revelations" which He gives me...
The person always is between "Chaos" and "Light" and only the will he chooses the way...
Any "expert" will not replace it...:angel:

23-02-06, 13:53
Another thought occurred too me, and it seems relevant here. Since it can be assumed that most of us here enjoy debate or argument, what do we enjoy about it, and why do we do it? For myself, I am very committed to learning new things, and improving my self-knowledge. I get involved in debates to this end - to understand things from various points of view and to learn more about what I believe - and it's crucially important to me that I can change my mind.

23-02-06, 15:53
... what do we enjoy about [argument and debate], and why do we do it? ... to understand things from various points of view and to learn more about what I believe - and it's crucially important to me that I can change my mind.
Yeah, basically these things allow people to grow in their beliefs, rather than just accept them as stone (or take them for granted) without challenging them ever. Without venturing into other views, we're bound by the ones that we're fed with, no matter if they're correct or incorrect.

24-02-06, 02:33
P.S.Dialogue - an exchange of opinions (monologue) - also to everyone in it the God helps to open that other "party"...
But frequently "dialogue" - " is war of the points of view "...:angel:

02-03-06, 00:23
Debating is something that you can gain from. Arguing is just a big waste of time. Arguing makes you even more mad and you really don't want to hear the other side, and usually you don't because the people who are arguing are trying to think of what they are going to say next instead of listening to the other person.

Debates are also more organized and have rules. Occams Razor. Or if you're making extraordinary claims then the burden of proof is on you. So that means no one has to prove that something does not exist.

02-03-06, 01:18
P.S."Freedom" - is taken away in discussions as the person should follow this or that theme... In a monologue - the person is free...
Arguments and the facts at times only withdraw from True of conversation...
" Freedom of the Choice " - follows a monologue...
And the person does this "Choice" itself... Instead of under "influence"...
In a reality that we " stand up for discussions " is only an attribute of absence in us abilities to define a train of thought...
We already for a long time all " sit on information dopes " - ability to create revelations - is lost...

04-03-06, 18:47
I've always veiwed as having a debate with somone, a civilised exchanging of opinions and viewpoints on a particular subject or subjects. An arguement to me is more a strong held matter of a disagreement of opinions and similar things, in an arguement you argue your beliefs or opinions strongly, while in a debate you can discuss opinions or sides that aern't even yours to gain a better viewpoint of the other persons opinions or beliefs- somtimes i enjoy discussing opinions that aern't even mine or ones i support, but rather just to gain a better understanding of where the other person came to theirs :) .