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What are the advantages of the debate format? what are its pitfalls?
A lot of the discussion we see around us happens in some form of a debate format: a topic, a proposition side and an opposition side, constructive arguments, and rebuttals
Here in TED there are three formats for starting a conversations, yet, regardless of the initial format selected, most of the discussions end up being sort of a debate.
While i see some advantages to the debate format, in terms of narrowing down the discussion, and keep a single focus in mind, I am of the opinion that a lot is lost when we leave out of the discussion any intermediate positions, and when we demand that an all or nothing stance is taken on the discussed topic
What is your idea about the debate format? does it help advancing understanding? Does a different discussion format work better if the objective is understanding? Is debate just a tool to segregate people between those in favor and those against a specific point of view? Is it then, essentially divisive?