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Is a purely logical debate possible?

Is it possible to have a debate with absolutely no emotion and using only logic? I cant imagine it being possible because even if you craft a perfectly logical argument and remove your own emotion your listeners will still receive and analyze it in light of their own emotions. As a subquestion what emotions do you think predominate debate? I would say anger and fear. Would it be possible to change that? I'm thinking of this especially in light of persuasive debate, when you want someone to do something for you.


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  • Sep 6 2013: There's no right or wrong answer; we debate in many domains. Some debates use hard data, other, more soft evidence. Some are scientific, detached from our personas; we can stand away from them personally and give a point of view. I'd put global warming there. We have much data about energy consumption, the sun, matter, population and climate records, so that debate can be advanced or destroyed by yet more data. Others debates relate to exactly who we believe we are. Inevitably emotive is "Why is the West's population increasingly obese?" Debaters have vested interests, or may feel vulnerable, blamed, unattractive, guilty, attacked for their weight and so on. Don't expect logic to rule there! Likewise, debates on gun crime and the right to bear arms in the US are a proxy for bigger political issues. De-criminalizing marijuanha; do you imagine this could be logically resolved? More emotive: the causation of homosexuality and whether it (if there is an "it) can or should be reversed; can a single parent can do as good a job as a father and mother; can a lesbian couple do as well as a man and a woman at bringing up kids? Such debates are intrinsically important to us, but we know debaters are NEVER going to look to solely logical argument. These are too contraversial and sensitive - the case data we're offered from here will be the polar opposite of the case data from there, or it'll be considered culturally skewed or otherwise biased. So, let's respect logic for the argumentation where the data is valid, verifiable, scientifically secure. We know emotion will come in screaming and early in all debates where human or animal rights, personal identity and status pertain. Experience shows that in any debate concerning sex, gender or politics, logic is irrelevant and a fight may break out at any time. Where we debate religion, we're joining in an insoluble conflict that never goes away and logic can have no place whatsoever in that debate.

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