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Should we have debates on TED stages?

Could the TED stage be a good place to have debates and not "only" Talks?

My first thought is that it isn't but then again I've been wrong so many times before...
Why would(n't) debates be good?

  • Jul 16 2011: yes.

    the purpose of debate is to provide information - not opinion. to persuade, not hammer.
    to influence, not pressure. it should be an impassioned portrayal of fact, not an accusatory defense.
    once a debate devolves into a non-relevant or personal attack - it's lost it's value.

    i LOVE debate. and I'd love to see opposing view points argued on a lot of topics except: Religion.
    [i don't think debate is a forum for religious "conversion" of any kind]

    debate is respectful of each person and viewpoint - how often do you see people argue & immediately "hit below the belt" so to speak. it's at that point that any argument becomes a rant between two parties. which means the purpose for discussion has ended. if we agree that the purpose of debate is to present opposing opinions about the same subject - there is a lifeskill here that is almost extinct to society - the ability to argue. a well conducted debate might actually give people a model by which to engage and converse while disagreeing - to evoke thought and in a manner that allows people to comfortably take in that information, to consider each opinion, and choose for themselves where they stand.

    i think this is an excellent question. i also think i could be wrong, so like you, i'd like to hear from people who are totally opposed.
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    Jul 16 2011: Debates and arguments are two very different things. Debates offer depth and insight into two varying schools of thought. This can often create an appreciation if not agreance with alternative view points. On a platform for open minds like TED I would think there exists no better stage then to have debates.
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    Jul 20 2011: If the purpose of the debates is all about the right information and the right action then perhaps simple concepts and ideas will help.

    What are the universal ideas and concepts that we all can agree? Are these mutual interests enough to move us into the right direction?

    If our overall goal is equitability and sustainability in a system that is free, just and truthful, perhaps our mutual interests is enough to move us forward.