When we teach children and teens to think in critical ways we move right to the "debating" model without thinking about what the model itself teaches. Debate is a system where by each side picks a "camp" and wants to "win." What is the result? A "civilized argument" (or not) where no progress is made to a solution. Why? Because each side wants to win and so has to "defend it's intellectual turf." I say this model is damaging to society and this is why...
We carry on this debate style into politics and personal relationships. We go on through life picking sides, but worse than that, our "side" is often predetermined by our "camp." Are you left or right? Are you male or female? Are you this faith or that? The whole notion of debate is so antagonistic most people simply walk away, find a camp and stay there. But why is this a problem? I'll tell you...
We don't learn from the other side what valid points they have we just shout them down. Let's look at the highly polarized "abortion debate." Is the unborn sacred? Yes. Does a woman have the right to choose? Yes, it's her body. The way forwards is not to make it illegal or picket clinics, but build a society where by babies and women are really cared for. Do that and the abortion clinics will close over night. A woman having an abortion is more like a trapped animal than a person choosing a meal from a menu. It is a choice, but not like people normally use the word. So while we fight or "debate" the issue, no forwards motion is made. While the left and the right fight if it is wrong or right like infants, real infants are suffering. But who cares, right? They have their ego's to think about.
The Climate change debate stunts progress on preserving genetic diversity and ecosystems from degradation and pollution. It doesn't matter who is correct, we need to do the same things either way if we want a planet to live on. Debating is killing our societies, our planet, because we don't respect each other enough to listen, really listen, to what the other side has to say.
We debate the war on drugs. It's dumb. Of course the drugs are unhealthy, of course making them illegal is a sure-fire way to fund mob bosses and other criminals.
We debate poverty and debt of nations when money itself is an artificial construct, a rigged game of monopoly to benefit those who control the money supply and the elites. We could solve world hunger very easily, but where is the profit in that?
It's time to end debating and start listening to each other. Perhaps the person opposite you has good reason to say what they are saying.. perhaps their life experience is different to yours. Have you tried listening, understanding and trying to find a common way forwards you can both accept? And I mean really try, because just like having a healthy marriage, peace takes active consideration of the other, it isn't "luck."