Now, these followers include MEDIUM, YouTube, Religion, Politics, Finance, and Social Movements. Why would it be best to not debate anyone in these categories? Because you cannot win. Why can you not win? Because they have everything to lose. Let’s setup the scene.
You agree to a debate with someone. You find a venue of any size. There is a moderator, an audience and rules for the debaters, and the listeners. Just to let you know you: the debate was lost before either of the two guests cleared their throats or thanked people as if accepting an academy award. Who won so easily without a fight? The audience wins. The audience is comprised of two sides of emotional tribalism while there are a few quiet sprinkles of independent onlookers. The audience is there to watch who they support destroy the enemy…er… I mean: opposition. They have their minds made up, and they want to hear their level or higher, arguments and counter-arguments by the one they support.
So question yourself: How do you win over people so steadfast against you?
Better question: Why are you trying to win them over? What do you gain?
Higher-end question: Why must you gain something? Would not it be best for the gain to be had by the audience?
In any case, most don’t think about the audience. I’ll touch on that later.
Let’s remove the audience for now. It’s simply you and your adversary…er…opponent. You two are on stage and the debate is lost before either of you can utter a word. This might seem frustrating and yet, think about a few things. Your opponent is catering to the audience that is there to aid in moral support. Your opponent often has a following, and thus, a reason to maintain a stalwart stance on their argument.
Take a preacher, for instance. You want to debate about the existence of god or something. You’ve lost. Why? Because the preacher makes money by influencing the belief in the unknown. The congregation gives 10% to 20% of their money every Sunday. With a small church, that’s still about $1,000 per week. From small to mega, protecting the business is utterly important. The preacher has no reason to go against their faith, even while supporting one must judge based on evidence, and rationality.
Ok, let’s take politics. On either side of the aisles money drives it all, and both sides need their congregation to believe in them. On one hand, one side advocates for capitalism and constitutional amendments, while the other upholds personal accountability and being united. Both argue about what’s best for the country and all the while, their congregation, aka, the voters, battles it out in their name. In both cases, the audience is the sheep, the leader is the Sheppard, and the lies are the slaughter they’ve been lead to. This is why it is critical that a leader of a people push reason and understanding aside, and push for galvanization with platitudes.
I’ve heard of much talk opening with, “Debates are won” and you can fill in the rest. When the debates are over, people only care to say their side won. The opposing tribe, at best, may say something on the lines of, “The other person made a lot of good points, but still, they didn’t understand” and you can fill in the blank.
There is one small part of any debate that is possibly worth winning. It is when the person uses the debate platform, to reach out to those “on the fence” of one side or the other. Reaching those people and those are vocally steadfast in their position, but are introverting their doubts. Those are the people best to target. It has been stated on few occasions, “The skilled debater focuses on the audience, not the person they are arguing with.” In the courtroom, a lawyer talks to the jury in hopes to convince them, not the one on trial.
So in closing, when and if you do debate someone, the only victory you can possibly gain, will come from those deep-thinking introverts. If you want to debate to win, then you’ve chosen the worst reason to debate. Finally, always refuse to debate people who speak fast and throw a ton of misinformation in a short amount of time. These debaters know you will spend 5 to 10 minutes countering and untwisting the information and have little to no time for your own statements. Good luck, and thank you for reading.