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Friendly debate, as used in this book, is a procedure whereby two or more individuals, who have different beliefs, each try to convince the other(s) of the validity of his or her beliefs while listening to the response of the other(s) in order to detect flaws in his or her own beliefs or in the presentation of them, the goal being that of increasing one’s own wisdom and effectiveness in communication. The criterion of success is whether the beliefs in question are consistent with the rules of logic and the rules of evidence (to be discussed later in this book). Friendly debate is the procedure that is most likely to result in increased wisdom. Friendly debate is a very difficult procedure, seldom occurring among our species so far.
Unfriendly debate is a procedure in which the goal is to win or to achieve the appearance of winning, and the procedure is often characterized by efforts to suppress the other’s viewpoints, distract the other from pursuing a logical presentation, or confuse the other and/or listeners by, for instance, misrepresenting the viewpoint of the other. Anger is generally present and is frequently manifested as hostile speech and hostile non-verbal behavior. Shouting down, ridiculing, abandoning and avoiding, injuring, and murdering are examples. Unfriendly debate occurs frequently, and generally leaves anger-containing memories. It is usually referred to as “argument,” and sometimes even as “fighting.” Some of “anger management” is the effort to convert unfriendly debate into friendly debate.
"Friendly debate," in my opinion, is rightly valued by Humanians, because it will lead to increasingly accurate beliefs, and accuracy of belief leads to reduction of mistakes, and therefore diminution of PSDED.