Never Debate with Friends

I had lunch today with Raam. A long time has gone by since we’ve last done that. So, I’m glad to have met up with him.

He mentioned the homosexual debate Mike and I had last week. Apparently, Mike felt humiliated that he couldn’t articulate his views. Now, I feel bad that I debated with him at all. By now I should realize that debating with people who have never had training before is a no-no… unless I want to lose them as a friend.

Reparations must be made. Next time I see Mike, I must apologize for forcing him into a debate he was not ready for. I must make clear that I accept him as a person and friend even though I might disagree with his moral stance on homosexuality.

This is a lesson I should learn now lest I suffer worse consequences in the future. I should never debate with another person without their consent. I must ask the person if she/he is ready to uphold her/his views for an audience. If not, the subject should be dropped.

Moreover, rather than debate, the alternative is to discuss. The discussion would involve everyone, and I can serve as facilitator if no one else is willing. As facilitator, I would prompt participation, offer my own views at times, and even play the Devil’s advocate.

Perhaps, as a general rule, I should never debate with friends. The debate-style in which I have been trained is used to persuade an audience. In so doing, the opponents may feel personally attacked. I don’t want friends to feel that way. Therefore, stick to discussions with friends and debate only with people whom I care not to relate with.

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