Endless Debate

Sunday, September 24, 2011 – Endless Debate

I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job. ~ Margaret Thatcher

It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it. ~ Joseph Joubert

Don’t take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side. ~ Baltasar Gracian

Debate is masculine, conversation is feminine. ~ Amos Bronson Alcott

Debate is the death of conversation. ~ Kitty O’Neill Collins

Al Jazeera aired a new tape of Osama bin Laden. It was the usual stuff, he called Bush evil, the Great Satan, called him a war monger. Basically, the same thing you heard at last night’s Democratic debate. ~ Jay Leno

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. ~ Michael Crichton

I don’t debate with liars. ~ Evo Morales

I fear that, in the end, the famous debate among materialists, idealists, and dualists amounts to a merely verbal dispute that is more a matter for the linguist than for the speculative philosopher. ~ Moses Mendelssohn

I put forward formless and unresolved notions, as do those who publish doubtful questions to debate in the schools, not to establish the truth but to seek it. ~ Montaigne

I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on, the canal does also. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

You’ve got to work things out in the cloakroom, and when you’ve got them worked out, you can debate a little before you vote. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

Information, usually seen as the precondition of debate, is better understood as its by-product. ~ Christopher Lasch

Religion enabled society to organise itself to debate goodness, just as Greek drama had once done. ~ Edward Bond

Sir, allusion has been made, in an early stage of this debate, to the history of the excitement which once pervaded a considerable part of the country, in reference to the transportation of the mails on the Lord’s day. ~ Caleb Cushing

That’s what we’re missing. We’re missing argument. We’re missing debate. We’re missing colloquy. We’re missing all sorts of things. Instead, we’re accepting. ~ Studs Terkel

We’ve become more tolerant because we’re tired of the debate. ~ Suzanne Fields

The leader must aim high, see big, judge widely, thus setting himself apart form the ordinary people who debate in narrow confines. ~ Charles de Gaulle

The tension between “yes” and “no,” between “I can” and “I cannot,” makes us feel that, in so many instances, human life is an interminable debate with one’s self. ~ Anatole Broyard

There is always a multitude of reasons both in favor of doing a thing and against doing it. The art of debate lies in presenting them; the art of life lies in neglecting ninety-nine hundredths of them. ~ Mark Rutherford

This isn’t a little debate society. That’s high school stuff. ~ Sydney Schanberg

Those who cannot understand how to put their thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of debate. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Arguments out of a pretty mouth are unanswerable. ~ Joseph Addison

Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, knowing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about ~ Robert Benchley

The long term versus the short term argument is one used by losers. ~ Larry Adler

Wise men argue cases, fools decide them. ~ Anacharsis

We must not contradict, but instruct him that contradicts us; for a madman is not cured by another running mad also. ~ Antisthenes

Argument is conclusive… but… it does not remove doubt, so that the mind may rest in the sure knowledge of the truth, unless it finds it by the method of experiment. For if any man who never saw fire proved by satisfactory arguments that fire burns. his hearer’s mind would never be satisfied, nor would he avoid the fire until he put his hand in it that he might learn by experiment what argument taught. ~ Roger Bacon

Behind every argument is someone’s ignorance. ~ Louis D. Brandeis

It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy – but he who has shown the better temper. ~ Samuel Butler

The dust of controversy is merely the falsehood flying off. ~ Thomas Carlyle

Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? You can’t win an argument, because if you lose, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior, you hurt his pride, insult his intelligence, his judgment, and his self-respect, and he’ll resent your triumph. That will make him strike back, but it will never make him want to change his mind. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. ~ Dale Carnegie

The most important tactic in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without an embarrassing loss of face. ~ Sydney J. Harris

The fellow that agrees with everything you say is either a fool or he is getting ready to skin you. ~ Kin Hubbard

People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. ~ G. K. Chesterton

When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Men’s arguments often prove nothing but their wishes. ~ Charles Caleb Colton

There’s nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear. ~ Daniel C. Dennett

No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other. ~ Jascha Heifetz

I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive. ~ Nora Ephron

Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he’s talking about. ~ Sam Ewig

Never contend with one that is foolish, proud, positive, testy, or with a superior, or a clown, in matter of argument. ~ Thomas Fuller

Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic. ~ William Ewart Gladstone

When you argue with your inferiors, you convince them of only one thing: they are as clever as you. ~ Irving Layton

There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat. ~ James Russell Lowell

The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one’s opinion, but rather to know it. ~ Andre Maurois

You have not converted a man because you have silenced him. ~ John Morley, On Compromise, 1874

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute. ~ Josh Billings

Weak arguments are often thrust before my path; but although they are most insubstantial, it is not easy to destroy them. There is not a more difficult feat known than to cut through a cushion with a sword. ~ Richard Whately

Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument. ~ Richard Whately

I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing. ~ Oscar Wilde

I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me. ~ Dave Barry

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