I love listening to, or participating in, a good debate. A “good debate” is when both sides are addressing the issues, rather than grandstanding, not when one side incessantly criticizes the other’s point of view, without bringing anything to the table. A good debater listens–really listens– to his opponent and is smart and quick enough to present the counterpoint.
Too often, we only want to express our point of view. When our opponent argues his side, we don’t hear a thing. Some people are incapable of debate. They make pronouncements and broadcast them to anyone within earshot.
Good debaters learn from each other. Just because someone doesn’t have your point of view doesn’t mean he’s a dummy. Sometimes no one wins a debate, but if you and your opponent walk away with even one new thing to think about, you really both win.