The difference between a debate and a discussion

Because I keep seeing these terms misused everywhere.

A discussion is what you should strive to have if you’re having a difference of opinion with someone. In a discussion both parties shake off emotions, share FACTUAL information and listen with an open mind to see if your own opinion is still sound when confronted with information counter to your point, and each person strives to win by acquiring new knowledge that will help them end with a better, more informed opinion or point of view.

In summary, in a discussion, both parties win. And if you find yourself becoming emotional during a discussion you should quit. You’re now entering into a debate.

A debate is what happens when two individuals are so entrenched in their own opinions that they are expending ALL their energy trying to solidify their ground at all cost. No one is listening and in most cases facts and logic go out the window. Both parties are close minded to ANY facts that counter their point and requests for facts and logic go unanswered and are deflected.

In a debate both parties are only trying to win but usually no one does and the only folks that MIGHT benefit are the ones observing/listening who end up judging the contenders and making up their mind about who made more sense. The contenders leave having learned nothing except how emotionally invested they are in their own opinion and how little they care about facts.

We have political debates, we never have political discussions in this country. That’s why we are in the state we are in.

We have some discussions on this forum but many swiftly decay into debates. We should strive to have more discussion and MUCH less debate.

Off my soapbox…. Have a great day guys :+1::+1:


So, they think, only I am right!!! They never consider, that we could be right!!!

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To be fair, depending on the topic, I don’t consider that they could be right.

When the other guy is telling me that [insert control law here] is a good thing…I’m fine not considering that they are right.

Just sayin

I realize when the opposite is true from the other side, a conclusion will never reached or at best “agree to disagree” and move on. At that point, it’s about the fence sitters, people over hearing, people reading, or people the other person talks to and shares you points with.

But, yeah, some positions some people present, I am not willing to consider that they could be right.

Example: when someone tells me that all semi automatic firearms should be banned, I am not considering that they might be right


To be clear, I never said that during a discussion anyone will change their minds. I just said that both parties will listen to educate themselves. At the end of the discussion you might find out that the facts as presented by another are not sufficient to change your position and agree to disagree. If you continue beyond that point it usually becomes what some folks refer to as a “circular discussion” and those have no end…


When there are two opposing views,
one or both of them could be wrong.

A third party might have the proper view.



I’ll add one thing to this. I’ve been always trying to discuss… but you will probably see / hear / read this from my over and over again… and I’m pretty sure it is not a debating. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
I’m guessing repeating true facts is not a debate.

Finger off the trigger is only when you don’t see the finger through the trigger guard. :index_pointing_at_the_viewer:


We can definitely call it a “circular discussion” because this problem has no end…


First heard it taught two years ago during my CCW renewal and I’ve been practicing it ever since.


Yeah that is an interesting one.

My personal position is that it is not technically a violation if your finger is alongside the trigger guard, but, it’s better to have your finger higher up, like indexing the line between the frame and slide.

Reasoning is that a reflexive (there are fancier words) squeeze of the hand ,if the finger is alongside, could much more readily result in the finger getting into the trigger guard vs when finger is up and away


Where does an argument come in? Is a discussion and debate an argument or one or the other or neither?


It takes two to tango… and argue.


I think I am off topic


In the polarized world in which we live, great effort is spent trying to vilify those who may disagree or offer facts and arguments that do not fully comport with a set of previously held beliefs and opinions. The “debate” often quickly devolves to argument by name-calling rather a discussion of any sort where individuals exchange ideas and opinions.

Violence can be rooted in such polarization and vilification. It’s easier to kill someone if you believe they are inherently evil villains who cannot possibly be like you and your tribe.


Many, many years ago I was on the high school debate team. The debates were about showing two sides to a topic, Hopefully to change one’s thinking.

I agree with Enzo_T, a discussion is what we have here, you keep an open mind to learn from each other, listen to different points of view. NO emotions.

A debate can be passionate, and rightfully so. you feel the need to change the other person’s mind. But no name calling.

An argument is neither side can admit to NOT being right. most times leading to childish name calling, and very emotional.

I like the discussions we have here. I’ll debate a topic if I feel the need to. My mind can be changed with adult conversation (discussion). Arguing is stressful, it shuts my mind down and I walk away I WILL NOT argue!


When emotions take a hold and both parties start dragging in information that has nothing to do with the original topic in order to amp up emotions.

“Sorry I’m late for dinner.”
“You’re always late for everything.”
“That’s because I hate being anywhere near you because you’re always yelling at me.”

Argument!!! :blush:




Discussion is exchanging thoughts and ideas. Debate is a more formal and structured “discussion” involving arguments and opposing viewpoints. The political debates we see are not debates! They are just children verbally fighting with each other to see who is the big dog of the playground!!!


I was just wondering if somebody would come with other name - obsession. :stuck_out_tongue:

We always go off topic from time to time… so no harm, please.

I used this thread to find the answer for my “circular discussion” that shows on this Forum all the time. :wink:


An “argument” can be a series of statements (premises) used to explain, persuade, or support a particular conclusion. It is often also used to mean ‘disagreement’ or ‘fight’, a usage I find less useful.

A “discussion” is when each participant offers information/viewpoints/interpretations pertaining to a particular topic up for consideration.

A debate is a profession of factual statements in a ritualized setting meant to demolish all other viewpoints.
And an opportunity to flash one’s smarty-pants.

Just how I see it.


Jerzy, it is a circular discussion until the so said person putting their finger across the trigger guard hits their shin hard and go to fall over in pain from something like a tow hitch and they tighten their grip as they go down and shoot off a round. Of course, they might call it an accidental discharge, but we all know it is a negligent discharge. Some people learn in different ways, and they have to experience it to figure out why we do it that way so by telling them the proper way is the best we can do and know that we tried.


“Debate” or “argument”? Debate is a structured process based on establighed rules.