The end of debate is truth. In a squishy academic context chock full of indifferentism this statement is scandalous. But, historically, debate was the method through which truth was discovered. Look back to the great dialogues of the ancient philosophers. Questions are raised, propositions were made, coherence was challenged.
The way of truth was not a meek stroll through a valley, rather it is viewed as a battle. We war with our weak minds, the falsities of the world, and the father of lies. There is blood shed. We wage complete and total war, fighting for our lives. Socrates, in the Republic, describes it as a hunt. We stalk down our game and exhaust ourselves in this chase.
This is a cleansing and purifying fire which we walk through, all the chaff of our false beliefs are burned up. It is the loss of the art of debate, of dialogue, of disputation and our cultural hatred for it that has allowed us to become mentally weak. We are not challenged through these fires to purify our minds from the slag which accumulates, rather we retain it.
This is not an exhortation to low quality, online bickering, but true debate. Look to the great Quaestiones Disputatae of the Scholastic age. Theses are proposed, objections are made, responses are given, the theses are explained. This is true pedagogy, to be challenged, to defend, to fight for a thesis. Through this, we understand our positions, we strengthen our faith, we deepen our insight, and, where we are wrong, we correct our understanding.
This format forms us into philosophers, into those who love truth. Our minds are formed to truly think through our views, to anticipate objections and to respond accordingly before we are even challenged. In fact, we begin to built a humility about what we assent to. We are formed to refuse assent unless our belief's are justified. Through good debate we are formed as true philosophers in this world.
I exhort all of you to shun the ways of this world, whether of low-quality, bickering debates, or of godless indifferentism, and to follow the paths of true debates. Read the dialogues of Plato, read the Quaestiones Disputatae of St. Thomas Aquinas, learn how to practice true debate.
I wish to bring this form of pedagogy back to our current theological environment. In light of this, I will be working on a new project, called "Disputed Questions." It will bring back this ancient form of learning and apply it to the areas of (mostly) Theology, philosophy, and (maybe) politics. It will be a YouTube page that will live stream discussions between multiple people, a question will asked and explained, there will be one magister who will give his thesis in response to this question, objections will be raised from the other guests and from those in the chat, the magister will give his sed contra (proof texts from the Fathers and scripture), and then the magister will explain his position and give his responses to the objections given. Through this style we will learn and be formed as good thinkers. Be prepared for more updates and God bless.
(If anyone wishes to participate in these Disputed Questions I can be emailed at Christianwagner7x@gmail.com )