Debate Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old debate quotes, debate sayings, and debate proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


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

This is a debate about our understanding of human dignity, what it means to be a member of the human family, even though tiny, powerless and unwanted.     

Henry Hyde

The debate on how to shrink the federal government is at the core of our problem of government not doing its job.     

Darrell Issa

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

Christopher Lasch

Arguments are like fire-arms which a man may keep at home but should not carry about with him.     

Samuel Butler

Defining the terms of the debate generally dictates who's gonna win it.     

Paul Begala

Every candidate goes into every debate hoping that they can own a particular moment.     

Peter Jennings

In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.     

William Penn

Use soft words and hard arguments.     

English Proverb

Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.     

Sam Ewig

Debate is an attempt to cling to the illusion of control provided by a point of view designed to keep the ego in place; dialogue is an attempt to dance with the unknown at the risk of losing what we think we know.     

Oli Anderson

The power of real debate is in the language and intellectual honesty of the debaters, alongside the engagement of spectators.     

Ruzwana Bashir

Human beings only think and reason with logic if whatever topic that's being debated does not challenge/ridicule their belief system.     

Paballo Nhambiri

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.     

Leonardo DaVinci

Debate is almost non-existent and no one is apparently accountable to anybody apart from their political party bosses. It is bad news for democracy in this country.     

Helen Suzman

There's a time for debate and a time for consensus. There's a time for advocacy and time for first principles.     

Anthony Kennedy

A debate has one purpose, one purpose only, and that is to facilitate the exchange of ideas directly between two candidates, and that's it.     

Jim Lehrer

In a debate, rather pull to pieces the argument of thy antagonists than offer him any of thy own; for thus thou wilt fight him in his own country.     

Henry Fielding

If you go in for argument, take care of your temper. Your logic, if you have any, will take care of itself.     

Joseph Farrell

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

Joseph Joubert

The key to holding a logical argument or debate is to allow oneself to understand the other person's argument no matter how divergent their views may seem.     

Auliq Ice

Good conversational debate is an end in itself, and talking for the love of conversation is what makes us human.     

Bryce Courtenay

Political debate is more interested in manipulating the truth, than finding the truth.     

George Soros

Debate is masculine, conversation is feminine.     

Amos Bronson Alcott

There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.     

Michel de Montaigne

Debate is angular, conversation circular and radiant of the underlying unity.     

Amos Bronson Alcott

Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy.     

Jesse Jackson

It's so much easier to debate people when you can pretend that they hold moronic position that they don't actually believe.     

Glenn Greenwald

Any debate among politicians about monetary policy is counterproductive.     

Gerhard Schroder

An argument is like a country road, you never know where it is going to lead.     

Anonymous

Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.     

Thomas Jefferson

This is not a new debate. Debates of voting methods have been going on for hundreds of years.     

Borick

Debate is so much better than denial.     

Julie Walters