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
It may happen sometimes that a long debate becomes the cause of a longer friendship. Commonly, those who dispute with one another at last agree. Elbert Hubbard
Argument is to me the air I breathe. Given any proposition, I cannot help believing the other side and defending it. Gertrude Stein
I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. Charles Krauthammer
Debate and divergence of views can only enrich our history and culture. Ibrahim Babangida
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum. Noam Chomsky
Don't raise your voice, improve your argument. Desmond Tutu
Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think? Peter Hitchens
Get what you can with words, because words are free, but the words of an armed man ring that much sweeter. Joe Abercrombie
In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny. John Stuart Mill
Don't take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side. Baltasar Gracian
The right of a State to secede is not an open or debatable question. Abraham Lincoln
Rhetoric is the art of persuading the minds of men. Plato
Debate is combat. Your weapons are words. In a debate there is a resolution. One team, called the affirmative team, argues for the resolution. Denzel Washington
Legislative government is, as its name implies, government by the enactment of laws after debate. The debate is to be used for the purpose of assisting legislation, for procuring wise legislation. Theodore Roosevelt
Let rhetoric be the power to observe the persuasiveness of which any particular matter admits. Aristotle
The speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love. Francis Bacon
As the character is, such is the speech. Aelius Aristides
Rhetoric is nothing but reason well dressed, and argument put in order. Jeremy Collier
The best rules of rhetoric are, to speak intelligently; speak from the heart; have something to say; say it; and stop when you've done. Tyron Edwards
There is truth and beauty in rhetoric; but it oftener serves ill turns than good ones. William Penn
Mere rhetoric in serious discourses, is like flowers in corn, pleasing to those who look only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap profit from it. Jonathan Swift
In social media the 'squeaky wheel" gets the oil. You have to put yourself out there, to find people who will relate or even debate with you, depending on what you are looking for. Jessica Northey
Dialogue is about discussion with the intent to understand – not debate with the intent to win. Jesse Lyn Stoner
There are three sides to an argument - your side, my side and the right side. Morgan Wallace
If the class is debating, then each student has the right to say what's on his mind. David Petrakis
You opened a debate. You can't close it just because it's not going your way. David Petrakis
Sorrow drips into your heart through a pin hole / Just like a faucet that leaks and there is comfort in the sound / But while you debate half empty and half full / It slowly rises, your love is gonna drown. Benjamin Gibbard
I'm in a European Super State / Every citizen required to debate! / Why are the proud descendants of Plato / Paying off more debts accommodating NATO? / We the caretakers of democracy / No longer tolerate this hypocrisy / Baltic to the Straits of Gibraltar / A blue flag gold star sparks a brand new empire / Ours to build, ours the choice. Jeremy Coleman; Matthew Ferguson; Martin Glover; Kevin Walker
Question your assumption. Debate accepted themes. / Audit your consumption. / Dispute intricate schemes. / Banish malediction. Forsake mendacity. / Embrace your conviction. / Display veracity. / Suffer your opponent. Indulge feeble replies. / Support your proponent. / Bolster cordial allies. / Erase intransigence. Destroy antipathy. / Reveal intelligence. / Engage telepathy. / Dismiss your invective. Reject predestined roles. / Pursue your objective. / Follow personal goals. / Temper acquiescence. Avoid resignation. / Utilize recompense. / Achieve acclamation. Wallace Dean LaBenne
Don't try to debate me, / You should know that I'm womanly wise / Still you try to manipulate me / You don't know where your interest lies. Paul Simon