by Jon Kendall
"From the oration that convinced the Athenians to spare the rebellious people of Mytilene, to this month's oral arguments before the Supreme Court, debate has proven itself an indispensable form of truth-seeking and discernment. Liberal democracies worldwide have consistently turned to the intellectual rigor of debate to make decisions that affect the lives of their citizens.
"But debate is not just for discerning policy or settling legal disputes. It can be just as powerful in the classroom for exploring controversies and experimenting with logic and rhetoric. Perhaps most of all, however, debate is highly valuable in preparing students for the kind of writing and research they can expect at the university level."