Is it even worth it? Sure we learn things about other perspectives and gain a bit of wisdom, but the other side is seemingly worthless.
People can sit in rooms (or pseudo rooms such as a forum) and discuss everything they want until the subject becomes stale. The people discussing will be smarter to the world around them, but the subject itself remains unchanged. You can debate on the existence of heaven for 80 years, but you're still going to die and the living will never know the truth. If heaven does exist, who cares. If heaven does not exist, who cares. Keep talking about it, but your talk solves nothing. Exchanging opinions does not perform research. You may research to form an opinion. The street however does not go both ways. Sorry to digress. My point is, DISCUSSING things about heaven won't prove if it's there or not, unless you are discussing science and the like and not your personal views. To me this is a waste of time.
Debating can be summed up as the process of engaging in a contest of wits in order to establish a superiority to someone else for 1 subject at a time. Only debating in actual practice does not yield that result. Most people are too stubborn or ignorant to admit they're wrong. It seems a waste in all regards. You won't affect subjects, you won't change minds. Why do we do it?
Even if you do get a rare case and a mind is changed, what's the good? Ok so one person thinks differently. That's not enough to change the world.
The even fewer cases of people that have a massive change, are usually in positions of power. Political debates don't solve anything. Politicians don't change their views because they were enlightened, they change them to get elected. Regular people like us can debate politics, but nothing changes. It's why i myself try to avoid it as much as i can. Debating on Bush is pointless. There is only one possible truth, and it doesn't matter if we don't know it because it changes nothing. We won't change policy, we won't change what happened.
One would make the claim that things like the civil rights movements in the 60s were the result of debating minority treatment. I would disagree because what the civil rights did as talking points was nothing. Centuries have had some dissenters on how to treat minorities, it was nothing new. When ACTION was taken is when things were changed.
To that i say debate solves nothing. Sometimes it can inspire action, but the action is what changes things, not the debating.