Debate is only useful when both parties in the debate seek truth. Too often in debate the involved parties are not in dialogue but rather just jabbing at each other.
True debate requires understanding the position of the person you are debating with. I often have found myself among like minded people telling them they are not fair in their criticisms of other positions.
It is often that we will not agree with a position, but most frequently most of the criticisms of positions we hear are unfair and frankly untrue. In the current day we cut corners in debate.
It is easier to throw mud than to do the hard work of explaining why an opposing position is wrong. Why this is important is that we are called to be people of love.
If we wish to live out our faith we need to enter debates in a spirit of love. Sometimes it may mean respectfully leaving a debate where people are more interested in mudslinging than truth.
Always as Christians we should be mindful that how we debate is as important as what we say when we debate. I believe a respectful tone of debate is not only Christian but also enhances our message.