Beloved, beware of "trap arguments" and "sidebar debates". "Trap Arguments" are views brought up that no one is really arguing or disagreeing with meant to draw you into some type of contention to satisfy the ego of the person bringing it up. "Sidebar Debates" are opposing statements introduced into discussions as distractions that take away from the original points being made.
PROVERBS 13:10; "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom."
They are of no intrinsic value except to those who want to debate to try converting others to their perspective or impressing them with their intelligence and information. These conversations all begin out of pride with the assumption that nobody else knows, or at least knows better, nor can equally add to the information presented. Please don't let my use of Bible scriptures for practical wisdom be a source of needless contention. The truth is the truth no matter the binding in which it is found or surface upon which it is etched. Take it or leave it, love it or hate it, but it is still the truth.
ECCLESIASTES 10:11-13; "Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. 12) The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13) The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness."
I understand full well the frustration of the sincere who seek to pass on quality information or relay a valuable message to only have it filibustered or disregarded by undercover haters, open debaters, the disrespectful, the "ignorantly ignorant", and the mentally deaf. "Intellectuals" are easy victims of their own egos and intelligence. The "emotional" are easily swayed by fiery rhetoric or frustrated by intelligent refutations. They both compete for mental superiority and domination over the other in the eyes of the masses with no real prize other than public approval or a following. We won't always agree, but don't have to be disagreeable. A "fool" can be well educated or informed, but it's not what they know that makes them a fool but how they use it and their behavior that does. Listening to a fool or an intelligent person who has fallen to foolish behavior and adhering to their rhetoric while ignoring or rejecting wise instruction is like building a house on sand as it's foundation.
MATTHEW 7:26-27; "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
If all I'm out to do is show someone up or prove myself rather than educate, edify, challenge to inspire research for learning, and inform with a positive goal in mind then I'm grandstanding or lying with a useless message. It would be much more honest to just tell people, "I'm a king/queen above all of you, I believe my own hype, I can do no wrong, I believe my dookie don't stink and can be used to make jewelry, and I'm the greatest thing to ever happen to you so you need to listen to me." We have many teachers but few humble students, and as a result we debate more for strife's sake in disrespect against each other rather than share with one another to learn even if passionately yet respectfully. Some even argue with others and insult them or their beliefs in the name of God, a higher intellect, or some other abstract spiritual philosophy while showing the lowest kind of intelligence in doing so.
ISAIAH 58:4; "Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high."
As I grow in grace I'm learning more to walk away without responding, and to not start "trap arguments" or "sidebar debates" myself. I pray that whatever I say is relevant and useful, and if I've engaged in such negative activities then I ask for forgiveness. We must check and correct ourselves. Prideful debates only turn into useless banter without any edification to provoke us unto love and good works among one another for our betterment, and are an act of sinful flesh absent the Spirit of God. It is of the greatest shame that a man or woman created in the image & likeness of The Most High can devolve into victims of themselves without humility even more so than being victims of Satan the master deceiver. It seems even the Devil can't fool us better than we fool ourselves. I'm going to avoid useless discussions, and will only engage to learn, exchange useful information, educate, edify, and for the truth's sake to contend for my faith as needed. Shalom. ~ I.J. West
1st TIMOTHY 1:4; "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do." TITUS 3:9; "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."