The utility and importance of debate || Delhi University (2022)

August 1, 2022 | Acharya Prashant

Questioner: Sir, in our age, we see that children and parents have differing thoughts, and these contrary thoughts often lead to unwanted debates and chaos in the family. So, how can both the parents and the children come to peace, agree with each other, and minimize the hurt?

Acharya Prashant: No, you don’t need to agree to something or someone, nor is it important for somebody else to agree with you. Debate is essentially something very good. It is just that when you discuss or debate or argue, the motive should be truth; you must be aiming to gain clarity. The motive should not be self-preservation or domination.

Even at this moment, what you are having here is a process of discussion. I understand that the entire proceeding is dominated by one person: this speaker here who is doing eighty to ninety percent of the talking. But still, the interaction is two-way and the intention, I assure you, is not at all to foist my views on you.

Even in my early days I used to talk a lot, discuss a lot, and the intention was to know. If kids and parents are discussing and debating, I take that as auspicious. We do not want an environment where both sides stick to their own guns and are not prepared to talk to each other because discussions lead to rancour; or a situation in which the parents or teachers act as authorities and kids are not supposed to talk back to them. No, that kind of a thing is essentially unhealthy.

Parents should not only be open to having their kids argue against them but actually encourage argument. The only thing and the central thing is: neither the parent nor the kid should be arguing from a position of vengeance or ill-feeling or self-preservation or domination, which is often the case. It is not the


Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More