What do you consider the most effective debating style for yourself, and for the general outcome of a given topic?
In many debates, political ones for example, there is a great deal of manipulation involved as well as subtle emotional dialog. People often win the debate based on their ability to use such strategies, rather than on the merits of the facts. This also occurs in the legal system with the manipulation of the jury. It is clearly a common tactic, but one that I generally avoid. The debating style I value is one in which emotional content becomes irrelevant, including both pleasantries and attacks. During my internet adventures, it has been difficult to find debating partners that share that style. It seems that a rational argument does not require any manipulation, unless there is no one available to see reason. The reliance on tactics over facts has always suggested to me an underlying flaw in the debater's reasoning. What are your opinions on this?
How do you approach debate?