At Psychology Today Blogs, William A. Haseltine muses about whether there is value in publicly debating something that is clearly false. He starts by discussing why he turned down the opportunity to debate a scientist affiliated with the Trump administration about “herd immunity” and COVID-19. Here’s a bit from the opening of his article:
While some may have jumped at the opportunity to publicly debate the merits of the approach, I declined the invitation—I do not believe in giving credence to false ideas.
He goes on to question whether holding a civil debate about something known to be false may serve perversely to dignify and perpetuate the falsehood. As we are inundated with batches of botnets, troops of trolls, and a proliferation of professional propagandists emitting endless streams of excrement into the disinformation superhighway, methinks his article is worth a read.