Newton's flaming laser sword

"What cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating" is what this philosophical razor is defined as.

And I strongly disagree.

Wikipedia on the topic.

Mike Alder himself states:

"While the Newtonian insistence on ensuring that any statement is testable by observation ... undoubtedly cuts out the crap, it also seems to cut out almost everything else as well"

But to me the worst thing that Newton's flaming laser sword takes away, is the process of debate.

Debate on many levels

Debate forces those who engage in it to use their brains to think about the subject matter in a matter that matters.

It is through debate that we share ideas and develop our own world view. We get challenged and forced to reconsider facts and truths. It is a way of learning.

Personally I regard debate as a type of play, where our brains get together and accomplish things that they could not on their own. It's the same kind of interactivity that is achieved when we physically engage with others, be it through rough and tumble play with kids, combing someone's hair, a gentle massage or sex.

Debate is an important way in which we communicate and don't let Newton's flaming laser sword rob you of it.