I’ve been in heated debates many times; debates about work, coding and architecture, policy, politics, you name it.
I like to have a policy about it… I want to leave things where I can sit down and have a beer with whoever it is I was debating and still be friends.
It’s a challenge sometimes.
Ad hominem attacks damage relationships, and that’s never the goal. It also has the opposite effect that you likely want — insulting in a debate just makes people not listen to you. People who aren’t listening can no longer be swayed by your arguments.
Then all you’ve done is reinforced your echo chamber.