Those who converse with hostility,
too sure of themselves, arrogant,
ignoble, attacking virtues,
they look for flaws in each other.
They rejoice together when their opponent
speaks poorly and makes a mistake,
becoming confused and defeated—
but the noble ones don’t discuss like this.
If an astute person wants to hold a discussion
connected with the teaching and its meaning—
the kind of discussion that noble ones hold—
then that wise one should start the discussion,
knowing when the time is right,
neither hostile nor arrogant.
contemptuous, or aggressive,
or with a mind full of jealousy,
they’d speak from what they rightly know.
They agree with what was well spoken,
without criticizing what was poorly said.
They’d not persist in finding faults,
nor seize on trivial mistakes,
neither intimidating nor crushing the other,
nor would they speak suggestively.
Good people consult
for the sake of knowledge and clarity.
That’s how the noble ones consult,
this is a noble consultation.
Knowing this, an intelligent person
would consult without arrogance.”
Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.67 Kathāvatthusutta: Topics of Discussion by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net.