“[D]evil’s advocates . . . engaged in the time-honored process of arguing one side of a proposition in order to test the other’s flaws.

That name dates back to the 17th century, when the Roman Catholic Church created an office popularly known as the advocatus diaboli — a person tasked with making the case against the canonization of new saints, scrutinizing every report of their miracles and virtue. How could a claim be trusted, the thinking went, if it hadn’t been rigorously tested?”

See article at: Nitsuh Abebe, First Words. “Why Have We Soured on the ‘Devil’s Advocate’?” The New York Times Magazine, April 3, 2018


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