Saints Advocate

Opposite of DevilsAdvocate. Defends or makes the argument the DevilsAdvocate is trying to attack. Or defends the position of another party (with may be not present during the discussion or underrepresented).


Being a or acting like a SaintsAdvocate can lead to quite some misunderstanding. This is because the usual assumption in talk between humans seems to be that the positions uttered by one party reflect their opinion (at least closely so). This is violated if I play the SaintsAdvocate and place myself in the shoes of some other party too far.

A problem that led to quite some crisis between me and my wife when I defended someone else's position which led my wife to the conclusion that that was my position too.

-- GunnarZarncke
The last example doesn't hold with what a SaintsAdvocate seems to be. If you're defending someone else's position which you don't necessarily agree with then you are a DevilsAdvocate. If the position you utter doesn't reflect your opinion, you are playing the DevilsAdvocate.

Agreed. I suspect the author of the SaintsAdvocate page assumed that the DevilsAdvocate 'attacks' a position. But taking any position with which you don't necessarily agree qualifies as DevilsAdvocate. Besides, attacking and defending are difficult to distinguish in higher level strategy. What might a SaintsAdvocate be? the opposite of a DevilsAdvocate might be someone who takes no position at all, but who somehow remains involved in the discussion. Perhaps the SaintsAdvocate is the guy (or gal) who asks leading questions, provides summaries, obtains clarification and necessary details, etc. i.e. intending to reduce miscommunication and improve the discourse.


See also YellowHat.

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