A debate is based on argument and points of view of reality. Debate can include narration, facts, questions, theory, logic and reasoning. More casual debate might include ideology, sayings, rhetoric or fallacy. A lot of pointless debate is based on false premises.
Debates are often centered around a what is wrong and right, or bad and good. Debate should include the valid criticism of those holding power in government. There is continued debate regarding intellectual property rights and the detrimental effect on innovation.
If something challenges tradition it will probably come under attack and be subject to debate. If something is percieved to be dangerous then it tends to be debated. Alternatively it may be researched or even obscured.