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angel's advocate

One who looks for and argues in support of the positive aspects and benefits of a certain argument, whether or not he or she believes them to be true. it is the opposite of a "devil's advocate," who argues against something for the sake of argument, not due to a personal opinion. I know a lot of people oppose the building of a new railway, but let me play angel's advocate for a second and tell you about all the ways it will improve our city!
See also: advocate

be (the) devil's advocate

To argue against or attack an idea, argument, or proposition—even if one is in favor of it—for the sake of debate or to further examine its strength, validity, or details. Refers to the "Advocatus Diaboli," a person employed by the Catholic Church to argue against the canonization of a saint (and therefore help determine if that person is truly worthy of sainthood). I'm all for universal health care, but I'll be devil's advocate in asking how the government intends to fund such a massive undertaking. Tom is always the devil's advocate in any given conversation because he loves picking apart other people's arguments.
See also: advocate

play (the) devil's advocate

Fig. to put forward arguments against or objections to a proposition-which one may actually agree with-purely to test the validity of the proposition. (The devil's advocate opposes the canonization of a saint in order to prove that the grounds for canonization are sound.) I agree with your plan. I'm just playing the devil's advocate so you'll know what the opposition will say. Mary offered to play devil's advocate and argue against our case so that we would find out any flaws in it.
See also: advocate, play

play devil's advocate

to pretend to be against an idea or plan which a lot of people support in order to make people discuss it in more detail and think about it more carefully
Usage notes: The 'Advocatus Diaboli' was a person employed by the Roman Catholic church to argue against someone being made a saint (= someone given the honour of being called Saint by the Roman Catholic church).
I don't think he was really in favour of getting rid of the scheme, he was just playing devil's advocate. I know that most people here support the project, but let me play devil's advocate for a moment and ask if anyone has considered the cost?
See also: advocate, play

devil's advocate

One who argues against a cause or position either for the sake of argument or to help determine its validity. For example, My role in the campaign is to play devil's advocate to each new policy before it's introduced to the public . This term comes from the Roman Catholic Church, where advocatus diaboli (Latin for "devil's advocate") signifies an official who is appointed to present arguments against a proposed canonization or beatification. It was transferred to wider use in the mid-1700s.
See also: advocate
References in periodicals archive ?
Wake Forest University has partnered with Benefit Advocates, a leading provider of healthcare and benefit advocacy, to support its retirees with navigating the healthcare system, resolving complicated and sensitive health insurance and claims issues, coordinating Medicare, as well as understanding and utilizing their benefit plans.
Regardless of why commanders fail to seek legal advice when they should, judge advocates must understand they (judge advocates) play an important role for commanders in the military justice system, not just in the courtroom.
Even if Congress were to pass new gun-control legislation, few advocates think Bush would sign it.
I was so energized and empowered," recalled Howard, who attended 2 days of seminars with advocates from other chapters and then met with members of Congress.
So in spring 1997, affordable housing advocates and developers, state environmental lobbyists, and local environmentalists held a two-day retreat at which they aired old conflicts, respectfully discussed differences and, most of all, explored common ground.
In the past, taxpayer advocates outside Washington, D.
There will be 74 local Taxpayer Advocates nationwide, with at least one advocate in each state and in each service center.
Another lawyer, who did not want to be identified, described the advocates and QCs as "upper- class snobs from Edinburgh".
Sections 102 and 343 of the House bill and sections 1102(a), (c), and (d) of the Senate bill would each effect significant changes in respect of the appointment of the Taxpayer Advocate and in the operation and management of the IRS's problem resolution program.
Moreover, because advocates come from within the community, victims are less likely to perceive them as outsiders.
Since congressional Republicans haven't decided upon a unified strategy for replacing the current Internal Revenue Code, flat tax and sales tax advocates will spend the next couple of years vying for the hearts and minds of Americans who want genuine reform.
He further informed that three candidates including advocates Nisar Durrani, Ghulamullah Chang and Jagdesh Mullani were contesting for the slot of President SHCBA Hyderabad in the February 23 elections.
Santa's sleigh relies on magic to deliver the goods; Influitive's referral engine is powered by advocates.
The Governor has appointed Assistant Advocate General Qazi Majid Ali as Additional Advocate General, Sindh and six other advocates including Barrister Ghulam Mustafa, Sibtain Mehmood, Abdul Jalil, Zia Uddin Junejo and Ashfaq Qazi as Assistant Advocate Generals, Sindh.
For many organizations representing patients, health providers, and environmental advocates, Dr.
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