Left vs. Right
by Chris Adams
When I was young I was told two things you should never discuss in public are politics and religion. Why? I thought. What was so bad about discussing those things? Was it because it leads to arguments? I like arguments, I even joined Debate in high school because I enjoyed arguing so much.
Today on social media, those rules have gone out the window. It seems every day there is an argument from both sides of an issue. Most of the time it devolves into name calling. If you’ve tried to argue with people online it usually ends with being blocked or unfriended. How then can you get your point across to those unwilling to hear you out?
The key to arguing online is never trying to be right. When you think you are on the correct side of an issue then you’ve already shut out another person’s ideas. Listening should be mandatory in school. Once you’ve listened it becomes easier to debate someone on their point of view. Also, don’t argue with your emotions. It is a losing proposition. Allow your beliefs to be questioned, it is okay because that is the best way to forge a solid argument. Questioning your belief is good for it and will help you find truth in what you believe. Keep the discussion going and try to keep it civil. Yelling at someone shuts them off from listening to you. Treat the other person the way you’d like to be treated. Lastly, know your argument. This seems obvious but many people argue with what they feel and not what they know. The more you can research your point of view the better you will be at debating it.
Debate is healthy, yelling is not. The more articulate you can make your argument the better your argument will be. Be patient, because so many people have an emotional attachment to what they believe and will fight you on it. Empathize with them and know they aren’t bad for disagreeing, they just see things in a different way. Disagreement is okay because when you can see things from a different perspective you will strengthen your own belief.
Thank you for reading.