Everyone has opinions about something, be it what type of coffee they prefer in the morning, whether or not they like pickles, what grade they should have received on the paper they wrote the night before or if the sermon at church was good on Sunday.
Yet sometimes, when confronted with strong words or a different point of view than our own, we jump into attack mode, decrying the other’s differing opinion. This type of response, in and of itself, is not bad.
In fact, voicing opinions under the protection of free speech, is a privilege given to all by the First Amendment.
The danger in criticising opinions comes when the act of sharing an opinion itself is the very thing being criticized.
In a beautiful display of circular reasoning, we can sometimes chase our own tails. All we are saying is, “Hey, listen, everyone here is entitled to my own opinion but I don’t want to hear yours.” This happens to be an opinion shared, which yes, is a perfectly legal thing to do.
In the news business, or more specifically, the editorial and opinion business, the conflict of ideas is what keeps the words coming onto the pages. We love to hear feedback, critiques, disagreements, refutation of points, correction of misreported facts and counter-arguments. We welcome the conflict of ideas.
If you’ve noticed, most everything printed on this page is a critique of things we as a newspaper have said and done. Because yes, we’ve said things that could seem harsh, pointed, cyncial, negative, and we’ve even incorrectly written some things before.
But we wouldn’t ever shut down the free flow of conversation on our campus simply because people disagree. We hope to use our position and influence as a publication to continue pursuing understanding together.
So next time you disagree with someone, acknowledge it, come up with a better argument, and remember it’s their right to say what they think, too.