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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Letter to the Editor
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EDITORIAL: A time and place for discourse

Whether it be Coke versus Pepsi or Democrat versus Republican, arguments easily snake out of their proper place, drawing lines between people everywhere. Although it is a common and seemingly successful approach to solving issues, the effects are more often negative than positive.

Many would argue — literally — that forceful conversation is the most efficient means for decision-making. Even if the subjects do not admit it, arguments are common tactics in debates, and people are quick to take both defense and offense when they feel threatened.

But, as disputes progress, it often seems as though people fight just for the sake of fighting. When something needs loud debate in order to prove a point, opinions beneficial to an individual’s personal stance are abused, weakening its significance. Thus, borders are formed with unnecessary irritation.

It is a grievous fact that disagreements will always cause rifts between people. No matter how much anyone attempts to keep topics neutral, there will always be an opposing opinion in the world, whether rationales are justified or not.

For many, separations are derived from moral grounds. In circumstances like these, reasons should not be questioned — although, they often are. However, people take sides, then continue to provoke their “opposition.” They might poke fun at the Tea Party’s signs’ typos, make a derogatory comment about homosexuals or directly put down someone’s belief. Although it is important for individuals to hold their own point of view, they should use discretion.

In Dr. Timothy Keller’s video series following his book, The Reason for God, Keller assembles a group of people from varying faiths and backgrounds for religious discussion. Rather than shouting, debasing and insulting, the participants civilly present their own views, respectfully listening to each other.

This series provides an excellent example of appropriate discussion. The group is in a setting for debate — they are not running around streets, interviewing and arguing with random people — and they are productive in their conferences. In fact, they are probably much more productive by calmly listening and politely presenting points than they would be if they chose to “win” the debate by force. Furthermore, no one is out to beat another person’s convictions; everyone is simply there further understand another person’s opposing views.

Individuals can’t afford to repress their perspectives for the sake of not stepping on someone’s toes, because opinions are vital to individual growth. For high school students, years of schooling are vital to fostering critical-thinking skills. High school is a time for teens to form their own opinions and establish their standpoints, which will serve them in future circumstances.

That being said, developed perspectives should be supplemented by caution. There is a time and place for debate, and valuable standpoints should not spill over into irrelevant situations. The Feather staff proposes that individuals must put aside judgments causing unnecessary vexation, and approach opinion-filled situations with tact. With this method of discussion, individuals will encounter successful debate rather than irrational argument.

For more editorials, read the Aug. 19 article, EDITORIAL: Unifying a student body comprised of many parts.

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