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Being More Open-Minded in Arguments

Lucas Huie, Staff

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You and four other friends are all talking politics. For the most part you all have the same views. You’re mostly agreeing on everything until one friend brings up a topic that only he agrees with. Everyone else quickly shoots down his claim and the friend says nothing. Is this okay?

“I usually tend to shut people down especially when their opinion is not favorable,” sophomore William Hackley explained. He talks politics with his friends quite often. When most people deny other people’s opinions, it is usually not intentional, but they are also guilty of not considering the other person’s feelings when they do this.

“I try to hear other people out, but sometimes I shut them down without thinking,” one anonymous sophomore admitted. This student admits that she has a very firm liberal standpoints but continues to have an open mind because her best friend identifies as conservative. Teachers also have noticed similar things in their classrooms.

“Students tend to be extremely close-minded when talking about politics in a social environment,” CRD teacher Charissa Huie, who teaches at Milford Mill, admits. She notices many overly-opinionated arguments when students converse about politics and claims that these speakers are not very considerate of other’s opinions. Hope is not completely lost, however, some students are making a conscious effort to be more open minded.

“I really try to be open-minded when talking to my friends about politics, but I sometimes end up shooting down their ideas if their contrary to my own,” sophomore Simon Weatherby said. People can be bias for many reasons. Usually people tend to be raised on certain beliefs and if anyone challenges those belief it’s like challenging their lifestyle.

“We usually think of ourselves as sitting the driver’s seat, with ultimate control over the decisions we made and the direction our life takes; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires—with how we want to view ourselves—than with reality,” behavorial economist Dan Ariely on the website “To be Human.” He takes a more firm stance on a person being able to speak his or her mind and being able to put things more bluntly.

In general, it looks like students are not open to other’s ideas when presented to them especially when those ideas conflict with their own. It might help if students went into a conversation more aware of the impact their words have on people. It’s extremely important in 2017 especially that students really try to be more open-minded. The amount of political tension in the air makes it hard to do this but we must try anyway.

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Being More Open-Minded in Arguments