WWJD? Opposing Viewpoints

A heated debate between junior Aubri Pritchett and senior Gab Schuh goes horribly wrong.

Jaylin Paschal

A heated debate between junior Aubri Pritchett and senior Gab Schuh goes horribly wrong.

Jaylin Paschal, Editor-in-Chief

As a student who is both extremely passionate and extremely opinionated, I often find myself debating with my peers about social issues and controversial topics. In a high school, or any institution, you are bound to run into people whose opinions, beliefs, and values differ from your own. It is so easy to become frustrated with those who don’t think like you do, and I’ve had to learn how to handle heated discussions with an opposer.

One thing you should never do while in an argument is tell the other person to “shut up.” Everyone has the right to voice their opinion, regardless of how tired you are of listening to it. I know how annoying it can be to hear someone go on and on about something you disagree with, but I also know how annoying it is to be told to “shut up” when discussing something you’re passionate about. People are entitled to their opinions. We were guaranteed rights to freedom of speech, which means that people can say basically whatever they want. Even if they’re ridiculous things.

The next obvious (or hopefully obvious) thing you should never do is let the argument escalate into a fight. I’ve seen a lot of discussions turn violent, and for no good reason. Fighting never proves your point. All it does is ignore the debate at hand and ruin your credibility.

There should be no name-calling or insulting. Looks have nothing to do with the argument and calling someone “stupid” doesn’t mean they’ll lose the debate. Undercut the opposer’s argument with facts and not insults.

Respect is the most basic rule of arguing, especially when you disagree with a friend’s viewpoint. It can be really hard to have friends that don’t see the world like you do. However, if you value the friendship, you should demonstrate genuine respect for them even during intense disagreements. This means no “shut ups,” no fighting, and no name-calling. I have plenty of friends that have different political, moral, or religious ideas than me, and respect plays a major role in maintaining friendships with those who you don’t see eye-to-eye with.

The most important thing you should do while arguing is stick to your beliefs. Stay true to what you feel passionately about, and don’t simply agree with or be swayed by something that doesn’t feel right with you. If you don’t think that what someone’s saying is right, then know that you don’t have to agree. And they don’t have agree with you. There doesn’t have to be a “winner” for every debate, as long as both sides learn and can agree to disagree, everything will be fine. Having to cooperate with people on the opposite spectrum with you can be extremely difficult and frustrating, I know. But we should all embrace differences and living in a country where people can say these seemingly ridiculous things.

What Would Jaylin Do? Stay true to her beliefs while respecting others, and agree to disagree when a debate cannot be won.