A dangerous trend is developing in our society. I have seen arguments come about and end without either side actually explaining why they believe what they believe. Instead, ad hominem rebuttals and uninformed ignorance have taken a huge hold on intellectual conversation.
With how connected the world is now, finding information on any given topic is instant and easy. This does lead to some problems, however.
People get most of their information from the internet, a place where bias is no stranger. People read an article and assume they are now educated, and when an argument arises, their word becomes law and the opposition is “stupid” for believing otherwise.
In our information age, finding someone else’s take on a popular topic is easy. Finding our own take is seemingly much more difficult.
Opinions and stories with skewed details are thrown into the faces of Americans endlessly through news, social media and even family members. This is especially dangerous, given the current social state of the country right now.
Whether it be on the right or left, people have stopped looking for facts to find their own ideas, and have instead taken a liking to reading and accepting others’ mindsets as their own.
Ideologies passed down by parents, as well as misconstrued stories, dictate the opinions of young minds today, a period in which we need as many free thinking people as possible to ensure we can continue productively as a nation.
This is harmful to educating the population as a whole. When people believe what they have heard is essentially law, they begin to assume any differing opinions are completely worthless, which is bad for both sides of any argument.
On one hand, the person who refuses to hear the argument will not know the other side of the story, nor will they have the best possible understanding of their argument by seeing every angle. On the other, it affects the person with a differing view, as they are being told they are incorrect for simply having a different opinion, and most of the time written off as unintelligent.
The exchange of opposing ideas is crucial for educating current and future generations. Not only does it allow people to form their own educated opinion, it also creates a healthy opposition that sharpens each side’s arguments.
The word “knowledge” must be taken back into context for the sake of educating future generations as well as mending the rift between the polar political parties.
My understanding of knowledge is that you acquire it through experience, not other people. Society must understand this, and not allow others to take advantage of their own lack of thinking.
Dylan Brister is a sophomore economics major from Gulfport.