How to Avoid False Debates
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 16:10
Whenever you hear somebody say that the climate change is unreal, or smoking is good for your health, or dinosaurs did not live on the earth, do not get into a debate with them unless they have information to present that is carefully researched by credible scientists or experts.
I am not asking you to be close-minded or insensitive, but I am asking you to avoid false debates that will waste your time and waste other people’s time.
As a writer, I have faced difficulties in navigating myself through misinformation to find factual and well-grounded perspectives in the so-called information age. As you may have heard, journalists must be objective when they are reporting information to the masses.
When there are so many perspectives (some being just misleading without factual bases) journalists have to find presentable views that are more productive and insightful instead of just asking the view of the “other side” of the debate.
Let me give you an example. If somebody makes an argument saying global climate change is just a concept made by politicians or green activists, there is no point of getting into an argument with them. As you may know, climate change is a thoroughly researched topic by scientists throughout the world who claim it is evident.
But, if somebody disagrees with this and continues to argue that he or she knows of scientists who have done research that proved climate change is unreal, ask them to provide evidence that is thoroughly researched. Misleading information that propagates climate change is just unreal or created by some political propaganda is truly unacceptable.
In the information age, you can find loads of misinformation on the Internet, so you need to be smart and navigate yourself to find information that is credible and well rounded. If people disagree with you or if you disagree with people, the dissent has to have a significant factual basis.
So the next time when you hear people making arguments out of the blue that are just their opinion, stand up for the right of their free expression—but do walk away.
Samantha is a senior majoring in journalism.