Written by Gracielle Dedo
The other day, I found myself in conversation when the inquiry of “Why debate with others, why argue? What’s the point of arguing with someone else if there will always be someone out there who doesn’t agree?” was brought up. Immediately, I couldn’t fathom how someone could ask such a thing. Wasn’t the answer obvious? I let him speak and took note of his thought process. He wondered if it was worth creating conflict, worth the strife if there will never be a unity of thoughts among a society. People aren’t going to change their opinions. His concern is one that every young mind ponders at some point.
What is the point of opposition if it breeds conflict? Maybe you were sitting in a history class, learning about war and the motives behind the actions of global superpowers. In a way, you could parallel the question being asked here too, why go to war? Whether or not war is necessary is not my point or realm of discussion here. We must understand why humans go to war, why they seek conflict, and what they gain from it. The same way two individuals with opposing views sit across from one another fighting to prove their point.
Is war directly linked to human nature?
Maybe not, but for the sake of my comparison let’s analyze why a nation may choose to enter combat. If war is a culturally learned practice, does that make debating morals, politics, and general topics one too? Where do the two desires stem from, war and argumentation? There may be an innate destructive drive present at the heart of a nation, the need to deal with any contention through violence. Whereas other governments take the diplomatic approach, which is understandably far more similar to a human conversation. At the root of disputation and war is the ambition of either educating the other party, forcing your ideals on them, or embracing that natural drive of conflict.
One person, or an entire nation may hold antinomic beliefs, constantly conflicting with other parties. A society is benefited from conversational disagreement because a belief of what one may know to be true can be challenged. To advance in life, we must constantly show curiosity to know more and to know why. We must engage in conversational debates to understand the other side, the learn why others think the way they do. Evidently, beliefs will be changed or strengthened during this process. The reason technology, science, medicine, and all other elements of a human population evolve is because as a collective we constantly challenge what we know . Each day, we must push the norms, object to others, and question our own beliefs.