As a member of the Honors Program at Baylor University, I was assigned a summer reading project: a book called How To Think by Honors professor Alan Jacobs.

Starting this book, I thought the topic matter was confusing and difficult, but the farther I got into the book the more I started to think (ironically).

Professor Jacobs mentions how it is essential that one goes into a debate with an open mind: that in order to argue effectively, you cannot see the other party as the bad guy.

I happen to disagree.

The above statement is true when it comes to arguing on matters of opinion. For example, dogs versus cats, or whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza (side note: it does. It's delicious).

An opinion is not whether members of the LGBTQA+ community deserve to legally get married.

An opinion is not whether some people deserve more rights than others.

An opinion is not whether people deserve to starve because their jobs don't pay them enough.

These are matters of oppression.

When it comes to basic human rights (technically, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), if your opinion is that a person or group of people don't deserve these things, you're an oppressor.

If you're an oppressor, the other opinion (most likely that of those being oppressed) is not going to sway your mindset.

Every person deserves to live. Every person deserves to love. Every person deserves to live their life as they see fit.

Unless they're like Dexter Morgan or something. That's not cool.

But if you're judging someone based on skin tone, sexual orientation, or religion, that is not an opinion.

Opinions are usually on petty matters, not on the matter of whether someone deserves to live.

To easily remember this fact, just consult this vine!

For the most part, no opinion can get this intense.

But you know..

That's just my opinion.