We have heard it time and time again: people arguing just for the sake of arguing and having a belief just to have a belief. Starting with the infamous upheaval a few years ago, we have sought to see who can be the most "virtuous citizen of the Republic" – and by virtuous, I mean who can hold on to their beliefs the longest. We don't think beliefs have to be informed. Instead, people have glorified the art of arguing over whether their beliefs are logical or not.
If someone disagrees with an opinion, instead of giving historical examples of why it may be a bad idea, they are more likely to scoff, "Ha! I have superior logic."
Oh, citizen! Who determines what logic even is? I understand that you are resolute in your beliefs and may honestly believe the other side has ridiculous reasoning, but we cannot have opinions just for the sake of having them.
If we have beliefs and opinions on every single issue, the likelihood of these opinions all being informed opinions is very low. I'm not doubting the intelligence of the people – on the contrary! But with so many issues around the world to focus on, it is impossible to be an expert on every single issue.
I specialize in the rights of the people – liberty, equality, fraternity, democracy – long live the Republic! But I will not pretend to be an expert on military affairs because while I do understand foreign diplomacy, the military is a completely different world. I can read a book on the military, but this does not make me an expert.
I have attended the theater many times and have enjoyed seeing stage productions. But to call myself an expert on the arts would not be true. This is where you ask questions and see how people think and why they think as they do – especially if it is an issue you are not well-versed in.
I would rather have a person who admits to not knowing a fact more seriously, than somebody who claims to know everything and has an opinion on everything.
If you have opinions on every single political issue, people will take you less seriously for the issues that you do know well. They will take it for granted that you are going to have an opinion on it.
One of the biggest problems the world is facing today is forgetting the "fraternity" (or solidarity) of "liberty, equality, and fraternity." We need all three for the republic to work. We need the liberty of speaking one's mind and exercising one's religion without harming others, as well as voicing your political opinions and beliefs without the fear of being put in jail.
We need equality, with all votes meaning the same thing. We need to treat all people equally under the law regardless of their race or class.
And last but not least, we need fraternity, with all people of the world embracing each other in love as members of humanity and learning from each other.
We need all three of these virtues for a functional republic. If we elevate one at the expense of the others, all of the people will suffer. The balance of these virtues must be kept in mind during debates. There are some things you do not know, and it is alright to admit it and learn from others who may be better-versed.
But of course, if you know the issues, then speak your mind and speak the truth.
Always stand for the truth, but make sure that what you are speaking is the truth.
Long live the Republic!