Opinion: Contrary beliefs should not be laughed off

Opinion General Cover Photo

Adam White

There are many beliefs out in the world. Of course, some of them directly contradict each other. Beliefs that contradict what the majority of people accept as fact are often labeled as conspiracy theories. Various movements and theories provide alternative explanations of different aspects of reality. The anti-vaccination movement, young earth theory and denial of the moon landing all fit into this category of contrary beliefs.

I personally do not believe in any of the three movements or theories just mentioned, but I can understand the reasoning behind some of them. Young earth theory, for example, claims that evolutionary biology is wrong. The reasoning behind this argument is undoubtedly tied to religious belief, but also simply the fact that “no one was here millions of years ago.” Young earth theory instead argues the earth is roughly 8,000 years old. It expands on its theory to even include counter-arguments to the obvious objections regarding plate tectonics and carbon dating.

A certain degree of compassion is required to engage in a serious and respectful discussion involving any belief. It is true that in this day and age, in this current political climate the phrase “fake news” is tossed around nearly every day. While I agree that ideas can potentially hold a degree of danger within them, I feel we as human beings must still be willing to listen to those who sincerely believe they have an argument supported by at least some kind of evidence. The evidence may seem trivial or reaching, but who among us hasn’t at some point or another wanted to feel smart or correct? All I’m saying is contrary beliefs should not simply be laughed off, and in any serious and respectful debate, both sides should refrain from ad hominem attacks.

Edited by Abbie Barth, Brianna Smith, Jason Morrison, Jessica Galvin