American society has been trying recover from the

American society has been trying
recover from the 2016 presidential election, which divided our country. People
have been at each other’s throats, it has mainly been the democrats and the
republicans. Their arguments have been more vulgar than ever before. In a
New York Times article called “The Dying Art of
Disagreement,” the author, Bret Stephens, is addressing
argumentation in modern day America. He claims that “Disagreement is dear
to me, too, because it is the most vital ingredient of any decent
society.” Saying that without proper use of argumentation, a democratic
society cannot function properly.

Stephens emphasizes on what
disagreement is supposed to be while at the same time describing disagreements
purpose, “to say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong; these are the words that
define our individuality,” while giving us our freedom, disagreement allows us
to broaden our perspective, and informs us that we can voice our own opinion no
matter who we are. If we don’t disagree how is our society supposed to improve
for all, because every person is in a different situation. We have upper, lower,
and middle-class people whom I guarantee don’t think alike. We have African,
Spanish, Asian, Caucasian, and any other type or combination of people in
America. All of us are different and view the world differently. With out
disagreement how are we supposed to have a society that takes all our
viewpoints into matter.

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Disagreement might have a huge role
in our society, but, we can’t just start arguing without knowing what we are
arguing about as Stephens exclaims “disagreements arise from perfect comprehension;
from having chewed over the ideas of your intellectual opponent so thoroughly
that you can properly spit them out.” Seeing your argument from the
opposing side and not just blindly attack is true disagreement. To have a true
honest argument we must first realize that there is an opposing side for a
reason and try to relate with both sides in some way. Without the ability to understand why someone thinks the way
they do you cannot effectively argue against them, because we can’t try to convince
them to change their viewpoint if we can’t explain why they are wrong. We can
see this in politics especially, but, this can be used in all parts of society.

One of the many things we think of when we think of a democratic
society is “the idea of open-mindedness,” but we can’t just think it we have to
become open minded, make it a habit instead of forcing ourselves to think it.
When it comes to having an open mind one of the most important things is, “preserving
an open mind toward those with whom we disagree.”  Without educated arguments we can’t have a
true democracy, we need to be able to learn from disagreement and not just
disagree just because we can. We need to be able to back our reason with actual
logic, and not just be a close-minded band wagoner. This can help our society
in giving everyone a chance to state their own opinion with politics and many other
ideas in making sure that they are heard out.

Bret Stephens’s speech had contained a lot of information and
he was very elaborate with what he said. His speech had me realize that America
needs to fix the way we use/teach disagreement, because disagreement is a very
important part of any functioning society. Though I agree with Brett about making
sure people do proper research on their argument’s topic, they always voice
their own opinions even if it’s not the most popular, and respect other people’s
opinions even if you completely disagree with them, I still insist that American society is still proficient
even without a strong base in academic argumentation.DA1 

In Stephens speech he stated how, “to disagree well you must
first understand well,” which is completely true. To know
what is right and wrong you must research the topic that you’re interested in. You need to give
the opposing side the benefit of the doubt and respect their idea, and be able
to have a counter argument for each of their main points. Without proper research you can’t give an intelligent point
of view on any ideas. This can be interpreted with the latest presidential
election. Some people just voted for one of the two main political parties
because their parents or other family are republican or democrat. We might do
this because we have just been around it most of our lives. My family leans
more towards the democratic side, but they are open to new things. My mom for
example, doesn’t identify with the republicans, the democrats, or any other
political party. She does her research on each candidate and that’s how she
chooses who she is going to vote for, by choosing the candidate that she
agrees/believes in the most. If we do our research, we might find a candidate
that is better than the ones our families might believe in. Its up to you to do
the research and use your own beliefs.

With knowing your argument in and out with the proper
research, next we must make sure that you keep your own voice in mind in your
argument. Arguing is a way for you to express your own voice, but, your voice
can get lost in the mix. In politics this can happen very easily. Brett
Stephens states “The polarization is geographic, as more people live in states and
communities where their neighbors are much likelier to share their politics.”
If this is true, then for the same reason as the last point I made, we are
wired to believe or say what we have been raised up around. With constant peer
pressure of being around a place where most other people believe in the same
way, we can get scared over voicing our own opinions, we might think that no
one will like us anymore or even people might stop talking to us all together.
If that is the case, then they don’t deserve the right to be around you in the
first place. I have friends that are on the republican side and friends that
are on the democratic side of politics, and it doesn’t matter we are all still
friends. But if we take our own voice in the matter, respect other people’s
opinions, and do our own research then we don’t just become part of the
“political masses” we become our own person with our own beliefs.

If
we keep our voices present and we do the proper research it helps our society
and our arguments, and in Stephens claim, “Disagreement is dear to me, too, because it is the
most vital ingredient of any decent society.” He makes it sound like if we
don’t have proper academic arguments our society would be in ruins. This is far
from the truth, even though we don’t have the perfect society, America’s
society is not that bad. Amitai Ezioni was an American sociologist best known for his work on socioeconomics and
communitarianism. He once stated, “a measure of
commitment to a set of shared values, norms and meanings, and a shared history
and identity in short to a particular culture.” In which he was describing a
“good” society. America has most of these qualities that are listed, proving
that even without a strong base in “proper” argumentation we still have a
decent society.

Bret
Stephens gives a lot of great points about American academic arguments relating
to society. Such as his views on how we should voice our own opinions, informing
us how we need to do more research on things we are interested in, or how we
need to keep in mind how the opposing side sees their idea. These all indeed
would help make an amazing democratic society but there are many other ways to
make a good society. In America we are blessed to have this society we
shouldn’t take it for granted. Even though it is not perfect, we still have an
amazing society.

Works Cited
Etzioni, Amitai. “What makes for a good
society?” 16 January 2006. Document.
Sephens, Bret. “The Dying Art of
Disagreement.” 25 September 2017. Article.
 

 DA1In
my response I have one of my three round rules is in throughout my whole
response so I didn’t think it needed its own paragraph.

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