Something interesting happened last Friday which I was very interested to blog about. However, since I had to stay in Manila from Friday until yesterday to attend my Doctoral Classes at Polytechnic University of the Philippines (and because I had limited internet access), I had to wait until today.
Felisse’s (a friend of mine) piece on being gay was published by Inquirer for its Young Blood column (link). As I was browsing the comments, I found an interesting comment left by a Keith Feliz Banania that read:
Yes, we should not judge people who are lesbian or gays but let us not forget what God really intend for us to be. Let us not condemn them but help them to realize how the act of gayness is really sinful.
Since I was craving for an intellectual conversation that day, I left a message in an effort to spark a back-and-forth of opinion that would help me understand the perspective of Christian conservatives. Alas, that was not what happened. (Click image for bigger size)
(Image: Full Conversation between the author and Ms Keith Feliz Banania)
Instead of a friendly exchange, the conversation turned into quite the argument, with the other person insulting me, my school, and raising other points that would make a professor of logic cringe with the tens of fallacies committed.
Situations like these aren’t new to me. Just last year, I found myself in an argument on Rappler’s page (link) and this recent online squabble has led me to think about the maturity level of people in the country with regard to argumentation and debate.
As I posted on Facebook, the privilege to share ones opinion comes at a cost of other people criticizing it. And that’s actually a good thing. Development was achieved through conflict – someone argued that the world couldn’t be flat, that the earth isn’t the center of the universe, and that the minority have rights. Even the universe was built on conflict (Read: The Big Bang Theory).
Without someone asking why and how, we would have nothing more than a plethora of misconceptions and false beliefs.
What’s frustrating is that we all have the audacity to air our beliefs but none of the maturity to take and handle criticisms that are thrown at it. Worse, we resort to mudslinging and verbal abuse, targeting not thoughts, but people and their character.
And when we’re backed into a corner and start losing the argument, we say “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion”. Frankly, while that were true, Everyone’s entitled to be ignorant as well.
I pray one day we learn to handle criticisms better, especially those that are targeted at our beliefs. How we take criticisms and intellectually answer the valid points raised against our beliefs speak of who we are as critical thinkers. After all, that is the mark of the true intellectual.
PS. Since many of my friends were asking how the conversation ended, here it goes: After she claimed many achievements (majority, if not NONE of them, were true), I did a quick Google search about her and found out that she JUST enrolled in Ateneo’s MA ELLT program last June. She was neither a PhD student nor was she working on her dissertation since she hasn’t finished her MA yet – or any MA for that matter. She also removed her Disqus account and claimed (via twitter) that her email address was used on Disqus (Disqus is the service that allows people to leave comments on articles, etc, the same platform used by Inquirer for its pages).
I would have given her the benefit of the doubt but then again, I checked and she blocked me on Facebook. So yeah ;)