900 Words I Have to SayBy: Tuccoae McDowellSociety is not one-minded. If we lived in a society where we all believed the same things, and never challenged the status quo, would we have the same ideological development that we have gained? Think of a time or era where certain speech was considered crime. What was the society like? Those with power got to control the ideas that were shared to the public. If our information was censored, who would control the information that gets shared? In a place such as a college campus, where we go to expand our minds and gain new information, how would censoring information benefit our minds. By speaking with those with different opinions, we find new solutions and new ideas. If we limit the speech of others, we take away the chance for them, and you, to gain more knowledge about a subject. “It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.” This quote from Aristotle explains one reason why the ability to hear other ideas is so important. No matter the side on the political spectrum, everyone can experience discomfort when hearing different ideas. Allowing others to speak does not mean you have to accept their ideas. Hearing what others believe challenges your own beliefs, it does not necessarily change them. This allows us to consider why our position is correct. In addition, being exposed to certain arguments can help us counter those arguments in the future. We become mentally and emotionally stronger when interacting with those different from us. Liberal education is important for the minds of college students. It prepares them for the diversity of society. Today, we are becoming more inclusive and accepting. Social issues are commonly talked about, discussed, and debated. However, there is more that comes along with allowing liberal education. Critical thinking has to be taught. There is no point in allowing liberal education if the students can not analyze the facts and form a logical conclusion. Students must be taught, and encouraged, to do thorough research. Students must be able to look at an argument and figure out if it is logical, valid, and sound. If students are not taught these skills, we can not allow liberal education. There is inaccurate information everywhere. Even in our news, we can hear extremely biased and incorrect information. What is censorship and how does it affect liberal education? Censorship is when information is suppressed because it is deemed unacceptable. Sometimes, censorship is necessary to ensure a safe platform for users to enjoy. For example, videos on social media platforms may be hidden if they show graphic material. Users may also be able to report videos if they find them to have such material. Similarly, censorship can be used to stop the spread of ideas. In some countries in Europe, holocaust denial is considered incitement or hate speech. They ban these types of ideas from spreading by using censorship. However, this can also be misused to censor sensitive information. In our media, broadcasting companies have the power to ban programs from being shown if they dislike the message. Books like “To Kill a Mockingbird” have been censored in some public schools because of the sensitive material. This does not stop the spread of harmful ideas, but takes away a chance for a student to learn about historical events through literature. In addition, the information censored depends greatly on the person censoring. What is considered unacceptable to one person may be completely opposite of another. So, how does this relate to college campuses? There have been many instances shown in the news of colleges banning certain speakers from speaking on the campus because their views are found offensive. Liberal education is about exploring diversity and complexity. While there is diversity of religion and skin tone, there is also diversity of thought. Students have to learn problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, and how to create and counter arguments. They can not practice these skills by looking at one side of the argument. Every side of the argument is important to the discussion of the issue. How can you believe your position is correct without hearing the other position? This is why learning to use critical thinking skills is so important. Students should be able to consider the other position logically, even if they do not accept it. If a student has found a flaw in a speaker’s argument, then they can use any time given for questions to ask them about the point. By doing this, the speaker and the student both learn something from the interaction. Censoring speakers keeps students from experiencing these interactions. When a person or a group feels they are being silenced, it does not make their viewpoint change. An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by another force. Similarly, a person’s viewpoints will not change unless met with a persuasive argument. Liberal education is necessary for college students to understand how complex our society is. Allowing a student to explore different viewpoints and arguments is necessary for gaining mental strength. At the same time, students should not be sent into that kind of world without the tools and skills necessary to withstand illogical arguments and inaccurate information. Society is not one-minded. There are billions of minds all over the world that have very different perspectives. Exploring those perspectives helps students understand our societal issues.