While people don’t normally want to engage in arguments with their fellow human beings, we posit this unpopular stand: To argue is everyone’s inherent duty. Just like our natural ability to breathe, walk or talk, arguing is inherent in us. In fact, we could go as far as to say that it is our right to make an argument.
Argumentation, however, is one of those rights that must be practiced only in the defense of an ideal or belief. We are especially obliged to argue to defend what is right and just. If the great names of the past that we now revere did not argue for the cause of justice, our world would not have progressed to this point where individual human rights are recognized. If names like Martin Luther King, Jr. did not stand for civil rights, racial equality would probably still be a dream until today. There are other names that stand for other causes and if they did not make their voice heard, the ideals for which they stand for would not have made their way into our consciousness today.
Yet argumentation is not only for those grand and world-changing causes and ideals. It is also for those little things that we need to stand up for in our homes and personal lives. We argue with our spouse if we get hurt or feel that we might have been misunderstood. We put our foot down and stay firm on the house rules as a way to teach them lessons that will make them better people. We argue with our workplace colleagues if we believe that our ideas will make the company achieve its goals or even with our boss if we feel that we deserve better treatment for our efforts. We even argue with the restaurant chef if we don’t like the taste of the food that has been served to us.
Indeed, we don’t argue just for the sake of making an argument. Well, we probably do in school where we need to conduct a debate on a given issue with the professor watching and listening to us. These are academic requirements that must be fulfilled. In the real world, however, making an argument is something that we do when we need to defend a position, a cause or a belief. It is always done with reason and purpose. Argumentation is the instrument by which we carry out our belief for what is right. When viewed in this light, argumentation becomes everyone’s duty.
Why Argue for What is Right?
Why do you have a moral obligation to argue for what is right?
1. Not standing up for what is right makes you an accomplice to the crime.
We are all given a mind to think and a conscience that teaches us when something is wrong or not. If you witness something abhorrent or criminal, it becomes your moral duty to do what you can to correct it. Standing as a mere spectator when you know deep in you that it just isn’t right makes you an accomplice to that wrong. In essence, it is as if you have committed that deplorable act yourself. If you’re an upright person, you can’t sleep knowing that you have not done what you ought to do.
2. Not standing up for what is right means you allow evil to perpetrate and endanger your children.
If you don’t argue for the cause of justice, you’re basically allowing evil to perpetrate. You may not experience the full wrath of its danger yet but you better believe that it will continue to grow until someone corrects it. When it does, it will become deadlier and more difficult to stop. As a result, you put not only yourself but your children at risk to experience the potential evil it brings. That’s not a comforting thought at all.
3. Standing up for what is right inspires others to do the same.
It only takes one person to spark change throughout an entire community or nation. Charismatic leaders in the past have mobilized entire nations to topple dictators or change an unfair standard that has long been used in society. The courage and belief of one person has that power to inspire thousands of others. When people argue together for the cause of justice, great changes can be made.
3. Arguing for justice strengthens you.
Many people don’t know that they possess an internal strength until such time that they are actually challenged to argue for the sake of justice. Taking a stand strengthens your resolve and affirms your own strength. It also makes you discover strengths that have long been dormant in your personality that you didn’t even realize you had.
4. Arguing for justice makes you a great example to your children.
You want your kids to grow up in a world where they aren’t abused or mistreated. One of the best ways to teach them that they should assert themselves for all the right causes is to argue for justice. If you see something wrong and immediately work to correct it, your children will grow up following your example and use their ability to argue to advance what is right and just. By instilling in them the value of fighting for the ideals that make this world a better place, you are doing your share in making their world a better one.
5. Arguing for justice gives you a sense of purpose.
If you want to feel a sense of purpose for your life, take a stand. Nothing makes your life feel worthless and useless than simply sitting by and watching life as it passes you by. Not having a cause to fight for takes the life out of you. If you want to feel that your life has meaning and purpose beyond simply waking up each day, going to work and arriving home to sleep, fight for the cause of justice. Doing so will not only sharpen your mental faculties but will also keep you energized.
6. Standing up for what is right gives you a chance to create history.
Being great and well-known for a cause you believe in is probably something you don’t dream of. However, this can happen if you constantly and consistently work for the cause of justice. The little things you do now may seem negligible and may not even be recognized by others but to those whom you stood up for, you will have already made your mark.
7. Standing for what is right gives you a clear conscience.
One of the most important things you can do to maintain psychological and mental health is to stand up for what is right. If you happened to witness something wrong that was done and you didn’t do anything about it, the very act of not doing anything is going to linger in your mind for days on end. You will continue entertaining questions of “What if I did things differently?” Nothing makes you sleep soundly at night than having a clear conscience and only by doing the right thing will you have that clear conscience.
8. Arguing for what is right makes you free.
You are exercising man’s fundamental right to be free by arguing for what is right. If you want to fully exercise your freedom, speak out for the cause of justice. Our ancestors have fought for the cause of freedom throughout the years and we are now blessed to enjoy the fruits of what they have paid very dearly for. Your duty now is to perpetuate that freedom. If you see people oppressed, you need to speak out so they can be freed. If you see people disrespected or abused, you need to do something about it. This is the essence of freedom and it is in the exercise of that freedom that you will also feel the true meaning of living free.
Arguing for justice is no doubt one of the most difficult arguments that you will ever make in your life. It is not like the argument you can make with your loved ones where emotions may run high but you know that they will always be people you can count on despite your differences. Arguments with those who don’t believe in the same cause as you—and are total strangers at that—are different. Any argument made for the cause of right will always have an accompanying danger such as the threat that your life could be extinguished at any moment. There will always be that danger of being vilified by the other party or of being ostracized by the great majority who have been influenced that the wrong you seek so passionately to correct seems right for them. However, the fruits of arguing for justice are freedom, self-affirmation and meaningful life. In the end, these are all worth it.
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