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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Budding Writers
Disagreement leads to social progress
    2018-January-24  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Michael J. Sandel suggests in his book “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” that moral disagreements over matters of public policy which citizens address should be openly debated instead of ignored. This is because citizens’ natural rights, including freedom of speech, allow them to openly voice their differing opinions and more different opinions can expose potential problems. Also, allowing moral issues to be openly debated allows progress to be made in society.

John Locke once affirmed the natural or God-given rights of all human beings, including freedom of speech, which allow individuals to bring their opinions to society to be openly discussed. Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence” is an example of openly addressing disagreement (with the British government).

Believing in people’s natural rights to overthrow a long-term abusive government, he makes this public speech for the whole society to debate if his argument is convincing and to ask what the citizens’ next steps to improving their living conditions should be.

Secured by freedom of speech, Jefferson is able to bring the matter of policy to the public to openly debate instead of keeping the matter private and never inviting others to judge his position on making progress.

With freedom of speech, citizens’ different opinions can be brought up in public, and therefore problems that are hidden in society can be exposed. Before Martin Luther’s “95 Thesis” in which he addresses his dissatisfactions toward the Catholic Church, people listened to what the popes taught, bought indulgences to save their relatives from purgatory, and had no idea about the absenteeism and the corruption of popes.

This publicly-posted thesis made people realize the problems within the Catholic Church, and gave them an opportunity to better understand the religion they believed in. The fact that they could interpret the Bible themselves and that indulgences could not be sold provided Christians a way to discover the real practices of Christianity and the truth about God.

If he didn’t post this thesis, how many believers would still be partially deceived by the popes? If no one brings their disagreements to public, how can others know if these disagreements exist?

The “95 Thesis” is not a single example that successfully brings reformation to solve the problems in society; in fact, there is more evidence that shows the progress made by individuals’ disagreement toward their contemporary situations.

In the 18th century, women were locked in small rooms and had no say in their futures. They even had no presence in historical records.

However, the feminists such as Virginia Woolf and Marry Wollstonecraft strived to prove the value of females and gain them more rights by publishing articles and holding activities in public. More and more activities were successfully held; more and more people were informed of women’s situation.

Women then gained more rights and opportunities, and the essential reason was the brave women’s public speeches about of their disagreement over their lack of rights.

In conclusion, citizens should address their moral disagreements in public and openly debate since this is not only something essential to human beings but can also expose more hidden problems in societies, leading progress to be made.

Addressing one’s disagreement is not only beneficial to individuals themselves but also to the whole society.

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