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Opinion: Listen to learn about everyone’s point of view

Listening to opposing views will help move society along in a positive direction.

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By Nikitha Martins

Finding a line between hate speech and free speech can be confusing.

The concept of free speech is fickle because we want people to have free speech but also want to leave room for sensitivity.

As hard as it is to hear arguments you disagree with, listening intently to opposing views will not only benefit you by gaining a different perspective, but will move society along in a positive direction.

As individuals, many of us do not challenge our own beliefs, going so far as to surround ourselves with people who have similar views. When we’re not confronted by people with different views we become even more possessive of our positions.

The controversial topic of free speech has reached Langara College as Kent Schmor, a Langara philosophy instructor will be leading a lecture on April 5 at the Philosophers’ Jam at the college. This event is for “the expression of provocative ideas,” according to the department of philosophy’s site and is meant for students to identify the boundaries of free speech.

“In university, free speech has more to do with goals of gaining knowledge, and learning how to investigate different views, [and] learn how to express your own views,” Schmor said.

The potential controversy is people will have opposing ideas as to what those boundaries should be and as soon as those boundaries are set, someone is silenced.

Giving everyone the opportunity to listen to what the opposing side has to say, no matter what has to be said, will push both sides to engage in stronger intellectual arguments.

Nothing great comes easy.

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