How Far Can You Go with Expressing Your Opinion in an Essay?

Voltaire once said an absolutely brilliant phrase (actually all his phrases are brilliant but I`ve picked one) “I might disagree with your opinion, but I`m willing to give my life for your right to express it”. Amazing! This quote teaches us how to be respectful to the views and beliefs all the people have. Yes, we might think that those views and opinions are not entirely correct but we still have to treat them with respect. It`s the 21st century and it`s not optional.

But is here to talk about the truth. How often in daily life do you feel that your right for freedom of speech is being oppressed? There are some very basic and ordinary (as they seem) situations from our childhood that we all remember. Like when our moms told us to keep our mouths shut when we were about to say something that wasn`t acceptable in society. However, this is not a restriction per say. There is a huge difference between being free in expressing yourself through the words of any choice and being plain rude. Let`s don`t mix them up, alright?

The Witch-Hunt Still Exists

The point of this article is to discuss such an issue as your right to express your ideas freely in an essay. It`s democratic world we live in but there are still cases that prove that sometimes we don`t differ much from the citizens of the Medieval towns. There was this story about a schoolgirl from the USA. She was attending middle school in a state which name I can`t remember and it`s not really important in this narrative. I believe it was one of the states with the old-fashioned, far-from-progressive views.

Children were given a task to write an essay on their favorite chapters from the religious books. I must admit that the respect for diversity was noticeable because the kids could choose whatever holy literature they wanted, based on their religious beliefs. One girl was raised in a non-religious family, she was a… I know that for some reason old-fashioned American community doesn`t like this word but I`m going to include it in the story anyway because it`s important.

The girl was an atheist. For some reason, it didn`t work that well with the teacher. A student did submit an essay, it`s not like she gave a blank paper, she just explained her views on religion in general in a very respective way. She didn`t get any grade though. This isn`t just an example of freedom of speech as an obvious human right that needs to be protected. It`s also about letting people believe in whatever they want. This is a crucial factor in a civilized society.

Nothing Good Ever Comes out of Rudeness

I know that you all care about your grades. Some may care deeply and some are just trying to make an effort because they don`t want to upset parents. I do believe that the freedom of speech is the right that nobody can take from you. If you think one way but all of other students think the other way, it doesn`t mean that you`re necessarily wrong. Nobody believed Giordano Bruno at first. It`s a bad example though, we all know what happened to that guy when he tried to express his ideas.

A matter of ethics is just crucial here. On the one hand, you definitely can have your own opinion. On the other hand, sorry, but it can be rather offensive to others, it can be racist or sexist. For example, you don`t believe that men and women should have the equal rights in everything (I hope there are no such people among us but still). If you were raised in a patriarchal family, then you know where this predisposition comes from.

Do you have the right to have this opinion? Obviously! Should you express it and shout out so everybody can hear it? I don`t think so. See? That`s the whole problem with expressing yourself in an essay. There are just two sides of each story and this makes our lives seriously messed up. I have only one piece of advice for you: you should definitely state your views and opinions but only in a way that will be respectful to others.

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