Once, my lecturer in university decided to hold a debate among the class of approximately 200 students. We were given ten topics to choose from and decide which sides we wanted to be on – either as the opposition or proposition. The topics given were based on Malaysian politics, social and culture, as well as economy.

My group made a great team in terms of preparing our research to the maximum, as well as developing a well-organised presentation as the proposition for one of the topics.

All was well until the last two groups came on stage to debate. These groups presented excellent viewpoints, until some of us realized halfway through the debate that most of their arguments were based on personal opinions. In addition, the groups who were initially lined up in a straight line, were getting closer and closer to each other with each point they presented.  With each heated argument, there became a clear divide within the class as each group started gaining their own crowds of supporters from the audience, to the point where it seemed that the situation was escalating quickly to something more than just verbal. Our lecturer eventually had to step in and put a stop to the debate before things got out of control.

Thinking about this flashback, I learnt something important from here; people tend to increase their tones in an argument, implying to the other person that their argument or opinion is right. Even though their opinion may or may not be wrong, as long as they believe that they are winning the argument, that’s all that matters in the heat of the moment. This is the problem with society nowadays. Loud voices are equivalent to a person being right simply because they may sound more confident. Henceforth, people often mistake the person with the louder and more confident voice to be the one with the correct opinion; whether it’s right or wrong, who actually knows. It’s no wonder society nowadays is filled with false information. Because of such implications, false information is everywhere. For all we know, this could be more dangerous than we can imagine.

Where are the intelligent people with facts who shy away from the public? Our society needs them to voice out their opinions more often. There is the saying which goes, “Stupid people are full of confidence while intelligent people are full of doubt.” People need to start learning to check facts first and think thoroughly before ideas become words.