If there is one course that my university lacks for other colleges, it is a curriculum/subject on learning the ropes of thinking ‘objectively.’ Coming from a scientific course and having the training of a campus journalist, objectivity has become an integral part of my mentality and action. In science, you learn how to gather data, relying on qualitative evidence that needs to be backed up by the quantitative, and vice-versa. As a campus journalist, gathering details on a news/news features/features article must be done scientifically–gathering the facts as they are. The journalist cannot tamper with the evidence, he/she must only report them as they are. As for writing editorials, the same principle is applied. Your opinions must be based on concrete evidence. Seek the evidence then make your stand. DO NOT make your stand, then filter the only evidence that will back it up.
I have seen way too many instances of the latter in the university and other bigger public settings. The most micro instance was in freshman year, when certain rumoured qualities about myself had spread, leading to my reputation’s temporary demise. However, as true evidence began to disprove opinions based on nothing, my reputation eventually enjoyed a clean slate. (That had to be the most regency way of talking about my traumatizing freshmen year. Kudos to me 😀 haha!) I also discovered friends with more mature minds, who took the time to seek the evidence as the basis of our friendship.
As for my campus journalism experience, it is normal for me to hear feedback on my colleague’s articles about their columns or articles. Persons being discussed (usually, if not often, student leaders), misinterpret the statement of facts as attacks on their acts, instead of taking these as reports of things as they simply are. Same goes for editorials–it is natural for one to disagree with another’s opinion. We are only there to place our arguments as recommendations.
Unfortunately, subjectivity’s ability to mask its very nature of lacking reliability is masked by rhetoric. Yesterday, my parish church decided to use the homily as its time to present its stand on the reproductive health bill. I ended up spacing out as I was in the mass to hear about Jesus’ passion and death, and not politics.
But it wasn’t the fact I am for the reproductive health bill which disgruntled me. It was the misuse of the homily and the presentation of its arguments. Let me count the ways.
First off, it presented the arguments instead of showing actual evidence of the bill’s so-called “anti-Catholic” nature. Instead of QUOTING the bill, it went straight to saying it is “anti” this and that. It also went into arguments such as it being disadvantageous medically and economically, but not having ANY evidence of it being so. There were no STATEMENTS from doctors or economic experts to back up their arguments.
What offended me the most was when it said that women’s rights, reproductive health, and sex education were merely nice sounding words. These three statements are REAL issues that our country faces, and demeaning them to merely “nice sounding words” defeats what Jesus wanted in our world in the first place. The Church should stop making judgements merely based on their morals and take into consideration the research and experiences of poor families and Filipinas who face the very issues this bill is trying to answer.
So as thinking individuals, let us not form opinions unless we have read and talked to the persons involved. We have no right to do so, as much as we mask our opinions with fancy words and statements. There will be those who will see right through you.