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LETTER: Often better just to listen

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network


Free speech is possibly the most abused privileges in Canada today. Allowing anyone to speak on anything in the public forum seems like a good idea, until it is practically implemented; think of how many things you don’t know anything about, now imagine that half of everyone else in Canada is likely not as smart as you (see other letters to editor).

Why should someone who objectively knows nothing about a topic be allowed to speak on that topic? For example, a very vocal group of people believes that the earth is flat; why should we give them the time of day to oppose a fundamental component of our model of the universe, when we could instead be discussing something that might actually lead to some societal or scientific progress? It's not like we’ll change their views on the geometry of the earth-thanks to the backfire effect.

I think a much more sensible approach to public discourse is to let people who know talk, and make people who don’t know listen. It might feel nice to have your say on an issue, however, more times than not, your perspective doesn’t matter.

For the average person, listening to some random person’s views on eradicating skunks on P.E.I. would be far exceeded in utility by listening to what Nature P.E.I.’s president has to say on the same topic. That’s why I assert that a meritocratic public forum would be better for everyone. If you need more evidence, I’d count this letter.

Christopher MacDonald,

Souris Regional School

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