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GRE ISUUE:look Forward To Your Valuable, Yang

ISSUE: We Can Usually Learn Much More from People Whose Views We Share Than From People Whose Views Contradict Our Own

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position

People who share the same views with us could support and encourage us. Yet considering that contradiction is ubiquitous and the general benefits it brings to us, I contend an opposite opinion with the statement above. To qualify my contention, I think whether the contradiction will help us learn more depends on whether the two sides hold objective and friendly attitude, and whether they share some basic assumptions and methods in their study.

To begin with, I think when considering where the contradicting views come from, we will realize the significance of those opposing ideas. Contradiction is ubiquitous; this is because when we make judgment or bring up a new idea, we are not consciously objective. And even science operates with hunches and happy accidents. More than often, scientists bring up a new theory or an explanation from an assumption, thus different scientists may deduce different conclusions, which is the exact source of contradicting ideas. However, every point of view has its value although they are often one-sided. Thus the significance of opposing views resides in their mutual influence and combination.

Secondly, we could see the flaw of our own point of view from the opposing ones and those contradicting ideas will enable us to improve our understanding. A good example is the influence of modern control theory on the classic control theory. In classic control models, the system is described quite simple with only inputs, outputs and a transfer function; however, those who introduced modern control theory added the state variables into the models and thus the dynamic characters of the system could be observed. When questioning about the limitation of the classic models, the classic control experts acknowledged the flaw, but they then made up the hole by bringing up the optimized control method. It is the comparison with the contradicting ideas that stimulate the modification of the classic theories.

Moreover, the contradiction inspires debate, and debate eliminates contradiction and unifies the one-sided views into a perfect and complete one. in reality, every side has their own limitation and they tend to emphasis just one side of the objective principle, but when they sit together to discuss, and learn from each other, their incomplete ideas will be perfectly combined. This is well proved by the debate of the "Wave-particle duality of light", in which Newton initially supported that light was wave, yet Dickens advocated that light was not wave but a particle. Continuous debate on this issue went on with series of experiments but ended up a friendly discussion and finally the scientists agreed that both sides were right, but only one-sided. Thus the combination of the two sides is the final conclusion.

However, not all contradicting ideas will bring about mutual study, especially when one side or both sides hold a very vicious attitude, or would not like to make compromise, or unreasonably assail the other side without considering their right part. Someone who just wants to repel the opposing side to gain his own profit or to maintain the governing position will turn out to be quite impervious and they tend to take very malicious measures. In this sense, he will not learn anything from the opposing ideas. Consider the lesson of the Roman Church who insisted in their geocentric theory and disregarded the opposing heliocentric cosmology which had been proved by the astronomers. In order to defend their fallacious authority, they even burned Copernicus to death.

Besides, the two sides should at least share some basic assumptions and methods in their study. For example it is impossible for the Christian and a student majoring in evolution theory to learn from each other in the topic "what is the origin of human beings?", because the basic assumption of Christianity is that humans are created by the God, yet in evolution theory, this is opposed and the whole evolution is discussing about how a human being evolves from the basic elements. Certainly, contradicting ideas based on contrary assumptions would not compromise to each other.

To sum up, when the both sides of contradicting ideas could modestly join in the debate without vicious attitude, and their views are built upon some basic assumptions, they could learn a lot and contribute to a perfect consent.

Submitted by: zhangyang

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