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A question is asked.

I answer Yes – you answer No – we obviously differ. However, it is important to discover which of us, if either, is in the right. Otherwise we will be making a false solution or answer to the question. It will be nothing more than a matter of opinion. While opinion is fine, it does not solve questions. Questions are asked to find an answer, not an opinion.

So, it follows that a man that cannot maintain a civil and intellectual discourse with another man of differing opinion will then perpetuate opinion and stifle the discovery of an answer to the question before them. If that man is a leader he may cause large numbers to follow in the same direction of opinion and not truth.  Opinion perpetuates division when a question between men is defined by contrasting opinion and not truth.

For a matter to resolve, it takes two men to have a willingness to listen. It takes two men to question with honesty. It means that each man must then question himself with honesty as well as the other in forming the foundation to his answer. By doing so he will have formed a solid and stable basis from which to rely upon.

It is not until a man is honest with himself that he can be honest with another. Therefore, honesty and not opinion, should be the boundary of our debate.

If a man should allow opinion to act as his defense in discussion, he does himself injustice. Because it is when he is honest that he has the ability to learn. If a man ceases learning he ceases growth. It is a free man that will be willing to allow his opinion to be shaped by the view of another that speaks truth.

This is not to say that only one of the two men should cede their position in every debate for the sake of doing so. It is to say that both men in the debate let their views be based in honesty and truth and a solution may be found. This will establish trust between the men. It will strengthen the foundation of both.

It does not mean that every question will have an agreeable answer. But if a man engages in a means by which he is honest with the other man, he will be closer to that truth than when he started. As men we can revisit the question after each has spent time honestly evaluating it and continue the quest for an answer.

If a man should allow honesty to be the guide the result will be truth. And without truth, there is no freedom. So, to be honest in this idea I will offer this.

A man that is honest with himself above others will have a foundation of solid ideas from which to demonstrate to another man the answer. If the other man wishes to be contrary to his foundation without honesty and truth then it is the loss of the other man that is more incurred.

You see, the more men one speaks to. The more times he explains his solid foundation. Well then, the more men that are honest will subscribe. Truth is solid. It is something you can bank. Opinion is feel good and lends no value to ones self. So I say to you that a group of honest men, a group of free men will in the end succeed. For it is truth that is the light. And when we shine it alone in the dark others will see it. When we shine it in groups it will grow brighter. Look for the beacon. And be honest.

~ Eric D. Miller – 2013

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