ISSUE-043

People who are the most deeply committed to an idea or policy are also the most critical of it.


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.


Who are most deeply committed to an idea? Some propose that those who are most committed to an idea or policy must be those who are most critical of it. I agree with this point of view, because without a critical analysis of an issue one cannot form an objective evaluation. In turn, without a thorough understanding of the idea or policy, one’s commitment to it remains questionable.

To begin with, before any effective discussion can be made, it is crucial to define the meaning of the word “critical”. Here, I would like to define the meaning of critical as involving carefully examining and thoroughly evaluating an issue. Therefore, the question becomes whether it is possible to form a deep commitment to an idea or policy without any careful evaluation of it. My answer to this question is negative, meaning that a critical evaluation is the prerequisite for a long-term and profound devotion. Some people, however, may argue that it is not always the case. One typical example they would cite is the love for fashions, which are vague ideas that we rarely critically think about. Yet, it is undeniably true that people would purse what is considered fashionable for various reasons. In this specific case, the love does not originate from any careful thinking of the issue, and hence, the claim that any deep commitment must result from a critical evaluation falls apart. Logical though it may appear to be at first glance, such an argument confuses the meaning of commitment and fondness. Granted, people can choose to pursue what is fashionable, but this does not mean that they are deeply committed to it. Instead, fashions can change and so are people’s taste for them. As a result, the example of the passion for fashions cannot serve to undermine my point of view.

In my point of view, any true deep commitment to an idea must be built upon a thorough understanding of the issue. For instance, a scientist is highly unlikely to be committed to a theory or hypothesis without fully understanding what it is in the first place. Similarly, the commitment of a social activist to a certain policy would be doubted until he or she can demonstrate a deep comprehension of the social issue. As a result, it is necessary to understand the issue first before a deep commitment can be reasonably made. On the other hand, the true way to fully grasp an issue is to critically think about it. As defined above, a critical evaluation involves taking as much information as possible and carefully coming up with an informed judgement. The more critical one feels towards a certain idea, the more likely that he or she will develop a deep commitment to the idea. Admittedly, being critical does not guarantee the establishment of commitment, but conversely it can be concluded that any deep commitment is highly improbable without being critical first.

To summarize, while it may be true that our passion for certain things does not require a critical attitude towards them, passion does not equate commitment. Rather, because commitment must be built upon a thorough understanding of the issue being discussed, it is

as a result inevitable that those who are deeply committed to an idea are also those who are most critical of it. The discussion above of course is built upon the premise that we define the word critical as involving careful examination and rational decision-making.

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