Nowadays, there are multiple activities for students to attend to develop their mental agility and rhetorical skills, such as debate contests, speech contests and the like. In view of this situation, some people claim that students should be encouraged to realize that mental agility and rhetorical skill must be accompanied by sincerity and the true conviction of their own beliefs. What do you think of this statement? Write an essay of about 400 words.
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Achieving a Balance between Mental Development and Molding of Personality
There is an academic tendency today to overemphasize mental agility and rhetorical skills, while giving little attention to students’ sincerity and the true conviction of their own beliefs. As we can see, there are multiple activities for students to attend on campus to develop their intellect and rhetorical skills, such as debates, speech contests and the like. Intellectual “wins” in these mental and rhetorical games become more important to some people than true beliefs and convictions; displays of intellectual brilliance are more important to them than representing what is true. In view of this situation, some people expressed their worries. I believe these worries are justifiable.
Of course, these skills have their place and it is essential that they should be developed. Mental agility’s value lies in helping us reason more effectively and thoroughly and discriminate between right and wrong. This is its rightful purpose, but it should not be used as a tool to belittle our opponents by concealing faults or weakness in our reasoning, or by setting fallacious intellectual traps for our rivals. Similarly, the true value of rhetorical skills doesn’t lie in making a falsehood seem beautiful and logical. Only the pursuits of truth and right are essential for the career of scholars and other educated people.
One can easily observe the dangers of such imbalance: without the accompanying of sincerity and true conviction of one’s beliefs, students might easily abuse their mental agility and rhetorical techniques. Only concerning with the technique itself, a student might not hesitate to say something in which they don’t believe, or make a statement about which they haven’t even given much thought. Ensuing discussion and exchange of ideas will be of no value except as a mere game for displaying one’s intellectual brilliance. More dangerously, such a tendency to use these intellectual techniques as a goal rather than a tool, would be likely to eventually weaken one’s ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Such a result ignores our academic goals.
The last argument opposing to one-sided development of intellectual skills is the difficulty to develop really cogent and strong point of views if mental and rhetorical skills are not accompanied by the sincerity and true conviction of one’s beliefs. Such sincerity and conviction are essential elements of a wholesome and learned mind. Without such sense of responsibility, students would tend to develop a sophistic but superficial way of thinking and talking, which might influence their whole life. Without question, this once again violates our academic goals.
In conclusion, it is high time to lay equal emphasis on students’ mental development and molding of personality. Only by achieving a balance between the two can students develop in a healthy way.