Forcefully discussing controversies is a great way to weed out a friend you can’t agree with, and an even better way to lose one you thought you knew better. Because these topics have large potential to accidentally offend others, one should tread lightly when talking about them. After all, the world isn’t in Mr. Kite’s sheltered classroom where all opinions are valuable— if your argument is feeble and cannot support you in a discussion, you learn you are quickly shut down by others.
Public Health is a field brimming with controversies, namely because it isn’t about the individual like medicine is. The government lays down laws that apply to a large mass of people who have no choice but to obey. Legal, illegal… There is no lawful in-between. That’s why suddenly hearing you could become a criminal for something you used to support can be problematic for many people agreeing with you, and vice versa for other laws passed and denied by the government.
While some share a lukewarm reaction to modern controversial politics, the driving force behind them are people who strongly agree and disagree (likely because something precious to them is at stake) and clash in an attempt to be heard. The individuality of controversial issues makes public health debates fun and help people connect to each other, but are also frustrating. Especially when weighing the needs of the individual vs the needs of the whole, a debate can become a rather rough experience. For example, illegalized marijuana is troublesome because people who want to do it can’t, while if it was legal, they could without affecting others who do not want to engage, in contrast to abortion, for which people who disagree with it can simply not get one while allowing other women to have full freedom with their bodies because it doesn’t involve them personally.