Each individual’s own beliefs are instilled in them as they grow up, and interact with their environment and peers. The argument that states that compromising one’s own beliefs is more harmful than adhering to them is incorrect in a sense that it assumes that these beliefs are always beneficial to the individual. This argument is dependent on many different variables such as the definition of the compromise in question as well as the beliefs themselves. If an individual never compromised their own beliefs, in a sense, they are never acknowledging that they are in the wrong, accepting advice from a peer, or learned from another point of view. They may grow stubborn and unyielding to the opinions of others.
Compromising one’s beliefs may be a learning experience for the individual. By taking the advice or guidance of another, the individual may further grow in character and moral quality. A simple example is the belief in Santa Claus. Once a child is told that he does not exist, they are usually old enough to understand the true meaning behind gift giving and the value in family gatherings. On the other hand, if the child does not abandon their previous beliefs, it may be detrimental to their social development, such as getting made fun of in school.
In terms of culture and lifestyle, compromising one’s beliefs may not necessarily mean sacrificing them. Immigrants from culturally different countries such as Asian, Mexico, or Europe who are immersed in another culture either make the choice to adapt to the change in their environment, resist the change, or find some sort of compromise. If none of the immigrants compromised their beliefs before dispersing across the nation, our society would not be as unique, diverse, or vibrant as it is today. Compromising their beliefs did not mean giving up their culture entirely. Rather, they adapted to the environment, adhering to their home traditions as well as the local ones.
Although, if a student was morally brought up to believe that cheating on an exam was acceptable, and never listened to his teachers when they told him to stop, it would be a situation in which uncompromising beliefs would be harmful. This student would never learn how to test fairly or acknowledge his wrongdoing. In this situation the “compromise” in question would be defined as not cheating on the test. On the other hand, if a student was raised to believe that cheating on an exam was wrong, his compromise would be to choose to cheat. In this situation, compromising his beliefs would be harmful. The definition of compromise and beliefs equivocates and is unique in every situation.
It is essential for personal development that an individual learns from their mistakes and takes into account the views of others. Though compromising one’s beliefs may lead to poor choices, the individual will have learned from experience to not make that choice again. It is the human condition to live and learn from experience. To be unyielding, stubborn, and reserved may limit the extent that the individual is able to experience life and embrace what the variety of beliefs, traditions, and cultures the world has to offer.