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We Are All Entitled to Our Opinion, but Should We Be?

Tina is a bilingual writer of unconventional fiction, a media graduate with a special focus on human sexuality and a content writer.

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An opinion always contains a degree of uncertainty and subjectivity. Opinions are often unsupported by evidence and held on to because beliefs are comforting while the truth will cause varying degrees of discomfort.

An opinion is a belief and should be treated as such. An opinion and a belief should never be respected or revered but questioned, with respect to the holder for disregarding the importance of evidence to keep holding the opinion/belief. The holder might not know where to find evidence.

We can ridicule the belief/opinion but should do so sparingly as ridicule can make the holder of the opinion even more determined to hold on to unsupported opinions.

In the public conversation, it’s our duty to build an argument, not just spout opinions as if we were entitled to them without substantiation. We have to learn to construct and defend our opinion. To build an argument for our beliefs.

We are not disrespectful when we question opinions and beliefs, in fact, it’s our duty to do so and no, religious beliefs should not be afforded special treatment.

For a fact-based world view, we should make religion part of history and philosophy a subject in its own right in our schools. Being able to argue one’s point, without degrading the opposition, is a life skill we should all possess.

To say “don’t argue with me” is disrespectful. We should invite arguments. Arguments are not shouting matches. Attack language is not a good argument even if one strongly disagrees.

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Opinions that can’t be backed up by facts are beliefs and beliefs are rooted in unknowingness, but also culture. Most people don’t get or want to take the opportunity to question their culture, but often feel comfortable questioning other cultures. Culture is just like truth ever-changing. Unknowingness can be a comfortable place and many people want to stay there.

We live in a world where everyone wants to be seen and noticed and validated. Our opinions get us all that and many share opinions without checking the facts or perhaps we don’t care about the facts when likes and views are more important.

Some think beliefs are unarguable, but a belief is just an opinion held on to for too long without questioning. Beliefs are protected by culture and religion.

Prejudices are opinions based on exaggerated personal experiences, one bad experience becomes a warning to everyone. We don’t mind exaggerations of positive attributes even if they are based on small-scale personal experiences rather than verifiable facts.

There are so many opinions and we can’t all be right unless the truth is multifaceted and perhaps it is, but we can all learn to argue for our opinions and perhaps in the process change our opinions. Opinions are like truth, they change. Opinions of taste and preference change many more times than truth.

If it’s someone’s opinion that climate change is the cause of another solar system moving through ours, they can certainly hold this opinion, perhaps from reading too much fiction, from some sort of wishful thinking or perhaps x-ray vision, but should the opinion be respected? Yes, if it’s well-written fiction. No, if it’s a reason to get out of cutting down on personal consumption of meat, plastic and fuel.

Sound arguments come from an in-depth investigation, not from shallow reading or handed down beliefs.

In the process of writing, if we find ourselves guilty of having an unsupported opinion, we must substantiate the opinion or at least investigate why we are holding it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Tina Brescanu

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