Ever been in a real heated discussion over whose opinion is right? Of course you have, we all have! These can get pretty intense as each side presents their (logical?) reasoning for or against, why or why not, and their supporting evidence. And when this discussion — now growing into an argument — involves a personal “Long held Belief?” An agreeing ending is most unlikely and often times feathers do get a bit more than ruffled! We can become very protective of our own personal opinions. Very protective indeed!
Opinion clashes aren’t always major confrontations and when you think about it, minor opinion disagreements happen every single day! In fact, in almost every conversation there will most likely arise a point of personal disagreement, either large or small. We ignore most of these just for the sake of getting along socially and continuing the conversation flow. Especially with those that we have no real long-term relationships with.
And thank goodness for that, or we’d be spending an inordinate amount of time arguing over who’s right and who’s wrong! And here by comes the Question — Who’s opinion is right and who’s is wrong?
Also, where do our opinions come from anyways and why are they so important to us? Why do we sometimes argue, get mad in contention, or on a global scale perhaps even start a war? Over differences of opinions?
KINDS OF OPINIONS
OPINION: a view or judgment formed about something that is — not necessarily “based on fact or knowledge.”
- An estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something.
- In general, an opinion is a judgement or viewpoint, or statement, that is “not conclusive.”
- Opinions can be persuasive, but only the assertions that they are based on can be said to be “true or false!”
There are also: Informed opinions (based on information and relying on evidence), Educated opinions ( A learned history or background relating to topic), Expert opinions ( Topics relating to ones profession or educational major, usually with a degree). But ALL! Still! Opinions!
Most of us (including moi) would like to categorize our opinion’s as mostly being “Informed?” But does doing some research on the net., seeing a documentary or two, and/or reading a few books on the subject then make one’s opinion “Informed?” I suppose more informed than those that haven’t?
I’m grouping “Educated” and “Expert” opinions together (varying only by degrees of experience and education.) But in the end they are still both just opinions. Only now, based on “someone else’s opinion” of what is fact! After all, our education comes from the knowledge of others. Right?
OPINIONS COME FROM?
Let’s clarify by asking the question, where do opinions come from? Yours, mine, or anybody’s? Well they come from our brain of course, but where does our brain get this opinionated information from to then be able to dissect and analyze and eventually come to a conclusion (or opinion) on whatever subject is in question?
And the answer is? That 99% of us get our information from basically the very same resources and media providers “that we all share access to!” The Internet, the TV, books and to a lesser degree from conversations with others. And so? If most of our information is gathered from the same sources? And those sources are basically outputs of “other people’s opinions?” Then Is our own personal opinions even really our own?
EXAMPLE: Let’s look at “my opinion’s” here on WOW!
Here is an “OPINION DISCLAIMER” I’ve put together for this very blog site. Perhaps it will explain more on the delicacies of opinions?
FACTUAL/OPINION DISCLAIMER (in part)
This WOW blog entry (like all the others) is a mixture of my personal and admittedly imperfect but mostly informed opinions along with gathered facts and figures that although have been attained in all sincerity to be up to date, factual and researched for validity, may also in whole or in part be imperfect.
After all, most of the information (in-fact almost all digested facts and information) we obtain, comes from basically the same resources and media providers that we all share access to. And the proportion of truism, confirmed facts or neutrality that’s presented are often intertwined with personal agenda’s and/or a product of Media bias. Or may just simply be media sensationalized to improve ratings. Money as you know, is almost always an influencing factor!
News, documentaries, scientific theories and facts and figures are in most cases only time relevant and can be just one man’s/woman’s/producer’s etc. — edited opinion! News from different Countries for example on the exact same incident or topic are usually propagandizing to be nation friendly. Facts and figures and documentaries also can vary wildly on the same topics and with totally different viewpoints.
Today, choosing who to believe, where you get and trust your news and information, your facts and figures; has now become a form of “personal opinion” — in itself!
At the very least, it’s hard to differentiate between absolute fact and “Fake news” from Media influence and/or personal bias, both theirs — and from our own working internal subconscious. Especially today with the rise of misinformation and digital propaganda being intentionally released on a global basis for the betterment of ones own interests. IE Donald Trump Tweets!
So I guess what I’m trying to point out here is opinions; anyone’s opinion, including mine, ultimately cannot be judged to be right or wrong by those of us who have formed our own opinions based on a lifetime of the relatively same anecdotal informational resources that we all share! Even the same opinions held by large groups or percentages of the populace can turn out to be misdirected. History is full of these examples!
An opinion cannot be judged to be Right or Wrong! Especially when it comes from the same informational pool of resource! Perhaps only your choice of information within this pool can be questioned? But then again — That’s also an opinion?
End of WOW Disclaimer.
WHAT ABOUT THE FACTS?
So? What about the Experts? Surely they must deal only in cold hard facts? What? Like the once-believed fact that the Earth was flat? The once fact that Earth was the center of the Universe? Epilepsy was caused by demonic possession? Smoking wasn’t bad for your health?
Yes our science’s, medicine’s, and technologies’ have today advanced enough to as discredit these (now laughable) facts. However, in a hundred years from now, will they not be laughing at some of our accepted facts? What we’re teaching in our schools today? What we in the 21st century are accepting as — Fact?
This starts another discussion entirely “What is the definition of FACT?” And after going back in time (in history) and seeing the errors on what was then labeled as “Fact,” — how can we justify what we believe to be fact today? Though that perhaps is fuel for another day.
So what about the consequences when it comes to opinion’s? They can be at times (and depending on the person) very emotionally defended. Even sometimes to the point of anger (we all have experience in this.) An opinion can be a dangerous thing at times even among friends. Especially if these opinions (depending on the subject) come from long-held beliefs. Then, we will fight most ardently to defend them as is our human nature.
In large agreeing groups they can be the seed to both; conflict and war, racism and slander, or, protest and change, revolution and justice. On a smaller more individual scale we hold our opinion’s close as they are intellectual and emotionally charged perceptions from our own uniquely experienced lives.
Opinions can be highly held beliefs and choices of informational input that we have agreed upon (in our mind) to be true. And righteously defended!
Combining these with influences from: where you live, people you associate with, your social ties, your religious values, politics, different cultures (east vs West), parental upbringing, and on and on. You might say that — Opinions are as unique as the brains that they come from!
Changing someone’s opinion or even trying to get them to see things your way is very hard to do. Even after calmly stating your reasoning and what you believe are the pro — your-side facts, you can still meet their wall of resistance and opposition. Almost as if, your presented facts (there’s that hard to define word again!) mean nothing to them at all?
Some cognitive studies suggest that we subconsciously shape our opinions to conform to the views of the groups with which we most strongly identify. And good luck in trying to reverse those views in any way! After all, in most cases these partnerships have taken us a lifetime to consolidate.
Reversely, a shared opinion or two can lead to respect or even friendship! Don’t you share many of the same opinions as do your chosen friends? Your choice of political party? Religion? Or even your favorite blogger? (Oh stop it now will ya, your making me blush!)
And so in following this line of reasoning, I ask you! What is the most dangerous subject to opine upon? Anybody? The answer of course is Religion. Now it used to be money, sex and religion back when, but I think it goes without saying that today it’s religion. Or maybe it’s Abortion? Or LGBT rights Or?… Well, you get the picture.
Opposing opinions although expected, can be as dangerous as a cart full of liquid nitroglycerin traveling on a bumpy road. One hard knock and — KAPOW!
We all have our own opinions. And most of them will differ in a small or even a large way. And these opinions (although thought to be our own) are more and likely bits and pieces of opinions that we have selected from others! And since we form our opinions from the same informational resource pool as EACH OTHER…
Opinions in themselves are not right or wrong — they’re “Just opinions!” Therefore although your opinion is as important as anyone’s, you cannot be proven right or wrong in the hearts of opposing long-held believers no-matter how strong your belief’s are! In reality, fighting over who’s opinion is right or wrong becomes futile, a waste of energy. Unless of course you have the vision and intellect of an Albert Einstein?
Even then? As we know, your opinion “will be challenged!”
But that’s just “my opinion” anyways!
THE WORD OF WAYNE
“Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.” ― Horace Mann
“I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say. But I do expect you to accept that I have my own view of things.” — Scottie Waves (Author)
“There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion” — Sir Winston Churchill
Always “search for the Truth!”