Opinions Matter, But Some Matter More Than Others

  • Ideologically driven opinions are difficult to weigh objectively
  • Considered opinions have more value than reactionary opinions
  • Social Media promotes ill-though ideas

The modern idea that “all opinion are valid” is at best disingenuous and at worst a subtle plan to silence the voices of reason and proper argument. When we take as read that all opinions are equal, we are giving up the idea that one opinion can have more validity than another, and this leads to debates being won or lost on the idea of “empathy” rather than fact. It is one of the greatest threats to a free society that we have ever faced.

It is unfortunately a problem with all areas of political thought. With those more on the right, they will use the empathy argument if they feel the “logic war” is being lost; and unfortunately, those on the Left tend to use this as their starting position. Until we can all agree that the best interests of “the many” are better served by reasoned argument and examined opinion, then we will be stuck in a position of point scoring and “the moral cause”.

YouTubers, Tweeters and columnists (in fact, anyone who puts an opinion out into the public sphere) do so without the consideration that their comments will be evaluated. Many perceive criticism of their opinion as an attack on themselves…and this is the wrong way to look at it (and of course, those that criticize others should also be examining their opinions). Why should someone be “upset” by a criticism of an opinion that has not been well thought out? As Mark twain said:

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

And this is the rub; if we do not take the time to criticize our own opinions, to think them through and see if there is any logical fallacy, or bad argument involved, then we should not be investing ourselves in them in the first place.

Much of the problem comes from a 24-hour News feed and instant access Social Media. If we were forced to wait before putting our opinions out there, perhaps our opinions would be a little more valid and a little less easy to debunk…It would certainly make the internet a nicer place to be.

All opinions have some validity, but some opinions have more validity than others. The opinions of true validity are not to be arbitrated by faceless keyboard warriors, or State Censorship groups, but by ourselves and our peers. If our idea can be picked apart by our own families or friends (who likely have similar lifestyles as ourselves), then people of different backgrounds will quite easily find fault. The key is to test your opinion before putting your name to it; be more considered in your formulation of opinion, and then you can truly invest yourself in an idea.

What’s more, if we are the harshest judges of our own ideas and opinions, when our ideas are confronted, we will have already considered many of the arguments being put forward, and can therefore defend our ideas without resorting to Ad hominen or Logical Fallacy. Considered opinion makes us not only seem smarter, but be smarter. It will raise the level of debate and we even end up achieving something.

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