Good morning friends! It’s Wednesday! Halfway through the week!
Let’s chat for a moment about opinions. Everybody has them, right?
Here’s the thing about opinions. You have the right to an opinion. You have the right to share your opinion. But merely having an opinion does not make you right.
I’m seeing this more and more often, someone trying to shut down a conversation with the statement, “Well, that’s my opinion” when the subject at hand is, in fact, based on facts. As if the statement “Well, that’s my opinion” somehow inoculates one from being wrong. When we use that statement to stop a conversation in which we are being presented with actual information to consider, it doesn’t make us right, it makes us willfully ignorant.
Here’s a grossly exaggerated example of what this looks like:
Person A: 2+2 = 4
Person B: No. 2+2 = 3
Person A: No. When you add 2 to another group of 2, you end up with 4.
Person B: Well, in my opinion you end up with 3. That’s my opinion and I have the right to my opinion. You have your opinion and I have mine. Agree to disagree. End of discussion.
People who value reason and facts, we can not allow this to be the end of the discussion. The discussion has to continue and it could sound like this:
Person A: Your opinion is wrong. It’s not based on evidence or facts. I’m happy to share more information with you about basic mathematics but I’m not able to agree to disagree.
I know that can be uncomfortable. But not all opinions are valid and if we are living in a “post-truth” world (aka- lying world) we have to push back against this idea that all opinions are valid and deserving of equal consideration or that there is no such thing as an objective fact. We need to become more comfortable both saying and receiving the statement, “Your opinion is wrong.” There are plenty of conversations where all opinions are equally valid – conversations that revolve around personal taste or preference for example. We can argue all day long over things like “Tea or coffee?” or “Ukuleles vs. banjos” but let’s not conflate those with conversations involving facts.
Okay, back to my coffee. Which, in my opinion, is better than tea. 😉☕