The Harm of “Everyone Has a Right to Their Own Opinion”

“The greatest deception men suffer from is their own opinions” – Leonardo de Vinci

Someone close to me has said on several occasions (usually when we are drinking), “but, Dude, everyone has a right to their own opinion.” Side note- I’ll write more about this and the mother-in-law in a later post.

This guy is correct. Yes, everyone has a right to their own opinion. Though, he’s missing the point of my argument: those opinions are fine until they become actions. The harm is when a mass group of people, or people in positions of power, put their opinions into action. People can believe whatever they want to, but that belief or opinion is not protected from criticism or ridicule. Stupid or dangerous opinions lead to very dangerous actions.

A deadly example of this: anti-vaxxers. Or the Christian couple who used maple syrup to cure their young child’s meningitis.

I believe that most Americans are not fully equipped to filter others’ opinions through a skeptical lens- a bullshit detector. There is no greater evidence for this than the 2016 Presidential Election (I won’t get into the reasons why in this post).

Jamie Whyte of The Times, says, “the idea that everyone is entitled to his opinion is one of those truisms so often repeated that it now goes without saying. Like many truisms, however, it is false.”

Click here for more about “I am entitled to my opinion” is a dangerous phrase.

“I’m entitled to my opinion,” is considered a logical fallacy. An opinion is a view or judgment about something. So, by definition, an opinion has attached to it a certain degree of uncertainty or subjectivity and using it as a defense only works in certain situations.

Akshat Rathi writes, “Trump is entitled to have an opinion but only as long as he is able to reasonably argue for it with evidence.” Clearly, Trump has not been able to support a single opinion of his. He screams that Obama wiretapped Trump Towers, but gives no evidence. The danger lies when people, especially Trump supporters, hear his opinions and do not filter them through their built-in bullshit detector.

You may think whatever the fuck you want to think, but, please, filter that shit before it becomes actions. My toddler son reminds me every day to stop and think!

Conditions apply.




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