The greatest deception men suffer is their own opinions.
—Leonardo da Vinci
I am of the view that everyone is NOT entitled to their opinion.
They are, however, entitled to their INFORMED OPIONION.
This requires engaging your mind, heart, and tongue with wisdom (best expressed in silence or privacy), compassion, deep Care and honor for the one with whom you share the opinion.
Everything else is defiling.
By this definition applied by our more honorable ancestors, much of what is spoken and written today is not an opinion.
What is not true, however, is that an opinion is a fact. Alarmingly, most humans believe that their opinions are facts. We incorrectly believe that our thoughts are correct. The truth is that a fact is a statement that can be supported to be true or false by data or evidence. In contrast, an opinion is a personal expression of a person’s feelings or thoughts that may or may not be based in data. Indeed, many of our opinions are based on emotions, personal history, and values—all of which can be completely unsupported by meaningful evidence.
Patrick Stokes teaches at Deakin University in Australia, and his message to students on their first day of class is: “You are not entitled to your opinion.” The reason Stokes makes the provocation is in order to teach his students how to construct and defend an argument, he says.
“The problem with ‘I’m entitled to my opinion’ is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for ‘I can say or think whatever I like’ and, by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful,” he explained in The Conversation.
“I’m entitled to my opinion,” is considered a logical fallacy. An opinion is a view or judgement 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.
There’s no way you can argue with me if I were of the opinion that ginger tastes horrible. You might actually like ginger’s taste, but my preference against it is beyond question. But you have all the rights to argue with me if I were of the opinion that global warming is a hoax. After all, there is overwhelming scientific evidence to show that there is very little uncertainty in the “opinion” that global warming is happening.
“If ‘everyone’s entitled to their opinion’ just means no one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true but fairly trivial,” Stokes writes. “But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false.”
It is important to understand the .difference between facts and opinions because not all opinions are equally valuable. When someone expresses a strong opinion, it is important to consider what it is based on – is it backed by measurable data and compelling outcomes? Or is it based on emotional reactions and impressions? If the latter, it should be taken with a grain of salt. If someone (or you), has a strong opinion on something that they know very little about, try to understand why they (or you) believe it before giving it any serious consideration.
Opinions based on facts and data are more valuable, Those not based on facts are not.
So, no, tou’re actually entitled to your opinion, unless that opinion is based on facts.