Can we all stop saying, “I’m entitled to my opinion”?
You must have heard this line before. You are in a heated debate with someone, and when he or she cannot think of another way to defend their view, they fold their arms and say, “Well, I have the right to my opinion.”
If you have been told this, you remember the agonizing frustration that followed. In the heat of the moment, it is hard to challenge that statement. After all, ‘each to his own’, right?
However, this is illogical thinking. Besides for the weak debating skills displayed, sometimes this line is used in areas where facts are presented, and facts beat biased opinions according to anyone with common sense.
Second, let’s stop misusing the word opinion. In plenty of more casual scenarios, taste and preferences are shot down because they are not aligned with others.
“What? You don’t like chocolate? Are you normal?”
“You actually LIKE math? Okay, you’re weird.”
“You don’t like this book? You obviously have no idea what good literature is.”
Let’s face it: we’ve all been guilty of saying things like this. Although we usually do not have malicious intent, the message is clear: if you do not agree with my opinions, you are an awful/ignorant/uncultured human being. These opinions, and general societal opinions, are often treated as fact. This book was a bestseller, so it’s good. This film got terrible ratings, so it’s bad. If you think differently, there’s something wrong with you.
All of this is present in a society that preaches “be true to yourself.” The underlying message is “be true to yourself unless you disagree with me. Then be true to me.”
However, opinions are also important. In the instance of preferences and tastes, the “I’m entitled to my own opinion” line is relevant and could be used. Whether you do or do not enjoy coffee, or reading, or watching sports, is up to you. Keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their own opinion; you’re not special in that regard. Although, when opinions take the place of knowledge and educated stances, they become problematic.
If we stopped treating opinions like facts, as in the book and film examples, debaters can stop treating facts like opinions. “I’m entitled to think the way I want, despite your evidence.” Opinions would not be considered beneficial evidence in a courtroom, so it’s about time we stopped using them to end discussions.
We as a people are not going to agree on most things. We may not even agree on a fraction of things. Yet if we can learn to differentiate facts and opinions, we may be able to coexist more effectively in an advancing society where everyone’s ideas are plastered everywhere. What you have just read is mine. You can disagree if you want in the comments below. Try to be civil.
I’m sorry this post is less lighthearted than usual, but hopefully, you still found it intriguing, and as always since this is a food blog, here is today’s recipe.
This has got to be one of the easiest recipes on this site with simple ingredients to create a healthy and savory side dish. Yet if you don’t like quinoa, hey, you have the right to your own opinion, and you can check out all the other posts on this blog.
Cranberry Nut Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to packaged directions
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
Simply toss the cranberries, seeds, and pecans with quinoa and stir in the maple syrup, vinegar, and salt.
Served warm or cold.