No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
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08-08-2014, 09:12 AM
No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
Just read this article and I have to totally agree with it, but I thought it was interesting because I've never heard it expressed in this way before. What do you guys think?

Quote:Every year, I try to do at least two things with my students at least once. First, I make a point of addressing them as “philosophers” – a bit cheesy, but hopefully it encourages active learning.

Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.”

A bit harsh? Perhaps, but philosophy teachers owe it to our students to teach them how to construct and defend an argument – and to recognize when a belief has become indefensible.

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. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.

Firstly, what’s an opinion?

Plato distinguished between opinion or common belief (doxa) and certain knowledge, and that’s still a workable distinction today: unlike “1+1=2” or “there are no square circles,” an opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it. But “opinion” ranges from tastes or preferences, through views about questions that concern most people such as prudence or politics, to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions.

You can’t really argue about the first kind of opinion. I’d be silly to insist that you’re wrong to think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. The problem is that sometimes we implicitly seem to take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are. Perhaps that’s one reason (no doubt there are others) why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views “respected.”

Meryl Dorey is the leader of the Australian Vaccination Network, which despite the name is vehemently anti-vaccine. Ms. Dorey has no medical qualifications, but argues that if Bob Brown is allowed to comment on nuclear power despite not being a scientist, she should be allowed to comment on vaccines. But no-one assumes Dr. Brown is an authority on the physics of nuclear fission; his job is to comment on the policy responses to the science, not the science itself.

So what does it mean to be “entitled” to an opinion?

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. No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven.

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. And this too is a distinction that tends to get blurred.

On Monday, the ABC’s Mediawatch program took WIN-TV Wollongong to task for running a story on a measles outbreak which included comment from – you guessed it – Meryl Dorey. In a response to a viewer complaint, WIN said that the story was “accurate, fair and balanced and presented the views of the medical practitioners and of the choice groups.” But this implies an equal right to be heard on a matter in which only one of the two parties has the relevant expertise. Again, if this was about policy responses to science, this would be reasonable. But the so-called “debate” here is about the science itself, and the “choice groups” simply don’t have a claim on air time if that’s where the disagreement is supposed to lie.

Mediawatch host Jonathan Holmes was considerably more blunt: “there’s evidence, and there’s bulldust,” and it’s no part of a reporter’s job to give bulldust equal time with serious expertise.

The response from anti-vaccination voices was predictable. On the Mediawatch site, Ms. Dorey accused the ABC of “openly calling for censorship of a scientific debate.” This response confuses not having your views taken seriously with not being allowed to hold or express those views at all – or to borrow a phrase from Andrew Brown, it “confuses losing an argument with losing the right to argue.” Again, two senses of “entitlement” to an opinion are being conflated here.

So next time you hear someone declare they’re entitled to their opinion, ask them why they think that. Chances are, if nothing else, you’ll end up having a more enjoyable conversation that way.

-Source-

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08-08-2014, 09:23 AM
RE: No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
Agree 100%

But that's just my personal opinion.
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08-08-2014, 09:54 AM
RE: No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
In my opinion this makes perfect sense. Tongue

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-08-2014, 10:02 AM
RE: No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
This is why I dislike voting; every opinion is given equal weight. And it is my firm opinion that the firmness of any opinion is inversely proportional to its merit. The louder an opinion is expressed the less is should be listened to.
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08-08-2014, 11:06 AM
Re: No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
I've always taken it only as what he calls the trivial sense.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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08-08-2014, 12:01 PM
RE: No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
Is the problem that people with no qualifications have opinions or is it that the media gives them such exposure? Let's face it, the media has no real interest in truth...it's a question of what's sells papers, what attracts viewers etc. So, we get "debates" featuring equal numbers for and against, which severely distort the real situation.

Fortunately, we have comedians to give us the truth...

A certain Mr Oliver shows how representative scientific debates should be carried out...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg

and a certain Mr O'Briain shows how to be rightly skeptical about how the press approaches such debates...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMvMb90hem8

Media reporting of science has always been dreadful. How many articles have you seen which proclaim a great breakthrough in research on cancer, diabetes etc only to read in paragraph four that it's about artificially induced problems in mice as opposed to real life problems in humans? And, not unusually, the current work will be deemed to be applicable to humans in about five years...in reality, it may have helped, but it never seems to have had the promised "miracle" breakthrough.

In addition...of course, one could argue that there are vested interests who may wish to promote certain non-scientific viewpoints because implementing measures suggested by science would severely damage their profits. But that would be an invalid argument. and even if such interests existed, they would have no influence over media outlets, much less politicians or even governments. So, we're safe from that. (Note to mods: why don't we have sarcasm smilies, particularly smilies which drip industrial strength concentrated sulphuric acid? Just a simple request)
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08-08-2014, 12:49 PM
RE: No you are not entitled to your own opinion.
(08-08-2014 12:01 PM)jockmcdock Wrote:  Is the problem that people with no qualifications have opinions or is it that the media gives them such exposure? Let's face it, the media has no real interest in truth...it's a question of what's sells papers, what attracts viewers etc. So, we get "debates" featuring equal numbers for and against, which severely distort the real situation.

Fortunately, we have comedians to give us the truth...

A certain Mr Oliver shows how representative scientific debates should be carried out...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg

and a certain Mr O'Briain shows how to be rightly skeptical about how the press approaches such debates...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMvMb90hem8

Media reporting of science has always been dreadful. How many articles have you seen which proclaim a great breakthrough in research on cancer, diabetes etc only to read in paragraph four that it's about artificially induced problems in mice as opposed to real life problems in humans? And, not unusually, the current work will be deemed to be applicable to humans in about five years...in reality, it may have helped, but it never seems to have had the promised "miracle" breakthrough.

In addition...of course, one could argue that there are vested interests who may wish to promote certain non-scientific viewpoints because implementing measures suggested by science would severely damage their profits. But that would be an invalid argument. and even if such interests existed, they would have no influence over media outlets, much less politicians or even governments. So, we're safe from that. (Note to mods: why don't we have sarcasm smilies, particularly smilies which drip industrial strength concentrated sulphuric acid? Just a simple request)

No argument here.

Also, try the Rolleyes or Shy

Atir aissom atir imon
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