The 'Validity of Opinion'

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Stroman

Platinum Member
It's hard not to do when people insist that 2 + 2 = 10. Sometimes the opinions here are that far off and they refuse to believe 2 + 2 = 4.
Agreed, but I have found that you often can't convince that person that 2 + 2 does NOT equal 10. Any adult of reasonable intelligence, who has the facts available to them, and still concludes that 2 + 2 = 10 is not likely to be convinced by you reiterating the facts. And you don't need to convince them. Everyone else already knows, and you now have evidence that you shouldn't trust that person's opinion on mathematical subjects.

A silly opinion is still useful.

I don't disagree. I'm not a fan of 'censorship'.

All I'm effectively saying is that opinions need critical appraising. I would hope that the people on here are intelligent enough and well-versed enough to recognise the difference between a well-formed view and one that is poorly-formed. The forum members that I've met have more than capable!

At large though, it worries me that critical thinking skills are not focussed on in schools. If they were, some of the adversarial arguments that people have may not occur. If two parties can accept that an opposing standpoint is valid but they disagree, that's fine.

I'll take an example. When I was at University, I knew a guy about my age who had very strong political views. I had equally strong political views but we had reached almost polar-opposite conclusions. We discovered through polite discourse and genuine discussion that we had read the same books and waded through the same reasoning and simply arrived at different conclusions based on personal factors. I could absolutely respect that, even though I disagreed vehemently with his assessment.

What I'm not saying is that there needs to be any censorship. I'm simply saying that whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion, opinions should be dealt with responsibly. The weight of evidence, experience and knowledge should inform the validity of the conclusions and trying to use the word 'opinion' when overwhelmed with contradictory evidence as a way of deflecting your incorrectness, is disingenuous.
Agreed re: people's critical thinking skills.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Years ago, when living in Baltimore, I had an Uncle that knew everything. I knew just about everything so he and I had some interesting debates. After a bit of time I got tired of everything I said being shot down just on his opinion with no facts that I would not start any conversations and when he did, I would just agree with him. Discussions didn't last long from that point on. I'm not one to back down when I have the facts but with this man you could pour water on him and he would still say he was dry. I have gotten to the point now where I will state my opinion but will not argue it. If you don't believe me at first you won't believe me and 30 minutes of fussing. It just ain't worth it.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Years ago, when living in Baltimore, I had an Uncle that knew everything. I knew just about everything so he and I had some interesting debates. After a bit of time I got tired of everything I said being shot down just on his opinion with no facts that I would not start any conversations and when he did, I would just agree with him. Discussions didn't last long from that point on. I'm not one to back down when I have the facts but with this man you could pour water on him and he would still say he was dry. I have gotten to the point now where I will state my opinion but will not argue it. If you don't believe me at first you won't believe me and 30 minutes of fussing. It just ain't worth it.
Exactly this!!^^
Now just imagine every single person you argue with on the internet is like Grunt's uncle- because at the end of the day, 99.9% of people are.
Think about it- how many arguments have you actually "won" during your years on the forum?
How many times did your evidence- based, well-researched opinion make a difference to the person making a contrary argument??
Not many times I'm guessing...
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
You post is way too long but I got your point skimming through.

You're right but I'll point out that this is a forum and the things people do on forums are a bit odd. Some like to practice answering questions and so they'll jump in and give advice where they really have no idea. Some just want to be listened to or respected. Some just want others to buy the same stuff as them so that they can feel influential or part of some sort of team. Some like pulling a little subjective sentence from a persons carefully thought out post just to shoot that person down. I could go on but I'm not trying to sound like an expert. Point is, it's much easier to do these things from the safety of your pc so forums are a haven for certain characters and most of us fall into one category or another.

So if you think someone is full of shit, you can bet that people are thinking the same thing so just ignore that person.
 

gretsch-o-rama

Senior Member
As it comes down to so many times on the internet, it comes down to how well you discourse. Ya know, that small uptick of heartrate and adrenaline as you read the inflammatory reply. But not only that, but how well can you keep your thoughts organized under pressure. Rationale is so disorienting to someone who's upset. People are entitled to their opinions(like a**holes) but in the world today, experience does seem to trump everything. Because its the most factual thing about people. A history cant lie, good or bad. So, if you do decide to wage this futile war with unknown assailants on the internet, you need to learn how to control yourself, which is highly called for and in short supply, imo...,
 

picodon

Silver Member
True, we have about as much self control on the internet as we have on the road, where we can't see the other person either.

And just like right of way is usually proportional to the price of the car, validity of opinion is sometimes proportional to the total value of all the kit in the signature. :)

Sorry I can't make it a wall of text, I'm typing on iphone :p
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Amply demonstrated by my avoidance of posting in the technique sub forum ;)
 

larryz

Platinum Member
what do you say to the person that drives a car to a street corner rally and holds up a sign that says "No war for oil"....remember, they DROVE A CAR to the event.
So you're saying that absolutely nobody can be against this war for oil, which is what it is, and drive a gasoline-powered car? I totally disagree.

While politicians are in bed with oil companies and thus will not support cleaner alternatives because it would offend their largest donors, oil can be had from other countries that do not necessitate the US sending troops to ensure that result.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Yep - that's a sticky subject. Anyone old enough to remember the major oil crisis in the 1970's - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis
knows that we've had 40 years to develop alternatives.

And that the US should be fully energy independent by now.
And that people should be driving vehicles that don't require wars for oil by now.

We drive what the manufacturers make available (and what hasn't been suppressed).
There are hurdles to overcome, and they probably would have been, were it not for the enormous profits made in the industry.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
So you're saying that absolutely nobody can be against this war for oil, which is what it is, and drive a gasoline-powered car? I totally disagree.

While politicians are in bed with oil companies and thus will not support cleaner alternatives because it would offend their largest donors, oil can be had from other countries that do not necessitate the US sending troops to ensure that result.
I knew someone would bite. Off we go!
 

picodon

Silver Member
There is no such thing as sending troops to ensure oil supply. War makes oil production collapse. Look at Iraq (twice) and Libya oil output before, during and after war.

Ensuring oil supply = leaving the bad old dictator in place and pay him his 10%. Never ever make waves by sending troops.

I have a valid opinion on this, I used to work for a major oil company.
 

shemp

Silver Member
I knew someone would bite. Off we go!
LOL! "Off we go", that is very funny, but I promise it was not bait....and i'm not going to help promote further discussion of it...I just liked your comment
 
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