Perhaps opinions are like bums, and everyone has one. But perhaps they shouldn’t be paraded around in public all that often. Patrick Stokes has written an article over on The Conversation to this effect, arguing that internal and external evidences for opinions should not be weighed equally. I think this backs up some of what i wrote on the last blog post, regarding how to do public discourse well. Check out the article on The Conversation here: http://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978 Also, this is what i posted on John’s wall on the same:
It is simply putting forward that unsubstantiated opinions should be treated as subjective opinions, not objectively argued positions.
Upon reflection this is at the core of the issue that came out from last Monday’s Q and A, and the subsequent discussion on this wall! The elevation of subjective opinion as equal to or trumping objectively argued positions is actually the real detriment to free speech.
Lets take a hyperbolic example: Person A argues that because sucrose is harmful for teeth, then eating apples should be banned (fallacious argument, but supported by evidence). Person B argues that ‘I like apples’. In the current climate A and B arguments are viewed as equivalently supported, with external and internal ‘evidence’ being quantified equally.
Or perhaps at the risk of a re-hash of last week: Prof Stackhouse makes well supported statement regarding the writings in the Quran. Sussan Ley stated “I don’t think that the Quran teaches that.” Ensuing discussion revolved around whether Stackhouse was being judgemental: again internally and externally provided ‘evidence’ quantified equally.
Also of interest to this conversation is this Tell me if you agree, or disagree? Or simply that my bum shouldn’t be exposed here…