Opinions… like bums, everyone has one?


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…

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