Everyone Is Entitled to MY Opinion....

So you lurk in MPSIMS, and open a thread called “Asbestos Thong ROOLZ,” and find it is a panegyric to this fantastic new grunge-rock band in which anyone who might conceivably not see them as the ultimate salvation of Western culture is consigned to the nether regions.

And you wander over to Great Debates, and you find threads asserting that fundamentalists are a major thread to the world as we know it, or that all gays are obviously morally corrupt because the Bible says so, or that {four-letter presidential candidate name of your choice} is morally corrupt and completely useless to the world as a whole, and that anyone voting for him is committing proctoencephalia, and similar such things.

Here in the Pit you find that given businesses, industries, operators of motor vehicles of given types, counter service people at various establishments, and so on are flaming idiots. And you find people calling other people out for their egregiously insipid opinions as expressed in thread X (generally not linked to until the tenth post, when some reader finds out what the HELL the OP was talking about and graciously makes it possible for the rest of us to figure it out too).

You even go to About This Message Board and find “suggestions” (actually thinly veiled demands) that threads of type X be banned.

What do all these things have in common? The commonly held view that “my opinion on X is the only possible valid one.”

I hate to tell you this, but you’re wrong. No matter how much I agree with your opinion, and how poorly stated or supported the idiot on the other side’s opinion might be.

People are amazingly different and each one is a complex maze of thoughts, some brilliant and some not so. And they have one thing in common with you: they’re as entitled to their views as you. I’ve seen some strange points very well argued. In a few cases they’ve convinced me to change my views, in others to adapt mine to take into account their points, and in some they’ve failed to convince at all but were well stated.

To all those whose posts fit my first few paragraphs, I have one thing to say:

“Get the hell off the throne! Nobody made you ruler of the world, and your views are just that: yours, not the entire world’s.”

May I use your proctoencephalia remark?

Sorry, Polycarp, but you’re wrong. :smiley:

The scary part is…

There will be quite a few posters coming in to take apart polycarps post, sentence by sentence, word by word, and show her how wrong she/he is.

But the funny thing about the OP is, it’s a self destructive opinion. By definition, this thread contains an opinion, which is subject to flaws, just like every other opinion.

I agree with Polycarp in as much that people aren’t accepting of other’s opinions. Often times their opinion is exclusion-ist, it only allows for one right answer. But I also admit, that this is only my opinion of other’s opinions and I could be wrong.

The Thief’s right, I mean really! How could any one have an intelligent thought if they are capable of making a egregious mistake like “asserting that fundamentalists are a major thread to the world” when she/he obviously meant “asserting that fundamentalists are a major THREAT to the world”.
How could you say that Polycarp?! I was all set to stand up and cheer when I caught that demoralizing mistake on the second reading. Now all I can do is snivel.

Actually, TheThief, I think what’s really scary is the number of people we’ll see who praise Polycarp to the skies for his diatribe against their opponents, not even thinking that they themselves are guilty of it as well.

Motes and beams and all that. Or maybe physicians and self-healing. I get all those allegories confused.

Can I just point out that some of the people bitching about threads and big sig files are not trying to dictate the quantity or quality of the threads or big ass sig files… we are concerned about the slowness of the boards and the size of the server.

Just felt the need to point that out :). If I have totally missed the point, ummm, well I guess you are entitled to that opinion

In This thread, which I started, I was convinced to change my opinion.

You are permitted to bow down and praise me now. :smiley:


Um . . . Polycarp? You’re a guy, right? I mean, I’ve never physically met you, but all the pictures I’ve seen are of a guy.

Thief, I’d be very interested to see anyone try to dismantle Polycarp’s post.

Eh, this is a tough one. I completely see your point that people are overly critical of positions differing from their own.

But that doesn’t mean that every opinion carries equal weight. You may believe that the earth is flat, which is fine for you to believe. But my belief that the world is round is backed up by facts, whereas yours is not. And acknowledging that some opinions can be more grounded in factual or experimental data is important. Just because you believe something doesn’t mean that it is equally as valid as my opinion which I have developed after a careful analysis of available facts.

Also, there is a thin line between being open to and willing to accept new ideas, and have you opinions changed, and the other side, which is accepting any opinion as perfectly fine without any critical examination. The first is admirable; the second has led to major mistakes of history.

I’m of the opinion (!) that the world is very complicated, and thus most issues which we are faced with of any importance have many, not just two or three, different angles that one needs to be open to. I think that’s what you’re saying here. Just beware of pronouncing that just because someone has an opinion means they should be taken seriously. That’s just not true.

You know what they say about opinions and assholes…

Sounds to me like you’re a little burned out on the whole message board thing. I mean, the whole point of a forum like Great Debates is to . . . y’know . . . debate.

Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion, and everyone else is entitled to tell those people that their opinion is wrong. I think if you really believe in what you’re saying, there’s nothing wrong with considering yourself right. Perhaps you’ve just read too may posts where people get all fired about about stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. Frankly, I think it’s just as important that everyone is entitled to NOT have an opinion at all.

Umm, no, DeskMonkey. Debating is one thing and it ain’t what Polycarp is talkin’ about. He’s telling you that self-righteous pontificating is wrong. There’s a huge difference.

I see I didn’t make myself very clear, folk.

Everyone is entitled to have opinions. I have opinions. What irked me was those who feel that their opinions, beliefs, or whatever, are the only worthwhile ones. And certainly it is “better” by a variety of standards to have opinions which are intelligent, backed up by factual data, than unexamined ones. (Please go back to the main Straight Dope page and examine the slogan – It is, assuredly, taking longer than they thought.)

To those who picked up on my typo, I offer two comments – choose one or both at your leisure:
[li]I used “thread” in the Pernese sense – a menace to the entire world. :o[/li][li]If that rationalization does not suit you, may you make an egregious typo in your next post, preferably typing “now” for “not” in a description of what you would never do sexually. :mad: :D[/li]
And to the person who thought this thread was related to board problems, that rant is two threads down to your right. Please get the door on the way out. Thanks. :slight_smile:

My problem with the OP is that I am right. My opinion is always the only possible valid one. You are only entitled to your views so long as they align with mine. And I know deep in my soul that if everyone agreed with me the world would be a better place.
The fact that I have not yet been made the ruler of the world is merely a soon to be corrected oversight.

Oh. Which one is this?

FWIW, I agree with you, but perhaps not everyone is schooled in the fine art of debating and they end up getting all high and mighty over things they feel strongly about. Or maybe they’re just jerks.

Y’know, just to get off the subject for a second, for the life of me I just can’t tell what angle your response is coming from, Unc. I mean, they way you said “He’s telling you . . .” is a little , I don’t know, harsh and accusatory? Are you saying that I was being self-righteous and/or pontificatious (I don’t think that’s a word)? Or am I just feeling vulnerable? I’m just curious.

“Whether it reveals the dictatorship of the proletariat or the virtues of privatization, truth is ideology. Not our truths, the elites say. They are simply delivering the inevitable conclusions of facts rationally organized. Absolutism is the weakness of others. Our elites have the good fortune simply to be right.”

-John Ralston Saul, The Doubter’s Companion

I was attempting humor. Again, I have failed. However, thank you, Polycarp, for removing a small bit of my ignorance. For anybody else who was clueless about the Thread/Threat, please see Anne McCaffrey’s novels about the Dragonriders of Pern. The Fan pages were …ummm… interesting.
Your rationalization does not suit me, but it did amuse me so I will make egregious typos in this post.

Dear Polycarp, I hope you will forgive me my impertinence and next we meet I will now nibble your well-scrubbed and perfectly pedicured toesy-wosies.

On the contrary, Poly, I thought you were perfectly clear. Even if your gender wasn’t.

[li]I used “thread” in the Pernese sense – a menace to the entire world. :o[/li][/QUOTE]

Damnit!! Why’d you have to be married? Shit, I could even overlook the whole “fundamentalist” thing… :wink: (I had a smart comment to make here, but have forgotten it. Please ignore this parenthetical remark.)

Well, yeah. And Polycarp’s point is that if you’re unschooled in debating, getting high and mighty, and/or being a jerk, you are not being constructive. (I’m using “you” in the previous sentence to mean “one”; I’m not referring to you specifically.)

FWIW, DeskMonkey, Polycarp is pretty much one of the wisest human beings ever to plug in a modem, so if you’re unclear on something he posted, it helps to start by assuming he’s right, and work forward from there. :wink: