Opinions Have No Rights


As professor Brian Cox explains: an opinion can be criticised and even ridiculed if evidence and good argument demonstrate it to be nonsense.  This simple statement has proven to be offensive to people when I have uttered it. Could it be that my eminence pales in comparison to that of the professor, of course it does, but this fact isn’t the reason for offense.  We have, for a long time now, made it a mission to celebrate mediocrity – starting with the ridiculous notion of inclusion in participation and success – a notion that led to the participation trophy movement.

The truth is that your mere presence in the world isn’t enough to affect it positively; yes you can make the quantum argument, but you would be wrong if you honestly consider the social aggregate. It is true however that propounding a belief or an opinion (an opinion is nothing more than an unjustified belief.) can have drastic, negative side effects on your immediate circles and on society in general.

I’ll finish by echoing Brian Cox’s sentiment.

You have a right to an opinion, but tour opinion has no epistemic value unless its value can be tracked by evidence and good argument.  It doesn’t deserve respect or celebration simply because you have “put it out there”. You deserve respect as a human being, and even that is contingent on the amount of respect you afford others. But your opinion is entirely meaningless in the scope of everything.

“The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!”

Prof. Brian Cox

Have a good weekend.


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