Opinions Have No Rights

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As Professor Brian Cox explains, “an opinion can be criticised and even ridiculed if evidence and good argument show it to be nonsensical”. This simple statement proves offensive to many people when I utter it. Could it be that my eminence pales compared to that of the professor? Of course it does, but this fact isn’t the reason for offence. But the truth is opinions have no rights. 

Opinions Have No Rights
Opinions are unjustified beliefs

Humans have made it a mission to celebrate mediocrity for a long time now, starting with the absurd notion of inclusion in participation and success, which 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 think your presence alone affects the social aggregate. 

However, it is true that propounding a belief or an opinion (an opinion is nothing more than an unjustified belief) can have drastic, adverse side effects on your immediate circles and society in general.

AGain, Opinions have not rights

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

You have a right to an opinion, but your opinion has no inherent epistemic value unless its significance is traceable to evidence and sound 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

Thank you for reading. I hope you had a good weekend.

— The Devil Unbound


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