Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why you shouldn't have a strong opinion

I thought it would be fitting to inaugurate an opinion site with an article on why you shouldn't have much of an opinion.  It will probably generate some strong opinions.

In short, you dont know what you're talking about.  You are wrong.  Whether it be politics, taxes, healthcare, foreign policy, global warming or American Idol, you are not even close to being an expert, and your opinion is wrong.  For what it's worth, so is mine, so is everyone else's.  A couple examples can be found in these articles (1 and 2), but there are many many more.

This is not meant to insult or anger people, quite the opposite in fact.  Once you open your mind to the possibility that you may be wrong, all of a sudden, life's problems don't seem so bad.  Democrats, It's OK if the Republicans get their latest bill passed through Congress, they might be right.  Republicans, consider the possibility that President Obama doesn't hate America and is actually trying to do what is best for the country.  There is no sense in getting too upset if you understand that the other side is not evil, and could be right.  Politicians have full time aides with years of experience and knowledge of the topics guiding their decisions.  The President has a Cabinet of advisors who are experts in their respective fields. They know more than you do, Period.  Of course, in all likelihood, both sides of a particular topic are wrong, and the "truth," whatever that really means, is somewhere in the middle.  This article on the budget deficit illustrates my point.

I dont think "light" opinions are a bad thing.  People should be informed on what's happening in the world, and they should say what they think about it.  But open your mind to the other side of things, and maybe even allow yourself to be convinced by a well reasoned opposing argument.  The world will be a better place for it.

So the next time some scientist talking global warming gets you angry, or some government regulation regarding healthcare keeps you up at night, take comfort from the fact that science and healthcare are complicated things, people spend many many years studying them, there is no simple right or wrong, and you dont know what you're talking about.

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