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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


We all have opinions. There is no denying that each and everyone of us has our own perspective from which we see and experience the world.  Can you imagine a world if we all thought, believed, and felt the same way?  It would be a pretty uninteresting place. That, by the way is an opinion. You see it would be practically impossible to even communicate without opinions.

I've recently been intrigued by the logical fallacy of "false equivalence," one of a number of logical fallacies, or errors in reasoning.  A false equivalence is basically when a two opposing perspectives or arguments are presented as being equal when in fact the evidence supporting one is much more than for the other.   A weaker position is raised to equality with a stronger one simply by saying they're equal.

I wonder if this is what goes on when we use phrases like "I'm entitled to my opinion." or "That's just your opinion." and even elevate our opinion with false humility "In my humble opinion."  without taking a moment to examine those opinions.   Sometimes it seems to me that we get lost in a sea of our own and other's opinions because too many of us equate our perspective with the way things really are.

But wait a minute.  Haven't I said before that we create our own reality through beliefs, thoughts, words, actions, and opinions?  Yes, but the the key word here is "our."  I do not create another person's reality.   And to mistakenly think that my subjective reality is equal to your subjective reality is a form of false equivalency.

The only way to arrive at anything near objective reality is to continually negotiate and compromise our myriad subjective realities to find common perspectives.  But this is difficult to do when everyone insists that our "right" to an opinion is the same as that opinion being equal to all others.

Public discourse today is filled with false equivalencies when perhaps what we really need is more honest and truly humble discussion and deliberation of our common humanity, our interconnectedness and interdependence with all of creation - our "true" equivalencies.

Now you have my opinion on opinions.     What's yours?

1 comment:

  1. Good listening, and separating opinion from fact, are dying arts. I often begin meetings I am facilitating by asking people to "boldly speak THEIR TRUTH, but to not confuse that with THE TRUTH."