Are All Opinions Good?

Lisbeth Essays, Life

Everyone has an opinion. And some opinions are bad or ill-informed or should simply be ignored by those with more brain cells.

The fact that we can all be publishers now on the Internet is both a wonderful and a horrible thing.  Just because someone hits the “Enter” key doesn’t make them worth listening to. Just because someone has a blog doesn’t make them an expert. Just because someone typed it does not make it true.

I don’t know about you, but I realized long ago that the person talking loudest in a room wasn’t necessarily the smartest person. Sometimes he/she just happened to have the loudest voice, without having the biggest brain.

Conversely, those with the biggest brains don’t always have the kindest hearts, or all the information. And thus a collection of viewpoints is often most helpful, as is the ability to discern what should be saved and what should be tossed.

The author Joyce Carol Oates once said, “The question-and-answer part of the session was less rewarding … perhaps because, in such situations, the more thoughtful tend to remain silent while others plunge forward to speak.”

Think about this the next time that you enter the Q&A portion of anything.

Additionally, I am seldom convinced there is a majority view based on the howling of the crowd, although those howling loudest would like us to believe that they speak for the majority. But who appointed them as spokesmen? Why should we assume that they speak for anyone but themselves? And why should we assume loud voices are anything but loud voices? What about the silent ranks?

The economist/philosopher F. A. Hayek wrote: “Majorities will be found where it is a choice between limited alternatives, but it is a superstition to believe that there must be a majority view on anything.”

And now, if you’ve been paying attention, you should even question these words and this viewpoint as you read it.  (But also don’t make the assumption that the person who questions is smart simply because they do so.)

Question all opinions, including your own. 

Lisbeth Essays, Life

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