audiokayness (the phantom annex)

Plato distinguished between opinion or common belief (doxa) and certain knowledge, and that’s still a workable distinction today: unlike ‘1+1=2’ or ‘there are no square circles,’ an opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it. But “opinion” ranges from tastes or preferences, through views about questions that concern most people such as prudence or politics, to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions.

You can’t really argue about the first kind of opinion. I’d be silly to insist that you’re wrong to think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. The problem is that sometimes we implicitly seem to take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are. Perhaps that’s one reason (no doubt there are others) why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views ‘respected.’

No, You’re Not Entitled to Your Opinion.” (via marathonpacks)

D00d, I so disagree.*

The appeal of certain kinds of knowledge is not that they are beyond opinion, but that they are subject to experiential verification, experimentation and change.  Scientific knowledge is provisional, sought out openly by a number of peers, and has at least a professed method that will take an interest in, rather than run from, any inconsistencies.

On religion and faith I won’t even comment.  Not my interest. 

On opinions, of which I myself have plenty, to say one is entitled to an opinion is not to rubberstamp or give objective scope to a personal notion.  It is a boundary set between persons both to promote and to enforce the idea of humility.  You hold your opinions.  Me, I hold mine.  And if we in public confer, argue or what not, we seek a wider agreement in a social group—consensus. 

In that personal possession of an opinion, it’s nothing more or less than that.  You with yours.   Me with mine.   This forms a boundary line beyond which any assertion becomes presumption.  And given that lease, such opinions are afforded no greater license, no further protection.  Beyond one’s personal right to autonomy of thought, opinions are not automatically so (or not so) because we believe them.  

Beyond such personal realms of belief, we meet, again, in public to talk, but do not speak for the other or look to reach into the other’s mind to rule her or his thoughts on the matter.  One might seek persuasion—more likely a compromise or some working understanding that may not necessarily be based on “changing” someone else’s opinion.

To objectify is insist that something is always and forever true.  And given how much any one of us can know, not only of the vast diversity of human experience, but of the natural world, here on Earth and beyond, of times past and future and even the present—well, claims of objectivity seem like hubris.  Even humanity in its staggering aggregation is but a small part of geologic time and the universe beyond this planet.

Perhaps I presume myself (ooh, ooh—paradox) …   It is my concerted (conceited?) opinion that all we claim as knowledge is provisionally asserted as such.   Assertions, personal or impersonal, all come hard up against the vastness of time & space and the limits of humans one & all.

To assert for ourselves, personally or consensually as a group, can be provisional and look toward change when change is needed.  To assert for any and all forever could be a particularly impolite waste of time.

[*Screw Plato.  Yeah, that is just an opinion.  And floated out there for sheer fun.  I just really have an irrational dislike for Platonism, the forms, all that follows from that.  Y’know, like, whatever …  I’m no philosopher. ]

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    I couldn’t agree more with audiokayness (and disagree more with the last sentence of the original post). the thought...
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