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Opinions are best when they are informed

I was told many, many, (many) years ago, “opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.” However, it’s the kind of opinion is what matters.

I found this a while back. Twitter @sgrstk 4/8/40:

A fact is information minus emotion. An opinion is information plus experience. Ignorance is an opinion lacking information. And, stupidity is an opinion that ignores a fact.

There are different levels of opinions.

First is the “echoing mind chamber” level, where the only important facts on the subject in question is your “thoughts on the matter.” Which translates to, “I have zero data, zero observations, and zero facts that support my position, but because I think it is so, it must be so.” This level makes you look like an idiot the second someone brings a fact to the discussion. You won't feel that way, since your thoughts on the matter trump any facts presented.

Next we have the “Somewhat-informed level”, where you have collected data/facts/etc. that only supports your position. Any data/facts that don’t agree with yours are “irrelevant/fake/made-up” and thus don’t count and are summarily ignored. When you achieve this level, you can hold your own until facts that disagree with yours are presented.

The highest level is the “fully-informed” level. This is where you have researched and documented the facts and opinions of both sides of the issue. You have thoroughly cogitated through the entire subject. You came down on the side you did according to the facts plus your morals, beliefs and character. By being fully informed this makes you able to adequately argue for both sides of the discussion. This gives you the edge in the discussion in the fact that you probably know their points better than they do. By knowing what their points are going to be, you can have your facts to counter those points on hand and ready to go. I call this the “Ben Shapiro level” because he can shoot down your opinion and facts with better facts before you can get your opinion/facts all the way out of your mouth.

Here’s the most important point: In doing all of this research, you may learn something you didn’t know before. Something that may modify or even change your whole view and position on the subject. Which is what happens when you let facts and firmly-rooted morals determine your opinion. That’s a whole lot better than letting your emotions of the moment shape your opinion.

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