Ant Musing: Opinion

This muse is about what is opinion and does it matter. Please let me have your opinion on it.

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  1. Again, I like the picture. I have no social media presence – my wife is my only Facebook friend – but I cannot avoid seeing a huge number of opinions online. I think that many of the views expressed are not really opinions at all, but statements that would not have been made if there had not been a platform to put them on. It is like asking three economists and getting seven opinions, except considerably multiplied. I usually listen to and value your opinions, Ant, so what is your opinion on this?

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      Whether they are opinions may be a matter of opinion, but I don’t think you can grade opinions, just be wary of them the more crazy and unsupported they are. Sometimes an opinion can convince you of the opposite one.

  2. Some nicely made points as usual Ant. Yes, I agree with you that friendships can ( and perhaps should) be more important than opinions. I also like the point you make that failure to expose ourselves to and debate contrary opinions merely serves to reinforce and deepen the ones we already adhere to.
    At one point you say ( to paraphrase you) that debate is healthy so long as no harm is done. Well, yes and no. I’m dismayed that the notion of harm ( and its bedfellow “offence”) is now being weaponised, nost notably in the trans rights versus women’s rights confrontation, to stifle debate.

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      Thanks Derek. I suppose a difficulty is defining harm. If it is merely ‘offence’ to be taken and there is a reason to speak that maybe be should in the right circumstances. But we shouldn’t just opine for the sake of it.

  3. I think friendships can be tested by the ability to have differing opinions. Sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree. Perhaps a sign of a strong friendship that you’re able to remain friendly with someone of oppositional opinions. Equally, as with opinions you consider unacceptable, you may recognise a prior friend as someone you do not in fact want to be friends with.

    For instance, neither side of the Harry debate would influence my opinion of my friends. But there are more personal things that would. And perhaps that’s good. Friends that challenge you are good but there’s a healthy balance to be had.

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      Interesting, Forster. I think you have highlighted a difference here also between social media and ‘physical life’ context. I am not here so much separating ‘social media friends’ and ‘friends in physical world’, not least because, in my case at least, they over lap to fair extent. But the environment is different, not the same as a friendly chat when Harry for instance might come up as topic en passant and we could have a more focused debate with much less opportunity for misunderstanding (including with advantage of physical expression/body language) whilst at same time have a laugh and move on. To that extent social media is more superficial.
      You might enjoy my earlier podcast in series on Friendship.
      Thanks for comment! Always valued.

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