Opinions, Beliefs and Ignorance

If an opinion is wrong we can show that it is wrong. From the article: NO, IT’S NOT YOUR OPINION. YOU’RE JUST WRONG BY Jef Rouner: “Opinion, or worse “belief”, has become the shield of every poorly-conceived notion that worms its way onto social media. There’s a common conception that an opinion cannot be wrong.”

One may hold an opinion on a subject that has not been sufficiently clarified by facts. Conservatives believe the country will be better is we leave things alone; Liberals often believe we need to change. Informed economists differ on whether active public sector investment is required for economic health. These are valid opinions and they are not wrong.  At least no one so far has shown either side of either discussion to be in error, despite vociferous efforts.

Opinions like the above are akin to beliefs but only with regard to severity.  Belief  requires no reason or information beyond the belief itself; that Christ is coming to rule our government, Sharia Law will make the world a better place… These are not open for discussion because they are not verifiable. Are they *wrong*? Who can say? What is clear is that action in advancement of such a belief should NOT be required by those who do not believe those things.  I can support my opinion about non-involvement with the belief system of others with facts and reason.  I should not be required to help build an Arc or institute Sharia Law.

Ignorance is about shielding oneself behind opinion or belief so as not to investigate further.  It seems that MOST people do not investigate their opinions because we may then  be obliged to modify our positions because of evident facts and reasonable argument.  Another word for this is *ignorance* One who does not care if our opinion is right or wrong is ignorant.

The larger point  IS the discussion.  My opinion, and I can substantiate and support my opinion with countless facts and irrefutable reason, is that the DEBATE about opinions is all important.  We all need to debate our opinions in order to better our own lives, our families, our neighborhoods, communities, cities, states and nations.

Ignorance is not caring if your opinion may be wrong.  And those who pronounce *wrong* the opinions of others may be more ignorant than the *wrong*.

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