‘Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone’s opinion is of equal value.’ What is your view?
Define opinion and its purpose.
An opinion is a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Opinions are predicated on the individual’s current understanding and analysis of perceived phenomena, and its dynamic nature brings value and meaning to the uniqueness of individuality and colorful context to otherwise mundane events.
While everyone has an opinion and every opinion should be given fair amount consideration in order for society to best function and cater to the interest of every individual as much as possible, the harsh truth remains that not everyone’s opinion is of equal value. Firstly, opinions predicated upon evidence are more reliable to derive inspiration from compared to one which manifests purely from emotions and personal bias. Secondly, psychological bias renders the notion that everyone’s opinion holds equal value and be given the same amount of consideration to be impractical. Hence, everyone has an opinion and is indeed entitled to have one, but not everyone’s opinion is of equal value for society.
(Counter) Argument 1:
Every opinion should be equally considered in order for society to best function and cater to the interest of every individual as much as possible
Elaboration: The conscious societal effort to hold everyone’s opinion with equal regard protects the interest of every individual, especially of those from minority groups. If we were to disregard opinions which do not interest the majority of us, it can lead to immoral and biased behavior, policies and consequences.
Example: Severe racism against blacks in the US in the past was due to the majority group’s absolute lack of consideration of opinion and interests of the perceived minority group.
Link: Every opinion should be carefully regarded in order for society to not neglect the interest of certain groups in the midst of societal progress.
(Counter) Argument 2:
Every individual is unique and as valuable, and hence every opinion carries a perspective that has their own distinct and equal value which should not be ignored.
Elaboration: Based on the premise that “all lives are equal”, all opinions should be equally considered as every opinion represents a distinct and unique individual who is as valuable as another.
Evidence: In a democratic government, every vote from every eligible individual is considered and carries the same weight, acknowledging the notion that every individual citizen is of equal value.
Point: Every opinion matters as every individual is unique.
Informed opinions hold more meaningful value
Elaboration: “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” – Harlan Ellison
Opinions predicated upon evidence are more reliable to derive inspiration from compared to one which manifests purely from emotions and personal bias. Opinions direct societal progress, and hence informed opinions lead to more informed decisions which would allow society to function and develop in its best interest.
Example: In the political context, a deep understanding of politics and the local political scene would compel the informed citizen to support the most capable political party. This informed opinion leads to be more logical and rational political vote which brings great positive value to the country, as opposed to having disgruntled citizens angrily voting for political parties which capitalize on emotions without decent consideration for practicality.
Link: Informed opinions is of greater value than uninformed ones.
Personal bias renders the notion of everyone’s opinion holding equal value impractical
Elaboration: Opinions generate the greatest amount of real tangible value when they resonate with the masses. And the extent of how well an opinion is received by the masses is influenced by psychological bias driven by factors such as age, the perceived credibility and prestige of the opinion-bearer and how well that opinion aligns with our own personal beliefs.
Example: In the campaign for gender equality, it is evident that Emma Watson’s efforts hold greater influence and are held in higher regard than most people who have been essentially advocating and saying the same thing. This is the reason why charities tend to tap onto the prestige of celebrities to amplify their impact.
Link: It is impossible for everyone’s opinion to be genuinely held with equal regard due to personal bias.