A Familiar Saying That Is Just Wrong!
Posted July 9, 2011on:
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
Actually – not true. This one phrase has been said so many times by so many people for so long that most people accept it without thinking.
Here’s the thing: YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO AN OPINION ON A SUBJECT ABOUT WHICH YOU KNOW NOTHING !!
If a patient is about to have brain surgery you are NOT entitled to an opinion on which technique ought to be used unless you are a brain surgeon. If your pet dog is chewing up the furniture you are not entitled to an opinion on why he is behaving this way unless you are well versed in canine behavior. If the political pundits are arguing the merits of a proposed amendment to the Constitution you are not entitle to an opinion, pro or con, unless you study the facts, learn the history behind the amendment, research the possible consequences of it and understand the legislative process used.
I could come up with six more examples but you get the point. Here is the corrected version of this all-too-familiar but incomplete phrase:
Everyone is entitled to his own INFORMED opinion.
So the moral of the story is: Don’t feel compelled to throw out an opinion just because everybody else is spouting theirs. It is perfectly valid to say “I am not currently qualified to have an opinion on that subject. Let me do some research and I’ll get back to you.”
(With thanks to Harlan Ellison for the inspiration.)