Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things in Hell: Opionators: Not only is your opinion different, it is wrong

Have you ever had an firmly held opinion? An opinion you were rather passionate about, perhaps dealing with ethical, economical or political topics?

Me too.

Have you ever had someone disagree with your strong opinion? For reasons known or unknown to you, he or she just could not come to any common ground?

Me too.

Is it wrong to disagree with someone's opinion? I don't think so. In a country which grants us the freedoms required to express ourselves the way we see fit (with obvious exceptions), we should welcome the arrival of others at the marketplace of ideas. Numerous minds working together is the basis of a country's strength and ability to progress through good times and bad.

Now to get to the point of this entry, have you had someone disagree with your strong opinion, but not just disagree? To them it is not even a matter of opinion as much as it is a fact? Watching these kind of people respond to your opinion is like watching a teacher grade your test?

Me too.

However, the latter is a lot less acceptable than the former.

There are legal rights, and there are social rights. It is well within the social rights of someone to not have the same opinion as you, but when that person takes the step to the next level - the step towards mockery, verbal humiliation, or even blatant condescension - they become an opinionator.

It isn't enough for an opinionator to simply express their opinion or even express the differences between his/her opinion and yours. They must "teach" you. The curriculum would include phone calls (early morning or late night), text messages, emails, YouTube clips, and articles all with a "See! I told you so!" flavor to them.

Have you expressed a desire to receive this education? Probably not, but an opinionator will only be happy once he has successfully changed your mind. Or will he?

My "informal studies" show his thirst won't be quenched then. At that point, you would simply become one of his cronies. You'll still get the phone calls, text messages, emails, YouTube clips, and articles, only they will now be full of an "I can't believe other people don't think like us" flavor.

I suppose the worst part of an opinionator is that he or she truly believes there is a right and wrong answer. No "that's your opinion" attitude for them. It is fact. And there is no getting around it.

They talk of the economy with certainty of what will happen -- without any formal training as an economist that you know of. They disregard the religious beliefs of any outside their own. They don't tell you what the weather is supposed to be like, but they tell you it will rain. It will be partly cloudy. The wind will blow at 18 miles per hour.

It's frustrating, discouraging, maddening, and almost any other negative adjective all rolled into one. Surely, Hell would have to be like that.

The fact is there really isn't any winning with these people, so stay true to your own self. Have an open mind, but don't let these punks bully you around. In spite of what they might say, you are entitled to your own opinion.

Things in Hell posts are periodic observations of what Hell might have. I am not saying this person/persons are actually going to spend eternity there. When I think of the what the worst possible place would have, these kind of people come to mind.

1 comment:

  1. However... let's not confuse opinion with geniune facts. For instance, Obama has no plans for a "death panel," no matter what Sarah Palin says. Rush Limbaugh is physically incapable of speaking truth. And no matter what anyone says, George W. Bush was a lousy president.

    Okay... too far.