Is it possible that an opinion can be correct or incorrect, right or wrong?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Is it possible that an opinion can be correct or incorrect, right or wrong?
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Sat, 07-28-2012 - 12:37pm

In recent days, one of these discussions has hit on the point that an opinion cannot be "correct", or "right"....and I have not gone back to find the thread, or the exact word, but I think the general connotation is understood.

It made me think and wonder if there are correct or incorrect opinions. When you are as sure of your stances and positions as I am in mine, the first, and easiest answer is, "of course there are right and wrong opinions....the ones that are "right" are in agreement with mine, the ones that are wrong, are not"...but I know that is a part of my smart (posterior) personality...and wouldnt at all suffice in this group. :-) I am sure that no one else here ever has those types of feelings and thoughts, but I am comfortable enough with all here to admit that I do, sometimes.

Getting past that, I have still wondered about the possibility....are there opinions that are right, or wrong? Correct, or incorrect? What do you think?

Sonny

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

Sure.  Some opinions do feature provable facts and widely accepted theories.  But opinions are still opinions and therefore NOT "correct" or "right" in and of themselves.  Some may be more thoroughly researched and/or logically argued, making those opinons more convincing.   You can agree with another's opinion, or disagree but have no ground whatsoever to assert which OPINIONS are "right" and which are " wrong"--by definition

As for experiences, they may inform to some degree but one's personal experiences are often colored by a number of other factors affecting perception.  Those other factors can lead one to assume one knows more than is actually revealed by the experience.  Case in point.  The people who live behind me are from the Far East.  They have behaved in abusive, self-absorbed, ill-informed and illegal ways.  I could conclude that all people of Oriental  descent are abusive, self-absorbed, ill-informed and threatening.  But the experience is too limited, and the conclusion too UNlimited to justify making the linkage.  On the other hand, some experiences are a matter of dealing directly with laws of physics.  Put your hand in or near a plume of hot steam and you learn PDQ that steam can burn.  

As for your opinions, I can (and frequently do) point out errors, omissions, or contradictions/fallacies of logic.  But by definition those opinions cannot be labeled in such simplistic fashion as "incorrect" or "wrong"; only that the premise and/or evidence and/or logic is flawed.   

P.S.  One wonders if you're going to start re-defining "opinion" to suit preconception. 

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

Geometry, at least forty years ago, relied heavily on proofs, corollaries, theorems. Any of this ringing a bell?  If not, here's a clapper:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_geometry

At the time I took a geometry course as a teenage girl, I did not appreciate the self-discipline or logic involved. If you want your opinion to carry weight and/or be convincing to others, the approach of a geometric proof is a very good way to accomplish those goals. I explained that in my earlier post. "Did you ever take geometry? Have to do proofs? If you had, I think you would understand the systematic use of logic and facts or generally accepted theories to prove a premise."

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
What DO you think?

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2006

The difference in geometry is that there is an absolute answer to the geometric question posed. If 15 people work the same geometric problem, they should all obtain the same answer, right? I'm not sure I quite understand the relevance of geometry to this discussion, unless you are proposing that opinions can be considered correct, like the answers of a geometry problem, as long as one uses systematic logic and proofs?

shell

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2006

I think the mom's opinion about her child was correct all along. However, it took 48 hours for those who questioned her opinion to prove it (mostly to themselves).

shell

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

No. Opinions won't be "correct" if logic and facts are used, but they will be more convincing and more likely to withstand close scrutiny.

The relevance of geometry is its insistence on (what can seem like) plodding and patient step-by-step logic and known axioms to arrive at a well-reasoned and well-informed conclusion.

Truthiness on the other hand, leapfrogs facts and logic for the sake of arriving at a DESIRED conclusion. More often than not, those conclusions fall apart at the level of vetting and debate. Houses built on sand, if you will.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2006

"The relevance of geometry is its insistence on (what can seem like) plodding and patient step-by-step logic and known axioms to arrive at a well-reasoned and well-informed conclusion. "

I would argue that in geometry one arrives at a correct answer (hopefully), not just a well-reasoned and well-informed conclusion. However, that is a great argument for a student to present to a teacher for at least partial credit..:smileyhappy:

shell

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2006
Emotions, feelings and opinions are all subjective. Something subjective cannot be right/correct, wrong/incorrect. With logic to support them, they can be validated.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

I do not know how they're teaching or grading geometry these days but waaaay back when, the answer didn't matter near as much as how it was achieved. If the steps weren't there, even if the answer was correct, one received no credit. My teacher would probably have given partial credit for taking the steps, even if the answer was not right.  It caused me no end of problems, since my priority at the time was towards an answer, not the documentation of processing. 

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Thank you for putting it so well. I've been trying, seemingly without success, to express the same concepts.

Jabberwocka

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