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

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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: 04-09-2006
Weellll...I think this topic is just about worn out. I keep seeing suggestions in this and other threads that I and others who have offered logical arguments have done so at the expense of a great deal of time and effort...nothing could be farther from the truth. If a person knows the language of logic (or the language of music, or art, or whatever), using logic (or art or music or whatever) is neither time consuming or difficult.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2011
LOL. So true.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2006

As modeled by the musical ability of some on American Idol, who  think they have musical ability, but don't, it seems evident in my opinion, that some of the arguments, of which you speak, were thoughtfully composed by authors who have less knowledge of the language of logic than they think they do. This is probably why it didn't  translate well to others.

shell

I'm still scratching my head over how one could compare "opinions" to solving geometry problems and then try to make the argument that at the end of the systematic steps of proof, there are no correct answers. If indeed it is like a math problem, then logically, there would have to be a correct answer, unless of course, there are no correct answers in geometry. Right?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

It took me awhile to post examples which made my point.  Other than that, no it doesn't take much time to think logically. 

As for the time it takes to provide substantiating proof, I used to spend hours looking through card catalogs, the Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature, the indices and tables of content of any book on the library shelf which had a Dewey Decimal number anywhere NEAR that of the topic for which I was searching.  Then it took more hours to find the information in those books which I could use to write a paper--even with speed reading.  Today that same information and more is available in seconds.  I cannot understand people who consider those seconds to be too taxing!   

Typing?  Oh my.  The errors, the whiteout, the yanking of carbon paper out of the platen, the "Corrasable" paper.  More hours. MANY more hours.  Kate Turabian's Style Manual was my bible.  Word processing, by comparison, is damn near miraculous and with spell checkers, errors should be nonexistent. 

 

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

I am through with explaining. If you wish to ignore points made previously, so be it.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2006

I am not ignoring your points. In fact I am embracing some of them. I loved the geometry example. It was brilliant. I wish I had thought of it myself.

I have enjoyed the stimulating exchange of ideas. I'll admit that I came to the discussion with a preconceived notion because I "know" that opinions can be proven correct and incorrect. I spent a great deal of my life doing just that in a professional atmosphere and saw daily that facts can validate opinion, thus making the opinion correct. It's a widely accepted practice in the world of science. 

shell

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2009

I think we are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole in regards to making logic work with liberals. It just doesn't work. I've heard Michael Moore admit that he's okay with misleading people in order to get them to agree with the point he is trying to make. No one needs to do that if they have logic on their side, which he does not.

Look at what is going on today with the left. Obama, with an absolutely dismal economic record (predicted from day 1 by conservatives, logically) is proposing tax increases all over the place and somehow thinks this is what is needed right now. This is logical to liberals.

Nothing more needs to be said about reasoning logically with people that think this way.

"Resist, we much. We must, and we much. About that, be committed."

Avatar for cmdonnab
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2000

Hi, Everyone...

Sorry to butt in but before we get to the weekend, I wanted to throw out a reminder:

Personally, I find the topic very interesting. With what's been going on in the news, opinions are very much being questioned and there are a lot of valid points being raised here.

However, valid points can be so easily lost when we turn the conversation on each other or groups at large.

There are numerous parties in the U.S. democratic system. Therefore, we're going to have people from various parties sharing their opinions and feelings towards politics and the election...and everything else. We don't have to agree, but as Jen has said, we can disagree respectfully.

This means that the attacks on each other need to stop. Since it's known that we have both Liberals and Conservatives posting, no one needs to say "Liberals are <insert negative word>" or "Conservatives are <insert negative word.>" Comments posted to incite disruption will be removed, and memberships could be jeopardized.

It's not for us to question each others' feelings, opinions, or logic. 

Thank you... As always, if you have questions, write us directly. You can reach Jen at pboards@mail.ivillage.com or me at policy@mail.ivillage.com. We won't discuss anyone's membership but your own, due to our privacy policies that protect all of you, but if you're unsure if your post is okay, ask us first..or err on the side of caution and remove anything that directly attacks someone else on the board. There's no need to defend yourself, and if something upsets you, scroll onwards to a different topic for a break.

Have a good weekend...

Donna

 



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2006

With all due respect Donna, can we really have a meaningful debate  if we are not allowed to question one another's opinions. By definition, isn't that want debate is, questioning and discussing opposing views?  Are you suggesting that we  only participate in topics with which we agree? If we offer commentary on that with which we disagree, it is likely going to be perceived as questioning someone's opinion or feelings, isn't it?

Thank you,

shell

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
"I'm still scratching my head over how one could compare "opinions" to solving geometry problems and then try to make the argument that at the end of the systematic steps of proof, there are no correct answers."

Did someone do that? I offered a Proof by Contradiction, which is not the same as saying there are no correct answers.

On the other hand, I think this thread got into trouble because we didn't bother to define "opinion". The answer to whether or not there are correct opinions might differ depending on which meaning we are assigning to "opinion"...for example, if we restrict "opinion" (as I was) to roughly "someone's viewpoint that doesn't pass the test of certainty for others", we might get a different answer if we include "a person's viewpoint" in the definition...both, plus at least three others (professional "opinions", as in law and medicine)...so we didn't define and might have all been posting at cross purposes. This probably accounts for an apparent paradox: that a person's opinion might be verified as having the correct information...but it is still their opinion. But it's certain, which goes against one definition of opinion. But it is personal, which conforms to a second definition of opinion. So, have your pick.

"I'm still scratching my head over how one could compare "opinions" to solving geometry problems and then try to make the argument that at the end of the systematic steps of proof, there are no correct answers."

Actually, the universe is not Euclidean, so every "proof" of geometry is only really consistent within its own system (geometry)...it is useful on the relatively small scale of earth, where we cannot detect any "bending" in the universe when building walls for example, but is not "truth" in an absolute sense. Mathematics is internally consistent, and helps us model reality, but is a human construct, a very powerful one. It actually takes about of volume of "higher mathematics" to prove what every kid in kindergarten knows: that 1+1 = 2. And there's a really cool paradox that shows how difficult (or impossible) it is to define the apparently simple notion of a set as a container for objects...in the first paragraph this article mentions paradoxes in naive set theory:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_theory
Fun stuff!

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