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: 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

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: 01-21-2006

 Not sure what  geometry has to do with this? I don't know  where you took  math, but geometry is not based on opinion.

Geometry- The mathematics of the properties, measurement, and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids.
 Mathematics- the science of numbers and their operations..

shell

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
What we now think are facts may be later shown as nonfactual. Does that mean we don't accept anything as factual? Seems a bit dire......

IMHO, the journey to truth is one we're making as a species.

Seems to me that when people want to claim obvious opinion as "correct" or "right", there's even less chance of getting to truth.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2008
jabberwocka wrote:
Shouldn't have used the word "fact". Statements, maybe. Beliefs, maybe.

To further complicate matters, "facts" DO change. At one time, for instance, Pluto was considered to be a planet. Stomach ulcers were thought to be caused by stress, not heliobacter pylori.

For what it's worth, I'd say a fact is always true. If it is no longer true, then it never was a fact. Pluto is the same as it was when we called it a planet, it has not changed.
It was once thought to be a fact that all stars were the same distance from the Earth. The fact has always been that they are not, and never were. It was never a fact that they were all the same distance from the Earth.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009

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. 

I'm getting the distinct impression that what's being sought here is an endorsement of truthiness* as incontrovertible fact ("correct" or "right") while simultaneously expecting other to agree.  Opinions are, by nature, subjective, not provable.  Individual components of an opinion can be evaluated for veracity.  And the way the components are assembled and presented can be evaluated for logic.  It's much like making a case in court. Here, the "judge" and "jury" are other iVillage members.   

*Truthiness is a quality characterizing a "truth" that a person claims to know intuitively "from the gut" or because it "feels right" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthiness

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Shouldn't have used the word "fact". Statements, maybe. Beliefs, maybe.

To further complicate matters, "facts" DO change. At one time, for instance, Pluto was considered to be a planet. Stomach ulcers were thought to be caused by stress, not heliobacter pylori.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Dadgumit. NO. I didn't say that. Go back and read the earlier post!

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2006
The fact the child had Strep makes you correct. Your opinion was subjective.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2006

I'll ask again:

If a mother's opinion is that her son has strep throat and after 48 hours the throat culture grows streptococcus, then can't one say that her opinion was correct?

I'm curious as to how  you square this example with "You can prove a fact but not an opinion."?

shell

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