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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  15:00:42  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We have had this argument on these forums in the past, but a recent thread suggests that this old argument needs to be rehashed yet again.

This thread clearly shows that some here fail to grasp the concept of opinion.

The essence of a large fight I have had here in the past, with Kil and beskeptigal, is that the word "opinion" is mostly used to shield a fact claim from actual criticism. It is wrong to do so.

In the thread linked above, to use a specific example, bngbuck and Halfmooner are claiming that any animal captivity is abusive treatment of that animal. When pressed bngbuck decided to cover this fact claim with "it's just my opinion". People do this crap all the time, and the intent of this deceitful behavior is to cut debate short and shield their claim from the demands of evidence. I'm sure that most of the people here can spot the logic fallacy.

Also, no actual opinion, on any subject, is immune to challenge. All opinions must be justified when challenged. Having an opinion on a subject should be the start of a debate, not the end of it.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  15:02:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have no particular opinion on opinions, except that the Opinion thread is a good idea.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  15:45:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Opinion can be:
Webster:
1 a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter or particular matters <why ask my opinion if you have already decided> b (1) : favorable impression or estimation (as of a person) : APPROVAL, ESTEEM -- usually used negatively or with adjectives of degree <I have no great opinion of his work> (2) obsolete : SELF-CONFIDENCE, SELF-CONCEIT

2 a : belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge : settled judgment in regard to any point : a notion or conviction founded on probable evidence : a belief or view based on interpretation of observed facts and experience <a man of rigid opinions> b : something that is generally or widely accepted as factual: a generally held or popular view <opinion is swinging in his favor> c : a view or belief that is not demonstrable as fact <this is only my opinion of course>

3 a : a formal expression by an expert (as a professional authority) of his thought upon or judgment or advice concerning a matter <decided to obtain a medical opinion of the case> b : the formal expression (as by a judge, court, referee) of the legal reasons and principles upon which a legal decision is based; also : the judgment or decision so based

4 obsolete : estimation in which one is held by others; especially : favorable reputation

5 obsolete : EXPECTATION, ANTICIPATION

6 Platonism : conjecture or belief based on experience and perception
And, of course, other shades of meaning:
Wiki:
An opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. An opinion may be supported by an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. However, it can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by analysing the supporting arguments.

An opinion may be the result of a person's perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. In casual use, the term opinion may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact-based beliefs.
Webster also states:
OPINION implies a conclusion concerning something on which ideas may differ, not, however, excluding a careful consideration or weighing of evidence or pros and cons, but usually stressing the subjectivity and disputability of the conclusion <opposing political opinions> <a man of strong likes and dislikes but few opinions> <a dissenting opinion handed down by a Supreme Court judge> <to prefer to deal in facts rather than opinions>


What additional meanings do you have for the word, Dude?

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dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  15:46:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, that's your opinion Mooner.
My opinion is that all opinion must be open to critique and since that is only my opinion, you have no right to critique it. Find facts to dispute it, if you can.

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  16:35:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dglas

Well, that's your opinion Mooner.
My opinion is that all opinion must be open to critique and since that is only my opinion, you have no right to critique it. Find facts to dispute it, if you can.
No, you have no right to dispute my opinion of having no opinion on opinion.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  16:46:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An opinion is always open to question, if not outright challenge. Better to keep them to yourself if you are not prepared to give reasons, however tenuous, as to how you came to form it.

On the other hand, they can be used to get feedback.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  18:09:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Opinion can be:
What else can opinion be, bngbuck?
Originally posted by bngbuck, over here

...an opinion is not necessarily a belief...
Yet no definition you've put forward suggests such a thing, when used in the context of what your opinion was. It's the possessive tone and idiomatic structure of "in my opinion..." that indicates that a belief is being put forth.

Really, the idea that someone can think that there's a precise 50/50 shot at statement X being true (or false) and then call statement X his opinion is simply bizarre.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  18:23:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude.....

We haven't heard from Dave here yet. Maybe you better send him a PM and let him know that you picked up his bludgeon and carried it over here! I would, but he has banned me from communicating with him in any manner possible. I wonder why? Any guesses?

He may be dead from a hoist by a recent explosion of his own petard late in that other thread! Damn!
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  18:50:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

We haven't heard from Dave here yet.
Whoops.
Maybe you better send him a PM and let him know that you picked up his bludgeon and carried it over here! I would, but he has banned me from communicating with him in any manner possible.
Then why have you been doing so?
I wonder why? Any guesses?
I told you why.
He may be dead from a hoist by a recent explosion of his own petard late in that other thread!
Again, when you choose to address your lies, quote-mining, strawmen and other dishonesty, let me know. I'm not holding my breath.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1454 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  19:03:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Opinions are like assholes: everyone has them and they all stink." --someone somewhere

Dude, for a passing comment and argument, I think it's fine to just say it's an opinion/feeling, but not as a real standing permanent argument (more of a "yeah whatever for the moment; I'll perhaps come up with something better later"). But it's also fine to press the point and request evidence and logic in support for their position. This is especially the case when there are tangible consequences, as in law, prosecution, persecution, discrimination, suffering, and other thingies.

Edited by - ThorGoLucky on 03/10/2010 19:04:31
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dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  19:22:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Do I see an argument for enforced orthodoxy lurking in the shadows....?

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  19:43:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by ThorGoLucky

Dude, for a passing comment and argument, I think it's fine to just say it's an opinion/feeling, but not as a real standing permanent argument (more of a "yeah whatever for the moment; I'll perhaps come up with something better later"). But it's also fine to press the point and request evidence and logic in support for their position.
Exactly.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2010 :  23:12:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dglas

Do I see an argument for enforced orthodoxy lurking in the shadows....?
In chat tonight, for some reason I was asked to reply to this post (by Dave?). I must say that my answer is that I don't know, nor do I understand your question. Could you elucidate, please?

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2010 :  00:18:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by dglas

Do I see an argument for enforced orthodoxy lurking in the shadows....?
In chat tonight, for some reason I was asked to reply to this post (by Dave?). I must say that my answer is that I don't know, nor do I understand your question. Could you elucidate, please?


Mine was an amused post.
Ignore it at your leisure.

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2010 :  02:58:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dglas

Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by dglas

Do I see an argument for enforced orthodoxy lurking in the shadows....?
In chat tonight, for some reason I was asked to reply to this post (by Dave?). I must say that my answer is that I don't know, nor do I understand your question. Could you elucidate, please?


Mine was an amused post.
Ignore it at your leisure.
Oh, good, then. I was afraid I'd lost a few million more neurons.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2010 :  03:53:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave......

I stated:
Opinion can be:
...and then pasted all the disparate definitions of the word that are in common usage from Webster.

You ask: "What else can opinion be, bngbuck?"

Not much, Dave, that and Wiki pretty much covers it for me.

What is your opinion, Dave, as to what else opinion can be? I showed you mine! (brrrrrrr...WOW,..oh. oh, oh!)

I will tell you what Opinion is not exclusively, and that is a claim to fact. When you made the statement that "Opinion is a claim to alleged fact", by using the verb "is", you stated in the realis declarative mood, thereby excluding all other possible meanings of the word except the one that you used in your statement. Hence, your statement is defined as meaning: "Opinion is only a statement of fact and nothing else", which is obviously false, because the dictionary defines many different meanings of the word. I said:
...an opinion is not necessarily a belief...
and you reply:
Yet no definition you've put forward suggests such a thing
Except that the dictionary gives many other meanings, especially:
Webster:
BELIEF differs from view or opinion in implying a conclusion or set of interrelated conclusions not necessarily formulated by the individual but often constituting a dogma, doctrine, or proposition already formulated prior to the individual's acceptance or adoption of it; it emphasizes the individual's assent to the conclusion or his assurance of its truth <religious beliefs>
It's the possessive tone and idiomatic structure of "in my opinion..." that indicates that a belief is being put forth.
To begin, I used the possessive adjective "my", so there is little doubt that it is my opinion.

Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning—that is, to distinguish or inflect words. We are discussing the written word here, not the spoken word. "Tone" may refer to style or manner of approach in speaking or writing, but I ask you to demonstrate how my "style", or manner of approach in using a common expression such as "in my opinion" defines my opinion exclusively as a belief?

Opinion may be a belief, but it is not necessarily so.

In linguistics, idioms are usually defined as figures of speech. When you refer to "idiomatic structure" are you stating that "this is only my opinion of course" or "in my opinion" are figures of speech? If so, I suggest you refer to a grammar textbook.

Neither possession of the opinion nor the written "tone" of its expression confirms that the opinion has to be a belief. It might well be a guess, which is certainly not a belief nor a claim to fact.
Really, the idea that someone can think that there's a precise 50/50 shot at statement X being true (or false) and then call statement X his opinion is simply bizarre.
What someone thinks of the statistical probability of an ideation being or becoming a fact (being true) has no bearing at all on the actual probability of that event. If the matter has never been investigated, then the probability of its truth or falsity is unknown. It is as legitimate to have an opinion that there is a high probability of truth of a statement as to opine that there is a low probability, as long as it is not stated that there is factual evidence to back the opinion.

I have absolutely no problem with the premise that many opinions should be challenged as to their factuality. If there is reason for inference of claim to fact in the statement in the rendering of an opinion, have at it! But if the opiner clearly disclaims his opinion as such with appropriate "just", or "only", "mere" or similar diminuitives, even "I do not know this to be a fact, but.....", throwing the big Skeptic artillery at him, "burden of proof", "dishonest", and all the other guns in the armory is useless and pompous, because there are very likely no facts to uncover.

The guy may just have an idea that has not grown to a search for evidence yet. The quantification of certainty on a continuum from very little to very high, needs to be addressed before asking for "proof".

And to counsel to abandon all discourse or insist on dropping the idea because there are no facts to support it (yet) is to advocate discussing only completely factual material. If it ain't a fact, we can't talk about it! Damn little invention or discovery would occur if ideas didn't become opinions worthy of discussion even though no evidence yet existed for the validity of the idea. I fully understand the role of observation in forming hypotheses. But simple opinion may precede and/or initiate observation that leads to hypothesis, then possibly theory, rigidly structured testing, finally possibly a high approximation of fact.

Opinion, as we have clearly seen, may be many other things than predicate to observation. It may be belief, guess work, hunch, intuition, god knows what. It is an extremely broad term. And as long as a skeptic recognizes that it does not have to be a claim to truth, I have no problem with your aversion to someone "hiding" behind it when they strongly imply that their Opinion is backed by fact. When they state in some way.....
Dude, I can no more prove that wild animals are unhappy in captivity than you can demonstrate that they are content......
that their opinion cannot be factually substantiated, what is the point in unloading all of the "burden of proof" dogma (Webster 1b) on them?

I have an opinion that electric cars will largely replace gasoline cars in the future. I do not know what the statistical probability of that happening is, nor does anyone else. What does "largely" mean? What does "future" mean? For that matter, what does "electric car" mean? I do not know! I have some guesses, but I can not possibly quantify them into statistics. There are far too many variables! My opinion is based on conjecture, not facts!

However I have purchased and will continue to purchase several common stocks based upon my opinion regarding electric cars, which is primarily guesswork. Many investors agree with my opinion. Many more do not, currently, or I would not be buying now. I have absolutely no idea how to quantify my opinion into probability terms, 50/50 is as good as any. But I am betting more money than many folks make in a year on my opinion, which is, at best, a slightly educated guess. So are many millions of other people. If that seems "bizarre" to you, by all means stay out of the stock market! You wouldn't have a chance!

I said:
Maybe you better send him a PM and let him know that you picked up his bludgeon and carried it over here! I would, but he has banned me from communicating with him in any manner possible.
You replied:
Then why have you been doing so?
Dave, you are truly the gift that just keeps on giving! Because I can! You clearly stated that you would not reply to e-mails or PMs, and although it broke my heart, I have not sent a single one. I really missed all that tight correspondence we used to have! You did not ban me from the Forum, although you have suggested I am a Troll. Your Opinion may even be right on that one, depending on your definition of a Troll! I publicly gave Kil all the reasons I enjoy the Forum; I am sure you read that; so if my reasons for being here together with your totally unfounded animosity toward me compel you to ban me, you certainly have the power to do it. I think I would probably survive the trauma!
I told you why.
No, you did not. However, I am more than willing to listen to any explanation you may have for your bizarre behavior. Why did you ban me from e-mail and PM correspondence, Dave?
Again, when you choose to address your lies, quote-mining, strawmen and other dishonesty, let me know. I'm not holding my breath.
I cannot address that which does not exist except in your nasty imagination, but if you have stopped holding your breath, your eyes have retracted back into their sockets, and your ruddy face has cooled somewhat, you may want to consider anger management counseling. Temper is hard on your heart!
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