I've been thinking a lot about how 'we're all entitled to our opinions' is used to shut down discussion when the person saying or writing it does not have an informed opinion. The opinion is not considered or has been formed by reading one-sided arguments with little or no basis in truth. There has been little or no critical thinking about what's been read. The person repeats a clichéd opinion, can't back it up (or discuss it in any way) so refutes any challenge with 'we're all entitled to our own opinion'.
Lately I've found myself thinking 'yes, but which opinion is more valid?'. By which I mean not 'only opinions that agree with my own are valid', but 'I lack respect for 'opinions' that have not been critically considered but, even if I disagree initially with sometimes opinion, I will respect it and pay attention to it if it *is* critically considered'.
I don't know how that is judged, but I do know that hearing or reading 'we're all entitled to our opinions' does the opposite of what the person wants and makes me instantly lose respect for their opinions.
Is this similar to when people say 'trust me', when, like you say, trust usually needs to be earned through past actions?
-=-Is this similar to when people say 'trust me', when, like you say, trust usually needs to be earned through past actions?-=-
Yes. Or maybe not even through past actions so much as gravitas of SOME sort. Maybe the person comes with a strong recommendation from another friend you trust. The recommending friend is risking some of his own reputation by vouching for a third party, when speaking to you.
There are all these social points being exchanged, in real-world ways, all the time. Many people aren't aware of it and might never be, because they don't have that view of the world. They're not wise in the ways of interpersonal intelligence, or they have no interest in aspects of personality or personal worth. Some don't and can't, some could and don't—everyone IS different, but those differences make some people more valuable in some situations than others.
-=- I do know that hearing or reading 'we're all entitled to our opinions' does the opposite of what the person wants and makes me instantly lose respect for their opinions. -=-
Defnitely true. And there's a cousin of that statement that can be a person's undoing, so anyone who is reading who isn't very clear on this topic, here's a tool you can use to avoid losing points: Avoid anything that says or sounds like "Well that's just your opinion."
In a discussion or in a forum (real or imagined—in whatever milieu) assume there's a sort of ranking or hierarchy of knowledge, ownerships, investment, enthusiasm—all those things. So when someone who has less knowledge and investment (fewer points to spend) says to someone who DOES know more "Well that's just your opinion," the effect is Not Good.
If, about unschooling, I'm saying something standard and normal that has been said 40 times before by many people, and someone comes into the conversation and says "That's just your opinion," then they lose all their points.
BUT WAIT! Who's keeping track of the points?
Each person who notices, hears, reads, cares. SOME will "give points" (respect, regard, attention) to the person who showed up and attempted to belittle me. Points just fly. :-)
The people an unschooler really needs points with are her own family members, though. And still, we're trying to help her get that credit, respect, confidence, faith.