Since I spend far too much time thinking, I have had a number of opinions over the years. Some I still hold, but far more have been discarded. Sometimes I find myself with an opinion so dumb that I can’t even believe I thought it in the first place. Occasionally, I like to toy with opinions. I’ll argue a position that I think is nonsense to people who get really mad about my made up point of view. It’s fun. If someone is pro-life, take the pro-choice argument, and vise versa. Debate societies do it regularly and it’s a great way to sharpen your logic skills.
Should you believe your own opinion? Many people will think this a dumb question. In the west, we tend to hold opinions sacred. This is a good thing considering opinion is a liberty many don’t possess. I would rather a person tell me the worst opinion I have ever heard then not be able to tell me one at all. My belief, like most Americans, is that one of the greatest things to ever happen to the world was the idea of free speech. It is one of humanities greatest characteristics, free will, made manifest in the world.
Does this make all opinions equal? I think very few people would say yes and truly mean it. As an ideal, I think all opinions should get equal attention, but even that gets a bit murky. Do I want pseudo Nazis making anti-free speech speeches in the streets? Hell no. Should they be allowed to anyway? Probably. Even as I hold the opinion that opinions should get equal treatment, I contradict myself. I hold an opinion I don’t even believe. How strange.
When we hold the belief that we are entitled to our opinion, we tend to take it for granted. If an opinion is sacred, shouldn’t the sacred be handled with care? This is why I tend to try on opinions, almost like clothes. I want to know if it fits, if it is actually conveying something meaningful. I want to question its very fabric, its essence. If people, as they say, have died for my right to an opinion, I don’t want to take any opinion too lightly or too seriously. I want to question each opinion I hold and make sure I have a damn good reason for holding it.