what’s an opinion?
Distinction between opinion or doxa and certain knowledge had been discussed many times in the past.
Doxa is from ancient greek that means “to expect” or “to seem” which translates to common belief or popular opinion.
Doxa was often manipulated by sophists to persuade the people leading to plato’s condemnation of athenian democracy.
Hebrew came up with a new meaning of doxa as “glory”. The semantic merging in the word doxa is also seen in russian word slava which means glory but with a twist to mean common belief or opinion.
Opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it, unlike 1+1=2 or there are no square in circles.
But opinion ranges from tastes or preferences, through views about questions that concern most people such as prudence or politics, to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions.
One needs not argue about the first kind of opinion and must not insist that “strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate” is wrong.
Sometimes we take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are.
Perhaps that is one reason why people think they are entitled to disagree and have their views “respected.”
If somebody is allowed to comment on nuclear power despite not being a scientist, then any one can comment on vaccines.
No one can stop any one in saying that vaccines cause autism.
But if it means that such views must be treated as serious candidates for the truth then it is clearly a different case.
So next time you hear someone declare they are entitled to their opinion, ask them why they think that.
Chances are, you will end up having a more enjoyable conversation that way.
Discussions can probably lead to the truth. But what is truth?!?