My Right to My Opinion!!
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Each of us lucky enough to live in a functioning democracy has a right to vote in our respective jurisdictions.
But more important than that right: a reciprocal responsibility to vote. Some people suffered, some people died to preserve our rights to vote. We must respect their sacrifice. So the responsibility to vote is a sacred one.
What about the commonly asserted right each of us has to our own opinion? Is my right to my opinion equally sacred?
Only provided that my assertion of my right to my opinion comes with my acknowledgement of my equal and reciprocal responsibility to research, from as reliable sources of information as I can find, the basis for my opinion. That's my duty. To ensure that my opinion is an informed opinion.
Which would have to mean that my opinion is a provisional opinion -- an opinion subject to reasoned change if more reliable information becomes available to me.
And which would also have to mean that when I articulate my opinion (in accordance with my right to freedom of expression, another cherished democratic right), my expression of that opinion would need to be courteous. Reasoned. Moderate.
And not over-reaching or absolutist or shrill or intimidating or intended to silence you. Not intended to silence your expression of your opinion -- your reasoned opinion. To which I should listen. Respectfully. Open to the possibility that your reasoned opinion may change my mind.
Do I have a right to an absolute opinion? Uh, not necessarily. (In MY opinion!!)
And I'm fully alive to the irony. Of course I am. . .