The Value of an Opinion

For months I have been thinking about an essay about opinions. Yet the more I think about “opinions” the less words I want to use to address the phenomenon of “opinions.” On its own the word “opinions” might sound defined but it still is quite broad.

When I write “opinions” I mean the opinion as a formulated statement for one’s thoughts, feelings or position on a given matter in any kind of situation. Any kind of situation is literally any given situation in which an opinion has added value in the verbal communication process between two or more people.

Ever since I was a child and started listening more than speaking I often wondered about how people developed their statements and what their reasoning was. I have read as much as I could. I have listened for hours on end to find things that might indicate something about a person’s verbal statement.

Additionally I have also analysed my own reasoning and verbal statements. Over time the more I learn and come to understand the less I have to say about something. When I formulate what I want to say I really must have an urge to say something. When there is no urge or relevancy I find it wasted breath.

In my perception there are generally five kinds of opinion. I can be short about each opinion.

  • Subjective experience: the opinion that is based on one’s personal experience.
  • Subjective interpretation: the opinion that is based on one’s personal interpretation.
  • Referential opinion: the opinion that is based on actual references that are available.
  • Divisive opinion: the opinion that can be all of the above, first and foremost it divides everybody on the matter.
  •  Non-sense opinion: sometimes it happens that someone knows nothing about the matter and it is painfully obvious.

I appreciate it when people are actually able to explain their reasons or story in relation to their opinion. When people are able to also be referential and give me look into their sources I like their opinions even more.

In the mainstream media an informed opinion is often less valued than a popular opinion. I detest that for emphasised popular opinion can lead to misinformation and faulty reasoning in reporting.

The value of an opinion is in the eye of the beholder and the ear of the listener. Personal statements are opinions after all…