an utterance trying its wings after consuming scavenge and handouts|
A statement about which there is a significant level of dispute is usually categorized as an opinion.
A statement which claims certainty or to be backed by irrefutable proof is usually
given a more grandiose title like 'judgement' or 'law'.
Certainty and proof are never universal because they are always claimed by self-interest groups.
The pragmatic operational procedure is that all statements should probably be treated initially as just opinions.
To suppose some utterances have cosmic import is a comic pretention.
An opinion at best can only be the statement of an individual... public or private... within the constraints of the bias of their
nurture and which is based on an even-handed attempt to evaluate the available and relevant evidence.
At worst, an opinion is little more than the squawk of a seabird, taking to flight, after a feed of regurgitated rubbish.
Having consumed reiterated handouts and detritus from the past, it then launches itself into space.
An onshore wind can support whole flocks of opinions, soaring effortlessly, all pointing in the same direction.
When the wind drops, opinions simply conserve energy by decorating various vantage points or flap around aimlessly looking for one.
Just like this one.
It has been traditional to assume that there is a distinction between what is classified as belief and what is classified as knowledge.
The utterance of any individual human, about any concepts whatever, will be nothing more than ordinary speculative opinion.
The more coloured the opinion becomes, by any self-interested weighting of the evidence, the more it can be designated as belief.
Even what is categorized pretentiously as knowledge, is probably only an aggregate of plausible recycled opinions.
One only has to consider what once was counted as knowledge and is now shown to be the most unsubstantiated of opinion and belief,
to be deeply suspicious of the bulk of self-serving utterances.
The suggestion that... it is necessary to sacrifice to the gods to ensure crop germination ... has become less convincing
now most of the gods seem to have lost interest.
The often expressed opinion is that... everyone is free to voice their own opinion... depends largely upon which direction
the gun is pointing.
What ultimately matters are the pragmatic realities.
Consider carefully the local consequences of broadcasting various opinions in public.
If the opponents of your cherished opinion are more numerous and powerful than you and your associates, you may have
to cope with some very unpleasant retribution.
There will always be political, religious and military groups, who will attempt to deny the right for anyone to express their opinion
because they have an agenda of retaining power.
Having said that, it needs to be kept in mind that no society will tolerate for long, opinions that give expression to the
extremes of sedition, assassination, terrorism and incitements to violence which threaten its very stability and existence.
Whatever the social environment, be it dictatorship, hagiocracy or
democracy, all that matters to the individual
expressing the opinion is the nature of the consequences.
In order to embrace an opinion privately it is necessary only to
think about it conceptually, vocalise it in a location where the walls
do not have ears, or write it down secretly somewhere.
Individuals should only express their opinions in public in the knowledge
that if certain authorities have the power, then the consequences
may be both a denial of the opinion and retribution.
Short of being gagged and bound hand and foot then, individuals are
'free' to say or write whatever they like wherever they like.
What needs very careful consideration and preparation,
is an estimation of the strength of any forces
which might choose to take exception.