Your Opinion Is Stupid

After careful consideration, I’ve chosen a new phrase that sets my teeth on edge. I know you’re excited to know what that phrase is, so let me get right to it:

You have a right to your opinion.

People who say this don’t mean it. At least, what they say isn’t what they mean. What they mean is, “That is by far the stupidest opinion I’ve heard this century.” It’s a passive-aggressive way of letting people know you disagree with them.

I understand the temptation to use it. It’s easy to turn people’s right to have an opinion into the right not to have that opinion challenged. Just because you can have an opinion doesn’t mean it’s not a stupid one, and there’s nothing wrong with me or anyone else pointing that out. If you told me, “In my opinion, the Earth is flat,” I would happily tell you that that’s a stupid opinion, at least after I stopped laughing. “That’s my opinion” doesn’t exempt you from being wrong.

But if you’re going to disagree with someone’s opinion, come right out and disagree.

6 thoughts on “Your Opinion Is Stupid

  1. Let be the first to say…

    Well, of course, you have a right to print that oppinion in your blog….

  2. FWIW, when I use that phrase (infrequently) it’s after a debate, not an attempt to pre-empt a debate. If I try to convince someone they’re wrong and they don’t concede, it’s either extend the argument indefinitely or merely try to go your seperate ways. For me, saying they have a right is basically saying “OK, I see that I’ve failed to convince you and can’t compel you to think right, so let’s stop doing this pointless discussion”.

    Which may be a passive-aggressive parting shot, but a follow-up on, hopefully, an authentic and straightforward articulation of disagreement.

  3. You know what? You really don’t have a right to your opinion.

    Opinions are a privilege, young man, and if you aren’t responsible enough to hold one properly, you aren’t responsible enough to hold one at all!

    And the earth is flat. How else could wall-to-wall carpeting work without bunching up at the edges?

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