Monday, May 5, 2008

How Opinions Shift

Here's a frank question: Who gave you your opinion?

What's particularly jarring is the thought that you didn't arrive at your opinion through insight, wisdom and a grand view of the world. And even when you had weighed up 13 pros in support of an opinion you had decided to take up, you may have completely missed the 25 cons, or even the one con that completely outweighed all the others.

With a bit of experience you'll find like me that the opinions you hold are up for renewal, decay with age and need frank reassessment fairly often. But more importantly, we often adopt an opinion by hearing it elsewhere and not giving it the proper test procedure.

What is interesting though is that a group-think can emerge which challenges traditional news sources and publications, but then commandeers opinion making in a way that they criticised the traditional outlets for. Global warming is a classic example. The traditional media outlet in this case would be something like the Bush administration. A movement arose which challenged the traditional view of industry with claims about the environment, including climate change through emissions and global warming.

Without doubt the questions they raised were valid. However, in our attempts to be independent thinkers, do we give equal consideration to the views of this new group-think as we did to the traditional media outlets. Did our natural aversion to authority lead us to evade one authority only to fall unwittingly under another?

This is not intended to be a discussion of global warming, but rather, when you examine policies of a party like the ACDP and find that you take an opposite position, pause briefly and consider where and when you were given your opinion, and whether it is indeed valid. It may be. But then it might not.

No comments:

DISCLAIMER: This blog serves as a commentary and the views presented are not necessary the official views of the ACDP. For official statements and contact details, visit: