So what/if/everyone is entitled to an opinion
|Irrelevant Comment: “everyone is entitled to their own opinion”|
The implied argument here is that someone is just expressing an opinion, which they're entitled to do, and therefore you shouldn't be criticizing them.
While we often socially accept it as a truism in the sense that it is asserting freedom of speech, it is also often used maliciously to shut down valid counterarguments by equating them to "opinions", elevating unsourced or unreasoned opinions to the same status as well-reasoned and fact-based arguments. When used that way, it is one of the "defending" versions of opinion equivocation, a logical fallacy.
- A comment on Nextdoor in response to criticisms of NC Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson's bigoted comments about the "LGBTQ lifestyle":
- "The man is entitled to his opinion. Just because you don't agree doesn’t matter, it's his opinion. And the continued put downs do nothing to help your stance ever."
At its best, this kind of statement is just a way of asserting that nobody has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, which is the essence of free speech.
The problem arises when:
- The "opinion" is about a matter of verifiable fact, or about actions which they are advocating.
- The speaker is in a position of power, where their opinions may shape policy that affects others.
- The speaker has a platform, where many people will be influenced by their opinion.
- 2012-10-04 No, you’re not entitled to your opinion: "if 'entitled to an opinion' means 'entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth' then it’s pretty clearly false."