Once upon a time, people had an opinion on a subject matter. It was a time when people had enjoyed discussions.
Discussions were not considered as a confrontation. It was well understood that discussion is one of the effective tools for knowledge enrichment which allowed people to learn a lot from each other.
I wonder, when did we lose it?
When we missed a warning sign that supposed to alarm us?
When did discussions start to transform into arguments and opinions replaced with perceptions?
Perhaps the transformation process was very slow and took several decades. Because of the crawling speed, the backwards journey has not triggered an alarm in our mind until it became apparent that regress has reached an advanced stage.
Today we can notice loudly screaming signs of it almost in every aspect of our life on daily basis.
It is generally assumed there is nothing to worry about. It is perceived that if we ignore these “signs” they will eventually go away. I thought so too.
But recently I realized that choosing not to pay attention is a mistake because the true nature of these ugly anti-cultural signs is not as harmless as it might seem.
The danger of increasingly vocal arrogance lies in its ability to create confusion and replace something valuable with “fake values”.
The process of regress legitimizes lack of knowledge and presents false perception as an opinion. It made people forget that to have an opinion, it is required to be informed.
When lack of opinion is being accepted as an opinion, it is not possible to have a discussion. Therefore, instead of discussion (what is right), the argument (who is right) is very common nowadays.
Jef Rouner, Houston Press contributing writer, highlights that the problem comes from people whose opinions are actually misconceptions.
Jef Rouner says that there is a difference between a belief and things you just didn’t know. It’s easy to believe, for instance, that whites face as much discrimination as people of color, but only if you are completely ignorant of the unemployment rates of blacks versus whites, the fact that of the Fortune 500 CEOs only five are black, or the fact that of the 43 men who have been president 42.5 of them have been white.
Patrick Stokes, Deakin University professor, during his interview to The Conversation, said that the problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.
The right to hold an opinion and express it orally, in writing or in visual form is laid down in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Limitations of freedom of expression occur in laws, for example in the form of rules regarding professional secrecy and in criminal law provisions regarding slander and agitation against a national or ethnic group.
However, knowing what is happening in the United Syayes, it seems that this limitation might not be reachable despite the fact that laws are still effective.
This is the ultimate danger of regress. When misconceptions are widely accepted as an opinion, it confuses everyone and everything.
Soon, this confusion could make truth invisible and laws dysfunctional. As we all know, without clarity and laws no society can survive.