Everyone’s Entitled to Their Opinion, Right? (Spoiler: No, You Aren’t)

This post is inspired by a certain post-election viral tweet by Xannie Woodard, where she says:

Please stop telling people to respect others’ opinions. That’s for things like “I don’t like coffee” not for “I don’t like black people.

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The whole Trump thing on choices or convictions kind of reminds me of people who say ‘everyone’s entitled to their opinion!’

So, if you think the earth is flat (or 6 000 years old!) or the world is controlled by 9 foot lizard men from outer space, then ‘I’m entitled to my opinion,’ so you shouldn’t challenge it!

I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically meritorious about respecting the opinions or feelings or decisions of others; the value of respect really depends upon various contextual factors.

But isn’t this pretty obvious, after all? People have to distinguish between pluralism and nihilism. There is nothing intrinsically meritorious about having a variety of opinions or sentiments floating about. There doesn’t need to be ‘diversity of opinion’ on whether the Holocaust happened, or whether Stalin was a tyrant, or whether Tony Blair is a lying, cheating, swindling arse.

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