Everyone, everywhere in this world has an opinion. They are referred to as personal opinions for a reason. Each person forms his or her opinion based on knowledge, experience and a belief system. We can share our opinions in most places around the world. Not everyone will agree with our opinions. I don't believe that it is necessary to agree. Personally, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. That is called diversity and makes our world interesting.
I don't believe that anyone has the right to attack another person's opinion. Opinion cannot be wrong. It may be based on incorrect information, but that still does not make the opinion wrong. It is personal, therefore, it cannot be wrong. Disagreeing does not make one person wrong and the other right. There can be more than one right answer to almost everything in the world. That's why there are so many political, economic and religious systems in the world. They are all based on someone's solution to a problem. Who is to say that one is right and the other wrong. They are all working for the population living under those systems.
So, think twice before you challenge someone's opinion. He or she has as much right to that opinion as you have the right to yours.
I totally agree with Filippo. Sometimes you have to draw a line. As a German I can not accept if someone says that either the Holocaust didn't take place or that it was a good idea. This kind of thinking is dangerous and can not be just called an opinion, you are entitled to have. In Germany there are currently a lot of people who think it is their right to openly post hate messages against refugees (very right-wing, very inhuman ideas) on Facebook and that their simply stating their opinion. But in fact some of this so-called "opinions" correspond to the definition of incitement of the people and lead to hate-crimes.
So, if someone says that there was no Holocaust or all Muslims were criminals, I couldn't just stand there and agree that we disagree. I would still try to convince the other person, that his/her opinion is wrong.
Jean, I don't think I misunderstood and hope you don't misunderstand me either. I really appreciate your general point on the need of more respect in debates. I mean, people insult each other arguing how good Justin Bieber is or on who deserved to win a football match.
But, as I said, (some) ideas have consequences. They set up the ground where actions take place, we cannot pretend there are no links between the two. I think that if the idea that blowing-up abortion clinic is not wrong spreads, you'll have more abortion clinics blown-up soon.
I don't think you have to be nasty or pick up s fight every time someone expresses a way different opionin than yours .But at some point you have to draw a line. Sometimes "I don't agree" is not enough. Something unacceptable has to be called unacceptable. That's my point.
To Jean and the others on the same page: I get your point on the manners and I agree with you that everyone should debate in a civil, polite and respectful way.
But I felt that you weren’t making just a matter of manners, you went beyond and stated that nobody has the right to call an opinion wrong, even in a civil way. I want to follow Richard in the semantics and accept that, unless some opinion is proven factual wrong (like, say, ”there are more Italians than Chinese in the world”), you can’t label it WRONG.Nevertheless, I won’t change my view, and I will simply replace WRONG with BAD. I still reserve the right to call some dangerous ideas BAD.
You wrote: You would not tell someone that the hair style that they wear is wrong. It's personal. It's the same thing.
No, it’s not. Because the way I wear my hairstyle doesn’t harm anybody. Some ideas are harmless, others have consequences.If in many countries homosexuals are imprisoned and the reason, in the end, is that too many people share the opinion that homosexuality is a crime. So if someone shows up here and state that opinion, what should I answer? “I disagree and I hope you change your mind, if you don’t, I respect your view anyway”. No, I’m sorry. I’m gonna say: “it’s unacceptable, people can’t be judged on their sexual orientation, the real crime is to imprison them”.
I don’t think of being uncivil reacting like that. I believe that, when it comes to human rights, you have to stand up firmly for the values of freedom and tolerance.
Well Jean, there's a name for your point of view. It's relativism. I don't like it, so I respectfully disagree. Deeply.
Does everyone has the right to express his own opinions? Absolutely.
Do I have to respect them? Not necessarily.
Do have to respect who argue that holocaust was right? That women have to be infibulated? That freedom of speech should be limited?
Ideas fight each other and that's good. Because the only hope that the world keeps becoming a better place is that ideas of tolerance, freedom, altruism win their (non-violent, of course) battle against ideas of intolerance, oppression, egoism.
If someone comes here stating that homosexuality is a crime and homosexuals should be imprisoned, I won't tell him he hasn't the right to say that, but sure as hell I will tell him he's dead wrong.
PS: I think you are wrong. It's my idea, it can't be wrong. So you're wrong. :-D Just kidding :-)
You wrote: Who is to say that one [system] is right and the other wrong. They are all working for the population living under those systems.
No, they are not. The North Korean system is starving people to death. I don’t believe an average North Korean feels his system works. (I can’t ask because they don’t have free access to the Internet and you can’t find one around the corner because they aren’t allowed to leave their country). I also don’t believe that women forbidden from going to school or from driving a car think their system works.
I think the way these systems rule certain aspects of people’s life is bad.
I don’t think I have the right to say it, I think I have the duty.