Opinion Revision

“No well-informed person has declared a change of opinion to be inconstancy.”–Marcus Tullius Cicero

One of my history teachers said something to the effect that people who choose not to evaluate their opinions may simply be pigheaded. He also admitted that what he said was just his opinion and that he was open to changing it. I don’t remember the context of his statement–perhaps it was during a lecture about Russia’s Catherine the Great. It seems that discussions about monarchs and absolute rulers fuel plenty of debate.

One of the ways that quiet contemplation of our points of view and how we interact with the world is that we can mentally appeal to our “inner court of appeals”. Whereupon we once passed judgment on a person or a particular concept or idea, we can silently reconsider that judgment by taking new facts into consideration.

This practice is not favored in the political realm, because those who do so and declare their change of heart, are soon accused of waffling. Because flexibility of opinion is frowned upon, the political field becomes more toxic and divisive. It seems that staunch views are a sign of weakness, not strength. But maybe I haven’t thought about this enough.

It is helpful to at least privately be open to revising our opinions. We could receive new data regarding certain concepts that alter the conventional view. New evidence may prove that someone is not the bad person we had always believed that she was. Perhaps a revised opinion will influence whether we go ahead or scrap a favored project. When we appeal to that inner court it provides grounds for corroborating or disproving our judgment.

“There are two kinds of fools: those who can’t change their opinions and those who won’t.”–Josh Billings

I’ve been acquainted with a few wise school teachers, some members of religious orders, and two gurus–also many coworkers, a few valuable friends, some trusted family members, and a few lovers. These people had different life experiences and unique points of view. Interacting and conversing with them have provided opportunities to tweak my opinions and to see my values in different ways. These people have inspired me to at least reconsider aspects of my personal philosophy. That is no small feat because I can be quite stubborn.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation–we are challenged to change ourselves.”–Viktor Frankl

After having lived through a few decades, experiencing various events, and meeting a variety of people, plus a fair amount of book-reading, I’ve been exposed to differing opinions and opportunities to learn. Looking back on all of this, it seems that I’ve altered a few opinions, sometimes to a major degree.

I have made excuses for some views that I believed were correct but, after more careful evaluation, determined were in error. At least a couple of stances I disliked, were proven to be auspicious, and I reluctantly saw their merits. Personal crises and tragedies caused more than a few epiphanies that completely changed my point of view.

Anyway, these are just my opinions, they are open to debate.

Ciao
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes one of the “good” Roman Emperors, Marcus Aurelius. “The Universe is in change, life is an opinion.” 

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Opinion Revision

  1. Eva Hnizdo says:

    Yes. I have changed my opinions about lots of things over the years. Growing up in a communist country I was what I would now call rather right wing. Enemies of my enemies were my friends. Whoever was criticised by the Soviet regime we thought was good. Of course, life is much more complicated than that. One of my bugbears is people presenting opinions as facts. It happens a lot. And it’s no point arguing with those people. Arguments aer only worth it if both sides are willing to listen and possibly change their opinions.There is a joke ” women have cleaner opinions, they change them more often” Well, good for them, I say. It’s the same with prejudices. People often think they don’t have any. We all do, and if we know our prejudices, we can fight them. Instead of generalising about ” all …..are…” So let’s all change our opinions when we hear a better argument. Life will be better if we do.

  2. Eva Hnizdo says:

    Reblogged this on Eva Hnizdo and commented:
    Yes. I have changed my opinions about lots of things over the years. Growing up in a communist country I was what I would now call rather right wing. Enemies of my enemies were my friends. Whoever was criticised by the Soviet regime we thought was good. Of course, life is much more complicated than that. One of my bugbears is people presenting opinions as facts. It happens a lot. And it’s no point arguing with those people. Arguments aer only worth it if both sides are willing to listen and possibly change their opinions.There is a joke ” women have cleaner opinions, they change them more often” Well, good for them, I say. It’s the same with prejudices. People often think they don’t have any. We all do, and if we know our prejudices, we can fight them. Instead of generalising about ” all …..are…” So let’s all change our opinions when we hear a better argument. Life will be better if we do.

    • swabby429 says:

      Thank you for reblogging this. You mention that the presentation of opinion as facts has become an ever larger phenomenon during the past few years. Indeed, such “reporting” only serves to create further division and submission to dogmatism in our already troubled world.

  3. Yernasia Quorelios says:

    💜 The Reality; only one constant…

    …💛💚💙…

  4. olganm says:

    There would be no advancement if everybody held onto their own ideas without being open to those of others. We all might have principles that help us define who we are, but our opinions can and should change over the years, otherwise, we have learned nothing and wasted our lives. A great article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.