Let’s put things into persepctive – Differences in opinion

Everything you hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything you see is a perspective, not the truth.
– Marcus Aurelius
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Photo credit: Shawn Clover

 

Have you ever felt so strongly about something and were convinced though there were other plausible explanations with regards to the particular subject matter, what you felt/thought matters more than anything else?

Can’t speak on the behalf of others but well, I used to feel that way.

Just like how there are always two sides to every argument; the research process involves approaching research material/prior findings with an open mind.

and yes, this receptiveness and open minded approach is the complete opposite of what I have just described.

But wait, before anyone starts going on about how being opinionated is important because it makes your argument more convincing, let me explain myself.

Usually thought of as a belief or judgement that is subjective in nature, opinions are usually derived from personal experiences or encounters.

Question is, are opinions formed on the basis of personal experiences representative the entire population? How would you know if your opinion is more valid as compared to Person B’s?

While differences in opinions are bound to exist, they are not facts or truths.

So what do we do if we have a full blown argument discussion about a particular topic?
We get real grumpy, agree to disagree (to be polite), race to our computers, type in the subject matter into google library databases, scroll through the pages at 600km/page; frantically searching for information to validate and substantiate our point.

Truth is, you’re likely to find material that both contradicts and supports your argument.

When you have got to this stage, CONGRATULATIONS!

Not finding an answer to your question has led you on to Stage 1 of your research process: Identifying significant research problems and questions and examining the feasibility of conducting a study based on prior research.

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4 thoughts on “Let’s put things into persepctive – Differences in opinion”

  1. This is precisely my problem when observing a debate between two parties. Either argument can be bolstered or broken by a mere few minutes of ‘fact-finding’. Anything can be made true or false by anyone. Even accepted ‘facts’ that are agreed upon by our scientific communities can be made to appear contrived. It makes life both confusing and exciting.

  2. I think it is important to listen, to really listen courteously to the other person even when they do not agree with us. Often times their perspective is more similar to ours than it is different…Besides, we learn something from each other even when we disagree.

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