As schools continue to indoctrinate children with Liberal nonsense, one of the most frustrating results of this indoctrination is the idea that a person is entitled to their opinion, and that they are thus entitled to ignore all facts in an effort to retain said opinion. I'm guessing you've been here:
You're debating an important issue. Let's say for the sake of argument that you're discussing what tax rates ought to be. If you're Conservative like me, you're arguing the proven fact that low taxes not only encourage business growth but also increase revenues to government because when more people work, more people pay taxes, thus adding new taxpayers and increasing revenues. You're debating with a Liberal who, if they are like nearly every Liberal I've ever met, starts giving you tired clichés devoid of facts like "the rich can afford to pay higher taxes" or "the rich should pay their fair share" (which is always defined as whatever Government wants these people to pay). You present your facts. The Liberal continues to blow smoke and quote bumper sticker slogans (they likely have 6-12 such stickers on the back of their Prius for easy access). Eventually, once you as a Conservative have debunked every cliché with those pesky facts that we Conservatives keep using, your Liberal friend says "well...that's my opinion, you can't change it. I'm entitled to my opinion. We'll have to agree to disagree."
Liberal Academia has taken great steps to convince people that there are no facts, that there are essentially no realities, only abstract ideas which don't have consequences. The reality is every action has a consequence. Liberal Academia has gone out of their way to teach people that there is no morality, no truth. Just whatever a single person believes. It sounds nice and it leads to people "getting along."
(In my post a couple weeks ago, "The Myth of Moderates" I argued that the individuals who do try to sit on the fence are essentially full of baloney anyway. (2) Feel free to go back and read that post, it's linked on the bottom.)
What really happens from such a mindset is people are asked to put aside all morality, all logic, and all success in order to "get along." For example, as a Christian I believe that all human beings are created in the image of God Almighty, that we were "formed from the womb" by God. (1) For this reason, I believe all abortion, with the exception of a situation where only one of mother and child will live and the mother's life is the more viable life, is murder. I believe this because I am convinced through scripture, through logic, and through science that life begins at conception. I am not going to tell someone "It's okay for YOU to murder the unborn child in your womb, because you don't think its murder." I don't really care if you think its murder or not...I BELIEVE THAT IT IS MURDER! As a conscientious, moral human being I cannot simply pretend I don't find abortion reprehensible! I cannot pretend that I don't believe abortion is murder, just to "get along." I won't do it! I can't do it!
Morality does in fact exist. I am not going to compromise on morality so that people can think of me as "reasonable." My morality is based upon the Bible, the infallible Word of the Living God! If a person makes their decisions based upon morality, they are therefore going to make concrete, high quality decisions because (write this down): THEY ARE BASED ON SOMETHING HIGHER THAN MY FEELINGS! God came to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ and told us EXACTLY what He thinks...and since He created us He gets to tell us precisely what we ought to do! (I know this statement does bother some people because they want to be free to make whatever damaging, stupid decisions they want. And by the way you DO have that right. What you don't have is the right to choose your own consequences!)
Logic also exists. Certain simple, logical principles such as "if you want businesses to keep producing their products in the United States, it is probably not a good idea to levy high taxes on those businesses because they do have the option to produce their product in Mexico for far less." No matter how much you scold and punish a business, they do still legally have the right to move their production out of the United States. Therefore, if the business climate in the United States ends up being a bad business climate, those business owners will almost certainly move their business to a better business climate! It's not hard to figure out. History also exists. Historically we have seen evidence that proves exactly what I have said above about the practices of businesses, not just here in America but all over the free world.
Someone is certainly entitled, in this situation, to hold the opinion that it is fair, reasonable and wise to continue to tax a business to death because "they can afford it" or "it's their fair share." That does not change the fact that this opinion is foolish based on its historical results, especially if one wants the American economy to have manufacturing jobs for blue collar Americans (who, by the way, also will pay taxes on the paychecks they receive from working for these businesses). These opinions, if enacted into law, damage the American economy. It's a historically demonstrated principle. The individual's good intentions or kind desires in enacting these policies will not stop the damage they will cause. The means do not justify the ends.
Years ago, there was this thing called "The Arena of Ideas." Within the boundaries of this mental arena, opinions competed. People presented their facts and listened to other peoples facts. Both people were willing to be convinced to change their opinions...if presented with sufficient data and evidence. The goal was to find truth. We have lost this in our society. About a year ago when debating the validity of the "science" (see also: hoax) that is Global Warming. This person actually said to me "Scientists are entitled to their opinions too." NO THEY ARE NOT (at least not professionally)! Science, by its very nature, should be bereft of opinions! Science is centered on a search for facts which can be backed by evidence! (Science requires a tremendous amount of evidence before something can be even titled as a "theory." It then requires years more of evidence, nearly all proving the theory, to be considered a scientific law.)
The idea my friend tried to use to silence my speech is so pervasive in our society that people genuinely believe that everyone should just happily sit there with their own opinion not ever challenging anyone else's opinion. There are a couple problems with this ideal. First and foremost, it will not work in politics. For all the claims of "wanting the government to get things done" (lovely term, by the way, which assumes accomplishing negatives is better than standing still), if our politicians sat there and simply stated their opinions and did not allow their ideas to compete, NOTHING WOULD HAPPEN. Healthy debate is required for a republic to survive! Secondly, if your opinion is well established and fact-based, it should be able to stand up to the scrutiny of debate!
The latter enters into the real problem. People don't WANT to have to change their opinions. Perhaps someone desperately wants to hang on to their pro-choice stance because they in fact had an abortion or know someone who did. If they were convinced by my arguments against it, they would have to accept that a murder was committed in that procedure (albeit in ignorance). I know many Christians who want to deny that the act of homosexuality is a sin because they know and care about people who are caught in homosexuality and do not want to have to tell those people that A) they are indeed sinning and B) they should stop. Even though the Bible clearly states "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." (3) (For the record, all sex outside the boundaries of marriage is a sin. The only sex the Bible states is permissible is between a husband and wife...and within the boundaries of marriage IT IS ENCOURAGED!)
So we accept relative morality so we don't have to be uncomfortable. Sad, isn't it? Anyone else think that denying morality so that we don't have to stand up for morality is awful? Good. I'm glad it's not just me. So what's the solution? Here it is: Be willing to make people uncomfortable (in a respectful way)! The Bible does tell in Ephesians that:
"...we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ." - Ephesians 5:14-15 (4)
God has told us in His Word to not be carried about by the latest public opinion or what makes people comfortable. We should speak the truth. We should also speak the truth IN LOVE so we can reach people! The answer is staring us in the face: Stand up for truth, but separate the individual from the actions/beliefs. Also it is important for us to separate ourselves from our opinions. If someone debates your opinion, THEY ARE NOT ATTACKING YOU! They are attacking your opinion!
Finally, to those of you who live your lives being "entitled to your opinion": Yes, you are entitled to your opinion. But I hope you can be wise enough to recognize that neither you nor any other human being who has ever lived or is alive now, save for Jesus Christ (who by the way is very much alive now, hallelujah!), EVER knew everything! So you should be willing to change your opinions when provided with new facts. And if you aren't willing to accept other facts which may change your opinion, you do remain entitled to your opinion. But it does not mean you are right!
(1) Isaiah 42:2 - Holy Bible: New King James Version
(2) "The Myth of Moderates" by Christopher C. Bastedo
(3) Leviticus 18:22 - Holy Bible: New King James Version
(4) Ephesians 4:14-15 - Holy Bible: New King James Version