How often do you find yourself saying things like:
“I’ve heard that…”
“They say that…”
I call these “uninformed opinions”. Whenever you adopt a point of view based on what you heard someone else say, you are committing you believe something that you have no idea is even true. Why do this do yourself? Want to look smart, do some research before you start making uninformed assertions toward things.
You’ve heard that, right? Heard it from who? From one person? Is one person enough evidence for you to believe that this “thing” is true? Who are “They”? Are these people in the same group, or category, or demographic, or income class, or occupation, or age range? Is it your in-laws? Is it your church community? If so, do you think there could be a bias among them, against the facts?
Maybe you’ve “heard” it from the news, and you (among most people) take news information as 100% fact. Okay then, which news source are we talking about? Fox News—a strong bias to the right? MSNBC—a strong bias to the left? CNN—Focused on dramatizing every story, rewriting it and omitting facts so that it feels like you’re reading a short story, where there’s always a plot, a good guy, bad guy, etc. Maybe it’s BBC—trustworthy, but still can’t be taken verbatim. There is no source without a bias folks.
Hell, scientific fact is even challengeable. Back in the day if you told your elders that the world wasn’t flat, you’d be locked up and tortured.
Let’s look at some examples:
“They say that pesticices can cause cancer.” Really? Well, who are “they”? The CDC? Your best friend? Your mother? Wikipedia? Have you done any research on your own from any reliable source or are you just adopting a point of view from what you heard once on Headline News? Do yourself a favor, and before you speak up about this next time, educate yourself first. Do some research. I’m not saying pesticides don’t cause cancer, I’m just saying this seems to be a hot topic, so before you jump on the band-wagon, do some research.
So then, what do I base this ideology off of? What comes to mind is all the instant gratification our youth seems to be addicted to—YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter—and also the mindless entertainment in our media, Miley Cyrus, for example. Those who represent our youth in media are, in my eyes, are showing less and less intelligence by the week. However, what if this is just a choice based off of preference and/or trend and has nothing to do with intelligence level? What if we are more intelligent than before and we realize we can now get the same thing only faster and more concentrated? Or maybe it’s not a sign of lack of smarts but a lack of applying those smarts?
Many times too, as humans, we bring our emotions into the picture, which really muddy the facts. There are many ideologies based off of prejudices and racism, all emotion based opinion against another group of people, always negative emotion. Try and stick with the facts despite your feelings.
So, next time, instead of speaking about a subject in which you have no knowledge, have done no research, have no real-world experience, don’t speak up. Or, just say “I’m not sure.” Ironically enough, you will come off as more intelligent and people will respect you for that. All instead of basing your opinions and arguments on what “the world” tells you.