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What if people aren't entitled to their opinions? What if opinions are something that should be earned? How much of the shit we have to deal with is caused by people talking about things they don't really understand? Because if you haven't done your research, you should really shut up and let someone who knows what they're talking about have the floor.
Maybe this is a little surprising coming from someone who is such a staunch supporter of free speech. I'm not saying people should be censored and silenced, but I've lived my entire life by the principle of listening first, and asking questions before formulating an opinion and chiming in. Maybe it's a result of my anxiety, but I don't like speaking up about things unless I'm confident that what I'm saying is justified - which usually only comes after lots of research and critical thought. I can't tell you how many times I've come across people spreading dangerous misinformation about heated topics that contradicts what the experts are saying. No, you don't need a degree to have an opinion, and you shouldn't believe someone just because they have a degree - but can we place a little more weight on careful deliberation, and less on gut reaction, in this culture? Please?
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:iconrickster155:
rickster155 Featured By Owner May 14, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
social media has opened up a Pandora's box here that will be awfully difficult if not impossible to close again...and we have the ultimate bad example of people talking about things they don't understand sitting in the WH. Opinions aren't based on factually information any more...they're driven by unchecked emotion and the spontaneity of the moment...and in some cased complete hatred and disrespect for our fellow man. Listening to opposite viewpoints is a lost art.
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:iconzharth:
zharth Featured By Owner May 15, 2017  Professional Photographer
Sadly, you are right. I look around me and am disappointed by what I see as human nature. Yet, I still hold out hope that we can be more. It's gotta be a matter of education. We aren't teaching people the value of thinking critically, and using empathy. For all that this culture falls back on its religious beliefs, I feel like they aren't practicing the better spiritual values of their doctrines. Patience, charity, kindness. Perhaps blind faith is part of the problem - it encourages you to stick to your instincts, instead of appealing to your better nature. Remove God from the equation, and this sadistic idea that abstaining from pleasure is a virtue, and I think we could do with adding a little bit of "monastery" into our school system.
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:iconrickster155:
rickster155 Featured By Owner May 15, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Faith isn't the problem...it's what organized religions pervert it into...picking and choosing what parts best serve their agenda and ignoring the underlying heart of the message...love...kindness...patience...acceptance.  We should be teaching people to think for themselves rather than to rely on leaders of faith or government to tell us what to do...especially when they are corrupted by greed and seek only to serve themselves. As 'evolved' as humans are we still have an awfully long way to go in separating our human nature from our animal nature and learning to live and let live...without fear and hatred.
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:iconzharth:
zharth Featured By Owner May 16, 2017  Professional Photographer
Humans on the whole have a long way to go, but individual humans have come reasonably close. Getting the rest of the population there is my goal as a transhumanist.

I do think faith is a problem, though. It's important to believe in things, but believing blindly is an obstruction to changing oneself to suit the environment (and facts). Placing value in this behavior erodes the efficacy of skeptical reasoning.
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:iconrickster155:
rickster155 Featured By Owner May 16, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree...I never said we should believe blindly...it's healthy to have some skepticism...especially toward leaders be they political or religious...they will tell the truth that best serves them. People need to take responsibility for their own thoughts and beliefs not just accept the versions presented by those in positions of authority.
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:iconzharth:
zharth Featured By Owner May 16, 2017  Professional Photographer
:nod:
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