I’m Professor Moogles.
First of all, what is an “opinion”? Let us turn to our dictionary for a little assistance, shall we?
Let’s break this definition down into it’s key points.
1) “A VIEW or JUDGEMENT formed about something” – This means that an opinion is personal. It is entirely dependent on the person who’s viewpoint and judgement is being used to form this opinion. An opinion is strictly personal and in no way can reflect another person’s view or judgement. This is important to hold on to later in the lesson.
2) “Not necessarily based on fact or knowledge” – This means that an opinion is NOT factual. This is the key difference between SUBJECTIVITY and OBJECTIVITY (more on that later).
To further analyze the concept of an opinion, let’s look at this banana.
- This banana is a fruit
- It has a rough skin around the outside to protect the edible part within
- It is yellow, or yellowish.
- It’s slightly phallic
These are “OBJECTIVE” pieces of information. They are irrefutable proof. You cannot tell me that I am wrong about this banana being a fruit by telling me it is a vegetable. That is simply incorrect.
I shall now consume this banana and subject myself to it. I will then give you my subjective opinion about this banana.
OM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!
Alright, I have eaten the banana. I will now form an opinion on it based on my personal judgement that I have formed from my subjecting myself to it’s fruity goodness. Remember, these statements are not FACT. These are SUBJECTIVE viewpoints on this banana.
- This banana was entirely too mushy. I didn’t like the texture. It was probably left out a day or two too long for my taste.
- I felt like I was sucking a dick. I’m not quite fond of the phallic nature of this banana due to my extreme and unmerited fear of being a homosexual.
- It’s peel was fun to rip off. I like food that requires me to attack it first.
These are subjective opinions.
Perhaps you would have felt differently upon consuming this banana? Perhaps your personal preference is to have the banana you eat be as mushy as possible. Perhaps you can only consume bananas if they’re mashed and stuffed into Gerber Baby Food jars. Perhaps you’re totally into shoving phallic objects into your mouth (who am I to judge?). Perhaps you’re not a fan of food that requires effort, and would much rather consume a McDonald’s Cheeseburger and shop at Wal-Mart.
These are all places where your subjective opinion may differ from my own. This is what makes it “subjective”. And this is what makes it an opinion.
But Professor Moogles, I imagine you asking your computer screen out loud as though I can hear you like a moron, what if I’m a huge fan of this banana and I disagree with you? Can I not tell you your opinion is completely wrong and you are a dickbag for saying it?
No, you cannot. This act of telling someone their opinion is wrong is what we in the scholarly circle like to call “being a total twat“.
You see, an opinion cannot be wrong. Subjectivity is not fact, and therefore cannot be “incorrect”. Objectivity is indeed fact, and therefore objective statements can be incorrect.
Let’s give one more example of that with our banana, yes?
Subjective: “This banana is pretty fucking gross”
This is a subjective opinion. You may think the banana is delicious, but you cannot tell the person who has consumed this banana how they personally felt about it. No matter how many times you call them a faggot for not liking this banana, it will not change how they felt about the banana.
Objective: “This banana is clearly orange”
This is clearly misinformation. Unless the person stating this “fact” is either colorblind or skipped kindergarten, please feel free to tell them they are totally incorrect about the color of this banana. Probably best to just say “no it isn’t, it’s yellow” rather than go with your gut instinct and yell “what are you? a fucking moron?”.
“So, how do I deal with an opinion, Professor Moogles?” you once again have asked the inanimate object you’re sitting in front of pretending it’s me.
Why, very simple: you accept it, and you move on with your life.
“But Professor Moogles…” No seriously, stop talking to me like I’m in the room, it’s fucking weird.
No buts. A person’s opinion has no power over you. It is not a magical spell cast from across the ether to trick you into disliking something you liked. It is someone saying how they feel. You may feel free to state your own personal opinion, but as we have now learned: your opinion is an OPINION. It is subjective to your own personal experience and therefore does not reflect the feelings of others.
For homework, I would like you to go read a video game review, and then look at the comments. Are the people calling this reviewer a stupid fucker who deserves cancer complaining about misstated objective points in the review, or are they threatening a stranger and arguing over subjective viewpoints that are strictly a personal statement exclusive to only the person writing the review?
The second, optional assignment, is to brutally beat to death one of the people who are arguing over subjective feelings towards something. Preferably with a chair.