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THE VALUE OF AN OPINION


Give the benefit of the doubt.

We are taught in our culture that every person's opinion is of equal value and should be treated equally. Every person has equal value and should have a chance to politely express their opinion and have it genuinely heard but an opinion is only as good or valuable as the data it is based on for making a final decision.

When scientists are asking a computer to bring a solution to a problem they must be very careful that their data input is both accurate and broad spectrum enough for the solution to also be accurate.

A child who is crawling may grab a sharp knife that has fallen to the floor or swallow a sharp object they find. Their opinion that this is a right action is based on faulty data. They have never been cut or choked or seen anyone who has so they don't know the inherent dangers. Plus, they have an assumption that all things in my reach are mine to have and do with whatever I wish. Their opinion has very little value because of faulty data and a small data base on which it is based. Their parent's opinion that they should not have these objects is based on more accurate data about the objects and a broader experienced data base. Therefore, the parent's opinion is of greater value.

So, if we want our opinions to be valued we need to make sure we have done enough research to have an accurate and broad enough data base for our opinion to be worth anything. Separate your personal value from the value of your opinion. They are not the same. And give the benefit of the doubt to people who have lived longer than you and just may have a much broader data base on which their opinion is founded.

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