Peter Holmes and Sculptor often brandish the defence on ethics issues as;
"that is merely an opinion".
To me that is very philosophical immature.
Morality and Ethics is too serious a subject for humanity to merely to limit moral views to 'that is merely an opinion."
Note this alternative view:
Agree/Disagree?The Fact/Opinion Distinction
John Corvino argues:
When debating ethics and other controversial topics, one frequently hears the claim “That’s just your opinion.”
It is a pernicious claim, devoid of clear meaning, and it should be consigned to the flames – or so I shall argue here.
https://www.philosophersmag.com/essays/ ... istinction
- Why worry about the fact/opinion distinction?
One reason is that precise thinking is valuable for its own sake.
But there’s another, more pragmatic reason.
Despite its unclear meaning, the claim “That’s just your opinion” has a clear use: It is a conversation-stopper.
It’s a way of diminishing a claim, reducing it to a mere matter of taste which lies beyond dispute.
(De gustibus non est disputandum: there’s no disputing taste.)
Indeed, the “opinion” label is used not only to belittle others’ stances, but also to deflate one’s own.
In recognising that a personal belief differs sharply from that of other individuals and cultures, one may conclude, “I guess that’s just my opinion – no better than anyone else’s.”
This conclusion may stem from an admirable humility.
On the other hand, it can have pernicious effects: it leads to a kind of wishy-washiness, wherein one refrains from standing up for one’s convictions for fear of imposing “mere opinions”.
Such reticence conflicts with common sense: surely some opinions are more thoughtful, more informed, more coherent, and more important than others.
This diminishment is especially troubling in moral debates.
Moral debates are practical – they’re debates about what to do – and they concern our values: things that matter to us.
Categorising these issues as “matters of opinion” doesn’t make them any less urgent or vital.
- Either we send troops to Syria or we don’t.
Either we allow same-sex couples to marry or we don’t.
Either we lie to our parents about what happened to the car or we don’t.
I therefore propose that we abandon the ambiguous fact/opinion distinction, and especially the dismissive retort “That’s just your opinion.”
We should focus instead on whether people can offer good reasons for the claims they make – reasons that might compel us to share their views.
That’s my opinion, anyway.
If you think yours is better, don’t merely say so: Say why.