It's just a matter of opinion

It seems that on any given subject, we get many opinions, and is it true that all have equal validity? Of course it is not, but that seems that is what some say, particularly in matter of interpretation. Here is an article that discusses that in a general sense in our society, with relevance to the discussions we have here, it seems:

How do we maintain humility in those matters we are knowledgeable about, and more importantly, how do we do so in those areas we are ignorant?


I would say that one should at least try to read an influential scholarly book in a major area they’re ignorant about before continuing. That usually gets people grounded to Earth, though it’s the hard way to get things done (but no doubt more rewarding).

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If you’re knowledgeable about something, your humility would reasonably be correspondingly limited. But if you want to, you can maintain humility based on the fact that everyone’s knowledge about anything is limited. If you can’t maintain humility in areas in which you are ignorant, you’re not doing it right

Ideally, that would be true, but if the Dunning Kruger effect is accurate, then the opposite is our tendency.Dunning–Kruger effect - Wikipedia

Perhaps Paul thought such was the case also:
Romans 12:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.


Plenty of people simply find their own “experts.” Witness the anti-vax people and the climate change deniers.

Great idea–first you learn something about the topic before shooting off your mouth. And I think that this video, Science in America by Neil deGrasse Tyson is spot-on.

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My Jr. high science teacher illustrated one’s ignorance by drawing a circle representing one’s knowledge on the blackboard. The more you knew, the more you could see was outside your area of knowledge. He also phrased it, “The more you know, the more you know you know you aught to know.”

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What I sense is that people want equal respect, and they should get that respect.

I think this can be seen in how conspiracy theorists present themselves. They often talk about how “the man is keeping me down” or “the scientists persecute Dr. So-and-So because they know he is right”. It is often couched in terms of a persecuted minority that no one is listening to. People feel threatened when they feel their opinions are being marginalized in favor of the “intellectuals” who they often distrust.

When I talk to others about things I am more knowledgeable about I try to remember the excitement I had when I first learned those things. I want others to be as excited about learning something new as I was. I also try to picture the sharing of knowledge as a puzzle, where the solution is the clearest and most succinct path.

In areas that I am ignorant of I try to honestly ask myself why I am either accepting or rejecting an idea. What would I need to see to prove myself wrong? Is what I am saying actually correct? I think try to tap into that enjoyment of learning something new and try to figure out what I don’t know about a topic.


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