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  1. #21
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Okay, this is the part I'm not agreeing with:

    "Of course such humility shows that you don't have robust confidence in your views and may back down if you're challenged"
    Allowing for others' opinions (by stating "imo") doesn't mean I don't have robust confidence or that I will back down. And I don't get that when others use the phrase "imo" either.

    I guess you do for some reason(s). Interesting.
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  2. #22
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    I have a bone to pick with this disclaimer as well.

    When you are in a debate with someone and they whip out the old "JMO", it's like, if it was simply an opinion, why did you quote me? You've chosen to debate me, yet you've donned this shield of humility behind which you fire the same arrows I'm firing sans armor.

    If you're not engaging another person when you use it, then that's fine.

  3. #23
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    I have a bone to pick with this disclaimer as well.

    When you are in a debate with someone and they whip out the old "JMO", it's like, if it was simply an opinion, why did you quote me? You've chosen to debate me, yet you've donned this shield of humility behind which you fire the same arrows I'm firing sans armor.

    If you're not engaging another person when you use it, then that's fine.
    Good point. I think I try to use "imo" more as a prophylactic in prefacing or postscripting a belief I am sharing about early on, but I could see the allur in using it to wuss out in a heated debate with a combative NT......Perhaps "imo" is used to smooth things over as often as it's used to back down from a weak arguement?
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  4. #24
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greed View Post
    It makes sense, from a strictly logical and objective standpoint. However, doesn't Moore's paradox also imply that nothing is mere opinion? I wouldn't exactly translate "My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate" or "I believe that chocolate is the best flavor of ice cream" as "Chocolate is the best flavor of ice cream, and anyone who believes otherwise is believing a complete falsehood," for example.

    I'm refining some of my own ideas on the matter here.. but perhaps what I mean by "honesty" in a person stating the phrase "just my opinion" is that he does not (or, at least, does not intend to) communicate a message that his opinion is fact.


    I still believe that opinions can be questioned, however. In the context of this forum, for example, even if the person who delivered an 'opinion' will not defend it from scrutiny, others in the conversation can debate it if they so choose.


    I also wouldn't be too hasty to judge most everyone who uses the phrase to be hiding a delivery of what they perceive as the truth. In fact, many conversations between NFs (for example) involve each stating their viewpoint and collectively discussing these viewpoints, but not 'battling' them out and attempting to find out which one is the 'truth.' From what I've seen, NFs can be more interested in just hearing others' points of view than searching out the truth.

    Since this is part of the NF's mental filter, he might state his opinion as an opinion in an 'inappropriate' context, one where others in the discussion are more interested in debating viewpoints.


    Even as I write, I notice that I throw in a lot of caveats that could also be seen as evasive. "From what I've seen", "doesn't Moore's paradox ... ?", etc. In so doing, I'm not attempting to be logically dodgy, nor are these debate tactics of mine; I simply don't claim to know the truth and therefore do not present my viewpoints as such. I do, however, eagerly await clarification as well as others' viewpoints, which I might very well incorporate into my own worldview.

    Which leads us to:



    I can see where this could be frustrating. I also see this as a major difference in the priorities that people have in conversations, which I've hopefully satisfactorily outlined above.
    I would agree with you that Moore's paradox does not entail that when a person voices a belief, he does not in all cases attempt to describe a fact about the external world. The fact in question could be about himself. For instance, if I say that it is just my opinion that apples are better than oranges, I could mean no more than that I have a taste which leads me to regard apples as better than oranges. This is indeed different from saying that there is gravity or that 2 plus 2 is four.

    However, our social graces compel us to believe that if somebody expresses an opinion, there is something to that. In many cases, it is considered rude to completely discredit someone's views right off the bat or to ignore them completely. So, when somebody voices their views about any subject-matter and we do not question them, we'd be led to think that there is some merit to what they say. This applies even to matters such as taste or something else that is radically subjective. After all, when somebody says that they like apples, we are often led to wonder if we should like apples also, or whether are apples good altogether. Our liberty to question the wisdom of that statement is constrained severly by the preface of 'its just my opinion'.

    But then again, you can respond, so what, they are talking about their fancies? True, but our respect for our fellow human beings leads us to believe that maybe we should share their values for some reason. We could only avoid thinking that we should if we question their views, yet again, it becomes hard to question somebody's views when they use the 'its just my opinion tactic'. In short, the fact that they may be sharing something that is a matter of taste or whim does not make their remark any more or less insidious as they are still subtly forcing their views on us. In this case the views are about what values we should have as opposed to what beliefs we ought to endorse with respect to how the world works. Their reference to something private and subjective actually smuggles in a reference to how the world works. We know that there is such a thing as human nature and if one person has a certain taste, we'd be apt to suspect that we might have that taste as well. So if somebody says they like X, we'd be apt to guess that we might like it too or that we even should like it, as by default we assume that the other person's remark has some merit at least.
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  5. #25
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    I have a bone to pick with this disclaimer as well.

    When you are in a debate with someone and they whip out the old "JMO", it's like, if it was simply an opinion, why did you quote me? You've chosen to debate me, yet you've donned this shield of humility behind which you fire the same arrows I'm firing sans armor.

    If you're not engaging another person when you use it, then that's fine.

    Because it was an opinion generated by your post perhaps?

    When I say it, I am simply expressing that I know I have no authority, it is just an opinion, one that is not trying to be dismissive of your opinions, as if mine were more real than yours, and I don't want it to become combative.

    Someone mentioned on the other page that it's due to the person being prepared to wuss out if challenged, I don't even see how that is a bad thing.

    The opinion thing also means I am open to a better opinion if it's there, so if there is knowledge of the wilingness to back down if presented with something better, how is that a bad thing?

    Isn't being open to better information preffered over stubborn closeminded, I'm so right you are so wrong, attitudes?

    Just my opinion is being used also from my angle to show that I don't want an arguement over something that is just my opinion, I'd rather have a conversation.

    I'm surprised that to some it's seen in such a negative light to say it.
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  6. #26
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    i usually try really hard to disagree with solitarywalker, but i can't this time.

    he's right.
    naturally, as with any assertion about human nature and their efforts, his template doesn't accommodate every situation, but you can't deny that people will guard their opinions by explicitly reminding everyone that it's just an opinion.

    that being said, i don't really understand opinions.
    i don't have any opinions. i make conclusions.
    i don't really know what it means to have an opinion, except regarding a speculative matter like "what's going to happen to america in 10 years?" but even then i don't really have and keep and tend to an opinion.

    the word itself has been taken out of context so many times that i think the public understanding of the word is so different [and more broad] from what it actually means that it's just a useless word.
    as i've seen it, it's used interchangeably with:
    theory
    idea
    belief
    debatable
    not debatable
    feeling
    inclination
    lazy assumption
    assessment

    many of these things are incongruent to with one another.
    so i don't really understand opinions.

    and when people tell me their opinion of how something works or something thereabout - their opinion of something factual, i sometimes have a hard time figuring out what they want me to think, but i almost always determine that they're just talking out of their ass - they're just guessing without doing any research, but don't want to be needled for it, or worse, forced to actually do the research.

    in my opinion, "opinion" is a bad word. and you should be scolded as brutally for saying it as you would for say fuck or shit.
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  7. #27
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    Just my opinion is being used also from my angle to show that I don't want an arguement over something that is just my opinion, I'd rather have a conversation.
    To show that you don't want to debate in a debate you've initiated?

    Since our example was relevant to this thread, I'll use it:

    I wasn't responding to your POV, yet you responded to mine, debating my opinion whilst acknowledging that it's just your opinion, which you've just said was used to communicate that you don't want an argument.

    Why would you begin an argument (by which I assume you mean debate) when you don't want one?

  8. #28
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    To show that you don't want to debate in a debate you've initiated?

    Since our example was relevant to this thread, I'll use it:

    I wasn't responding to your POV, yet you responded to mine, debating my opinion whilst acknowledging that it's just your opinion, which you've just said was used to communicate that you don't want an argument.

    Why would you begin an argument (by which I assume you mean debate) when you don't want one?
    You mean why would I begin a friendly conversation, and then do what I thought was right to try to express that I hope you know I wasn't arguing with you?

    Beats me why I would do something like that on a forum.
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  9. #29
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    With my understanding of what opinion means, saying "it's just my opinion" is an instant debate killer. It should mean there is nothing to be objectively, factually debated, so you either don't debate, or it means you want to continue the debate on totally subjective grounds, which is as good as killing the debate anyway.

    Oh no! Now we're going to get into that mire of distinguishing the words argument, debate, discussion, and conversation!
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #30
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    You mean why would I begin a friendly conversation, and then do what I thought was right to try to express that I hope you know I wasn't arguing with you?

    Beats me why I would do something like that on a forum.
    Why did this topic have to degenerate into semantics?

    Alright, since you insist:

    Pray tell what the difference is between an argument and a friendly conversation (both of your terms), and I will have a clearer understanding of the distinction and its relevance to our exchange.

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