On this forum and throughout our culture I find the phrase in the title of this thread quite common. 'It is just my opinion'. On the most basic level, such a notion simply means this is what I think and nothing else. In other words, I am no authority on the subject, so you don't have to accept my beliefs uncritically or you don't have to believe what I believe. That is all well and good, we shouldn't thoughtlessly believe in many of the views that we come across, however, this phrase carries another far more ominous connotation.
Usually the conversationalist makes this utterance after they have stated a view about the world, and often a controversial one. For the sake of an example, view the post of one of our members below.
Originally Posted by ;
Such a tactic allows the communicator to deny responsibility for his or her actions and thereby render the expressed views impervious to criticism. He or she puts forth an appeal to pity by implying that since the notion in question is a mere 'opinion', it ought not to be questioned or criticized.
What's wrong with a view that can't be questioned? First of all it gets people thinking about an important matter and leads them to suppose that there is something to the 'just my opinion' and portrays any contrary notion as flatly unacceptable. In short, this phrase appears to be no more than an instance of harmless politeness at the outset, yet is actually an insidious strategy for people to force their views on others without carrying any responsibility for any harm or false beliefs incurred by others as a result.