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Changing of Opinions: When is it necessary?
@xmysterio, I agree. Especially as we grow older, it is almost inevitable that we learn more and with new knowledge, it is likely that your opinions will change. With time, people gain new life experiences, which could also be something that could change their opinions. In the last few years, I have noticed my opinions changing more as I have more experiences and made an effort to learn new things.
@persephone This is also a great point. Agreeing with someone just because they disagreed with you is similar to having a herd mentality. I hate to see this happen, because then everyone follows the "majority rules" construct we see in society. The only reason there has ever been change in society is because of someone going against the herd mentality, and I think that ties into what you said about unnecessary changing of opinions being counterproductive.
@xmysterio, this is kind of the opposite of what you said, but being open-minded doesn't always change your opinions; sometimes, it can strengthen them. You also mentioned pre-determining your opinion of someone based on their political leanings; sometimes, I catch myself doing the same thing. I think it's important, though, to keep an open mind; you will probably find that you have common goals/interests as others.
@stella Yes, I can understand that. I try to go into any conversation, whether it is political or not, with an open mind. I think these forums are a good reflection of these types of conversations. We often can see different views here, and I catch myself being very open-minded to the replies I see. Do you think the same?
@snowyyeti This is a good point to bring up. Like others have said above, in order to change your opinion it's almost always a good idea to have facts to back up that change. I like what you said about not changing your opinion just because someone is abrasive about theirs and seems right. This can jeopardize personal epiphanies being developed and prevent you from formulating an opinion based on a mixture of your feelings and the facts that have presented themselves to you.
@xmysterio I definitely think in that way! There are so many different opinions on here presented in such an organized fashion that I think it would be foolish not to keep an open mind! Not just foolish, but honestly boring. Keeping an open mind is what gives me the ability to stay interested in every conversation I am apart of! And, with so many inquisitive and educated people in one place, these forums are a perfect place to expand on ideas and change opinions!
I don't think it is good to switch opinions just because another idea is brought up. However I do think that it is extremely important to be questioning of ideas, especially your own. If I have a stance that I believe in I'm not going to change it just because someone disagrees, but if the other person brings up a perspective I hadn't thought of, then I will definitely question what I think, which could cause me to change my opinion. I think it is important to stand up for what you believe in, but I think it is equally important to grow as a person, and blind faith to an idea prevents that.
I find that everything is good in moderation, when people constantly change their opinion on something it makes me feel as though they might not have good standing ground when it comes to the subject. Although I could totally be wrong that's just what I believe. However, I do believe that if someone were to present facts that contradict your thought that's when changing your opinion might be necessary. Then again with new topics it can be hard to hold a certain opinion, mostly because people have second thoughts when reading others responses. Realizing that they might agree with that person more than their own ideas. So I believe that it is really "necessary" when their are facts that prove your opinion wrong or make it seem wrong.
I don't think it's bad to change an opinion but I disagree with changing it for someone else's approval. Even if what you have to say isn't popular you should stick to it as long as it doesn't offend someone else. Be honest how many of us can say they stay true to this?
I think it's important to have a good balance between being openminded and willing to change your opinion and not being too impressionable. Many people have said that an open mind is really important to have, and I agree! I think everyone should be willing to change their mind when they are presented with facts and a very compelling argument about why another mindset might be better--the last part is important!! But I don't think we should go around changing our mind every day about every little thing. It's important that people have differing opinions and that those differences are never (for lack of a better term) resolved because that is how we see growth and advancement in our thinking--and it's what makes us individuals! But again, we shouldn't be so stubborn that we never change our opinion. Sometimes other people bring up really good points and are more educated on certain topics!
@leinweber This is definitely similar to how I feel on the matter. It's definitely important to keep an open mind on topics. Hearing a point that you had not heard before could really make you consider the topic. But this does not mean that your opinion must change. Standing your ground is just as important as keeping an open mind.
@mangoman I do think that it's important to hold your own even when your opinion is unpopular. But what do you mean by changing your opinion for someone's approval? Would that mean like changing once someone tells you something you hadn't considered? or do you mean acting like your opinion is different than it really is?
I think it's also important to note that there's not a black and white "my mind is changed" and "my mind is not changed." Small modifications to one's opinions are necessary to remain 'correct.' Ideally, any opinion that someone has will have at least a kernel of truth within it, so I think that a person's mind should technically be changing all the time, just in small ways. Each time you learn a new fact or see a different angle, that should subtly direct your opinion in the correct direction. Being firm in your beliefs may be important to some, but I don't think small edits to them with each new technicality brought up would constitute as abandoning your values.
I agree that people's opinions and views will be constantly shifting so as to remain in the right or at least what they think is the right side of a topic. There are many different stances that may be taken at first, these first opinions clash and eventually dwindle down the two or three main schools of thought within a topic. There will usually be some form of consensus and then the thread will go silent. This is the overall pattern I have seen. People first take the opinion they have and then mold it to fit in a cohesive group with others that have similar viewpoints. There will always be shifting to conform to some kind of pressure, whether internal or external.
@klynnph, I really like the idea of being open-minded. Like you said, if everyone was close-minded we would never improve and develop new theories. I've changed my mind about something we have read in this class more times than I can count. But I have benefitted from that and it's given me a much better understanding of the books we have read. I think everyone can benefit from a change of opinion as long as it's backed up with evidence and reasoning.
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