Is it ever possible for an opinion to be "wrong"?

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omegaSQU4RED
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#1
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I was chatting to a uni friend of mine last weekend, and I've known him to be quite a heavy debater who is quite self-opinionated and who also plays devil's advocate with people and tries to contradict their opinion just because he can. We were talking about something (can't remember what it was) and he said something like "well your opinion is wrong" in response to me saying "that's my opinion" when we didn't agree on something.

This got me thinking. Surely an opinion can never be wrong? Unlike facts, which can be true or false (and proven to be so), the whole point of an opinion is that it is subjective and largely dependent on the person's views, surroundings, upbringing and other factors. Even though opinions can be less justified than others (for example, if it is based on insufficient evidence or knowledge of a situation) or not as well-structured, opinions can exist across a range of validity. Is this the general consensus?

Furthermore, is it safe to say that if the person I was speaking to is pretty one-dimensional in his way of thinking?

EDIT: Trivial case - saying "I think that the sky is green" is definitely wrong because it is an opinion on an established fact. In that case, opinion and fact are interchangeable. Other than this, is it possible for an opinion to be wrong?
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Maid Marian
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An opinion can be morally wrong, I guess .. and the PERSON can be wrong, but the opinion is not.

People who dismiss others' views like that are insufferably pig-headed.
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JAndrade1
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Unless it's an opinion on an established fact, for instance if I said "I think the sky is red during the day" I don't see how an opinion can be wrong.

That's kinda the point of an opinion.

Your friend just sounds like a bit of a d*ck to me. Then again, that's just my opinion.
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sharpies
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'I think water doesn't exist.' Wrong.
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RayApparently
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“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

-Harlan Jay Ellison, American Author
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k3ro
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'your opinion is wrong' is also a meme. he may have been referring to that.
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crozibear96
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I don't think opinions can be wrong wrong, but they can be the effed up kind of wrong. Like, someone saying that Hitler was a good guy and that he was onto something. That's their opinion. You can't say that it's wrong wrong, because it's their opinion and not yours. But that opinion is pretty effed up kinda wrong, if you get me.
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omegaSQU4RED
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(Original post by crozibear96)
I don't think opinions can be wrong wrong, but they can be the effed up kind of wrong. Like, someone saying that Hitler was a good guy and that he was onto something. That's their opinion. You can't say that it's wrong wrong, because it's their opinion and not yours. But that opinion is pretty effed up kinda wrong, if you get me.
In that case, the opinion would be morally questionable, or perhaps unpopular - but still, a person's opinion is their opinion and it can never be wrong in the true, binary sense of things being "right" or "wrong".

For example, a lot of people disagree with what Katie Hopkins says on social media - but she is still entitled to her opinion.
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Octohedral
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Opinions can be misinformed, bigoted or prejudiced by emotion.

If there are facts behind an opinion it becomes a matter of true or false. I see many people on here say 'it's my opinion that the evidence behind evolution is wrong', or 'I don't believe in climate change'. Those things are not a matter of opinion - they are a matter of science. Free speech doesn't mean you can just say anything and expect to be listened to - quite the opposite. It means you can bring your opinions up in a free opinion market in which (hopefully) the less intelligent opinions will be shouted down. It means speech without fear of violence, not speech without fear of being told you are wrong*.

Arguably everything is a matter of science. However, morality is generally accepted to be the product of a society, so that does vary quite a bit, and I guess that's really where opinions come in - when it comes to personal values. However, even then other people don't have to accept your personal values. We should do it as much as possible, and certainly when those values are harmless, but we should reserve the right not to respect crazy opinions.

*I know you didn't invoke free speech, but this is a misunderstanding a lot of people have, so I put it in

tl;dr:
- Often 'opinions' are really facts dressed up as opinions. These can be wrong.
- For opinions regarding personal values, 'wrong' has no real meaning, but not all opinions are to be respected.
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Arkasia
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Yes, it can be, and I think the moral and factual relativism adhered to by many is not helpful to either the informed or the ignorant.
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binarythoughts
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Yeah it can be
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_Fergo
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Of course.

TSR is a living proof of this.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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TorpidPhil
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#13
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It's my opinion that Hitler isn't dead. It is all a hoax. The holocaust by the way didn't happen.

Can that be wrong?

Obviously.

Jesus christ some people are dumb.

Stupid definitions of opinion and fact are the reason why moral relativism is so prevalent these when the idea is pure madness philosophically. Facts may be opinions. Not all opinions are facts and not all facts are opinions. All opinions can be wrong or they are not really opinions at all as an opinion is a truth claim that a particular person adheres to.
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DanyaI
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It can be wrong if you are an ignorant fool
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RF_PineMarten
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Quite often when opinions are wrong it's not the opinion that's wrong but something it's based on, like poor evidence (or no evidence at all).

You can have your own opinions, but you can't have your own facts.
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Vondas
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All opinions are wrong except for one. There is only room for one correct, valid opinion.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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TurboCretin
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#17
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(Original post by omegaSQU4RED)
I was chatting to a uni friend of mine last weekend, and I've known him to be quite a heavy debater who is quite self-opinionated and who also plays devil's advocate with people and tries to contradict their opinion just because he can. We were talking about something (can't remember what it was) and he said something like "well your opinion is wrong" in response to me saying "that's my opinion" when we didn't agree on something.

This got me thinking. Surely an opinion can never be wrong? Unlike facts, which can be true or false (and proven to be so), the whole point of an opinion is that it is subjective and largely dependent on the person's views, surroundings, upbringing and other factors. Even though opinions can be less justified than others (for example, if it is based on insufficient evidence or knowledge of a situation) or not as well-structured, opinions can exist across a range of validity. Is this the general consensus?

Furthermore, is it safe to say that if the person I was speaking to is pretty one-dimensional in his way of thinking?

EDIT: Trivial case - saying "I think that the sky is green" is definitely wrong because it is an opinion on an established fact. In that case, opinion and fact are interchangeable. Other than this, is it possible for an opinion to be wrong?
I think a better word is 'unsubstantiated'.
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Dalek1099
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I have always thought that on every decision there is a right opinion and a wrong opinion, I'm not the expert on a lot of things so I could quite potentially be wrong on several things but I don't think that to every problem/scenario that an opinion can't be wrong, there are problems though you can only know an opinion is wrong if you know a lot of facts about a topic and in some topics it may be almost impossible to know which opinion is right as the evidence can't be easily obtained.For example say a police officer decides the best course of action is to shoot a person holding a gun to someone's face but they kill the person and in fact it was a toy gun, this was the wrong course of action their opinion was wrong but they couldn't have know that they had a toy gun, it is usually easier to determine whether an opinion is right or wrong when it is on topics for which the evidence is easy to find and argue with.
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Actaeon
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I guess it depends on what the opinion is about. If you're saying an objective 'fact' which you believe in, it isn't really an opinion. You're just stating a truth or a falsehood with the words 'I think' or 'I believe' in front, which doesn't have any effect on the actual validity of the statement. Opinions are more stances on subjective issues, like ethics and personal taste, which can't be absolutely right or wrong.
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TheonlyMrsHolmes
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Yes the ones that go against mine
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