Is it a form of entitlement when people refuse to change their opinions once they’ve been all but confirmed as false?

  1. Your question is very reflective of the current sociopolitical climate here. This is the absolutely first time I have found it completely impossible to have a mature political discussion no matter which position I choose to take.

As the question pointed out accurately, an opinion needs no “facts” to be formed and stated.

If what someone was saying is absolutely factual, and has empirical evidence which is indisputable it is no longer an opinion. Yet to see people actually lose control and argue their “opinion” as IF it were a fact and begin degenerating to personal insults and name calling like two 8 year olds on a playground is disheartening.

I believe this is in regards to the political and social upheaval that you ask this question, and I commend you leaving out any specific position.

Currently the “facts” or the “proof” one side uses against the other are themselves highly suspect.

For the past year and a half if someone wants to talk about politics I have started the discussion the same way.

I’ll ask if they believe that there is ANY media that calls themselves a “NEWS” organization that does NOT have an agenda and tailors their “reporting” to fit their agenda. That their “facts” can be fully trusted to be unbiased and accurate.

I’ve yet to have a single person that didn’t fully agree with this observation as being accurate.

Yet when the discussion begins and I offer an opposing opinion to theirs they will begin to offer up the “facts” in support of their opinion.

At which time I simply ask where their facts came from. You already know what they say.

This is the point I must disengage in the discussion, letting them know it’s pointless to use “facts” that they admitted comes from sources they said are biased and can’t be fully trusted.

I didn’t want to pull politics into my response, but the way the question reads it is what I hear far too often from either side of the discussion when BOTH claim to have the facts and each sees the other as being brainwashed or blind to the lies they believe.

If you’re not referring to asking a person to change their opinion, just to embrace someone else’s opinion then there are many reasons someone will choose to hang on to theirs. The most common is a closed mind.

Facts can’t penetrate a closed mind. Yet people are beginning to close their minds based upon opinions only, in droves, and that is tragic.

2. I wonder, haven’t you ever heard the expression “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion”?

No. The answer is no. In any case it’s nothing like the kind of entitlement people disparage lately. That tends to be people who feel “entitled” to what they don’t have.

An opinion is 100% one’s own creation, one’s own production, one’s own. Yes, you are entitled to the productions of your body, mind and self. It’s a creation made typically with some ingredients from the world, what others’ think, some observation and inspection maybe, and accepted for whatever reason.

It’s not entitlement as much as the surest purest right we’ve got: we have a right to think. To decide for ourselves. Our reason, our judgment. It’s not entitlement so much as TA-DA!

Self-ownership.

And if you think anyone owes you agreement, ever? Or owes you their “changed mind”? Or owes you their concession of defeat and a victory laurel to the winner? You’re the entitled one, chief.

Learn to respect autonomy. You are not owed anyone’s agreement, regard, attention, company or any greater gift of self. Learn the purpose of argument. It’s not agreement. Not winning. Not scoring points. Not proving self-right or the other wrong. Not “changing minds.”

Its understanding. It’s coming to understand how the other sees their view fits with reality. And it’s offering to the other how you see yours fits.

Sometimes what we reach is not agreement. Sometimes, we find out why we will not agree. We have made sense of our disagreement. Sometimes, it isn’t even that the other’s wrong. It’s that fundamentally, we don’t share the same values and priorities.

Sometimes, though, it is that the other’s wrong.Sometimes they’re dead wrong. Well, that’s not really your problem. You just make the best appeal to human reason you can, for something you believe they should recognize. And you lay it before their judgment.

And they shall judge. They shall decide. “Entitlement” is beside the point. They’re the only one deciding their mind. Of course it is theirs to decide.

Some people suck at convincing anybody. Other people might be decent at it if they didn’t come off like a butt head antagonist whose only goal is prove self-right, you wrong, score points and win. Oh, and “change minds” – but never their own mind, you’ll notice. Some peoples’ arguments simply fail. Unconvincing on basis and merit.

But some peoples’ arguments fail because of a frankly incompetent sales job. Hostile, belittling, superior – entitled. Think you owe them something. Hint – your agreement. If you think people owe you recognition of any case you make, that entitled petulance is probably seeping into your whole attitude and pitch. Little ways of everything you say, undermining your case. It doesn’t help.

Anyway it’s false. Their entitlement to their own opinion is absolute true, 100%, but it’s not the kind of wishy-wanna grabby-Getty “entitlement” you’re talking about. Its full title and sole claim of proprietorship. Theirs by right of possession. Whereas your entitlement to their agreement is the kind people disparage. It is false. 100% this is something you do not have. This is something they do not have to give you. Get that straight, you’ll give better.

Anyway. I’m not really saying anything you don’t already know, I hope. I’m just saying’.

3. This question is unhinged, it hangs on two wrongs.

  • It is not possible to “confirm” an “opinion” as “false” unless the speaker brings up verifiable facts; these facts then can be proven either correct or incorrect; example: “The Beatles made the greatest music ever!” – What is there to verify? It is just the speaker’s personal opinion so there is no ground to prove it false. Their neighbor might assign this same merit to The Rolling Stones.
    Then a second neighbor says: “The Beatles are the best-selling music act of all time!” And they are right for there exists measurable data to substantiate that statement.
  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, which means that everyonehas the “right” to phrase their subjective point of view on any issue. Now the term “entitlement” has more than one definition, among them “privilege”. However, because holding an opinion is not some “privilege”, bestowed upon the happy few, the term “entitlement” is ill chosen (or even incorrect) in this context.

I would recommend the Wikipedia page on “opinion”, it provides excellent information, among other details, the various types of “opinions”:

An opinion is an opinion so I’m not too sure what you mean when you say confirmed as false. A fact or a statement can be false. But an opinion is more so a person’s idea about something and is not really relying on facts too much. So, to answer your question I would say no it is not a form of entitlement. I see how you may think that a person would change their viewpoint when presented with convincing reasons to do so but this is where it can get complex. It can be complex because oftentimes a person’s opinion or viewpoint rely on a totality of that person’s life experiences and their life experiences will often play a strong role in why they have the opinions that they have. Are these opinions fixed and never changing? Not exactly, because a person is capable of change, often times self-inspired change. But these opinions are more of a rigid and not very flexible way.

Its denial of their own false perception that causes them to refuse to change. A good example is the “only child” syndrome. As children they are never compared to others siblings, usually spoiled, never learned to share, they were always the one being rewarded, these actions give the child a sense that they must be right. This becomes the norm. The norm becomes the child’s core belief. This is a type of magical thinking which leaves a child in fantasy land. As adults this “magical thinking” causes denial of anything outside of their fantasy. So it’s not so much entitlement of having to be right but lack of comprehending what is right.

Sounds like denial of the evidence in favor of blind faith. Probably because it fee eels good to them, despite it being a delusion 🙂

People are often too afraid to change their views because their afraid of possibly burning in hell for eternity, etc. It is denial because that’s what I felt for so long even after I had confirmed myself to be wrong.

Even for a while after realizing there isn’t sufficient evidence for God, I couldn’t bring myself to admit it in my heart that there was no God. I was actually too afraid because there was always this thought in the back of my mind, like “what if I’m wrong and I go to hell for this?” Then it wasn’t until I gained more knowledge and wisdom that I was finally able to let go of my denial and admit there’s no reason to even believe in a hell or any of the thousands of Gods out there.

I needed to find new information and evidence in order to finally accept it, as there was some cognitive dissonance there that was making it harder to move on.

This method works for any negative thoughts or beliefs actually, because usually there is some dissonance there between the head and the heart. This can be overcome.

4. Was asked, but not sure what to answer…

Is it a form of entitlement to expect people to change their opinions because they’ve been proven wrong?

Thing is… We can see entitlement wherever we want, we can see the absence of it wherever we want… At the end of the day, it’s a question of perception and opinions, they’re both deeply subjective and even were we to remove part of the subjectivity by saying that facts prove that person to be wrong, I still feel they can believe whatever they want. Some great discovery in history were made by people refusing to change their minds when everyone else told them they were false. It might not be the case in the specific situation described in the question, but then again, who are we to judge them. Eventually, if they feel like it, they’ll transform their point of view.

Entitlement implies a sense of being due things that they had not earned and had no rights to.

As others have pointed out an opinion has nothing to do with fact or being right or wrong.

The only way those two things would be connected is if the opinion was that they were entitled to something that they had not earned. If you have proven that the person had no rights to those things and they still maintained that opinion then, yes, that would be a false sense of entitlement.

I hope that makes some sense and helps you out.

No, it’s a form of psychological insecurity. Admitting being wrong undermines a person’s sense of self to the extent that they will avoid the uncomfortable experience of having to change a long held opinion. That’s why rather than acknowledging the validity of the new found correct information they redirect the conversation to an instance where they are correct or they attack the source of the new information. Some folks just feel diminished when they find themselves to be in the wrong and will fight to avoid that feeling. Life is mostly about how you feel in the moment and nobody likes to be made to feel bad about themselves.

3 thoughts on “Is it a form of entitlement when people refuse to change their opinions once they’ve been all but confirmed as false?

  1. The ability to be open-minded and open to new ideas is extremely important to healthy growth. The reason America is tearing itself apart is that we simply accept misinformation and are even willing to fight for disproven, irrational beliefs.

    Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

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