That's Your Opinion | Teen Ink

That's Your Opinion

September 1, 2007
By Anonymous

Brandon Kenyon
A common thought pattern in our day is the agnostic ideal, which is defined as somebody who doubts that a particular question has a single correct answer or that a complete understanding of something can be attained. This belief has been established by public schools, a liberal mindset, and the mass media; many of which have taught the correct way to form an opinion is to rationally think things through and structure an opinion that seems right for you based on circumstance or your personal experiences. This is a dangerous method of developing a viewpoint. When our outlooks are formed based only on our own circumstances and gathered information, as logical as it may be under our situation, there is no set foundation, and this can create very erratic conclusions to the information gathered – this is an unstable opinion.
Everybody has opinions. Adolf Hitler processed the information gathered by his personal life experience, which was rational in his mind, and came to a wrong conclusion, which he compiled and meticulously documented in his Nazi propaganda biography Mein Kampf, even though the outcome was absolute absurdity. HitlerÕs conviction was a matter of wrong or right, black and white. His actions were not justified simply because he had a conviction.

Our founding fathers had numerous opinions. One of the great debates in the early years of America was the issue of slavery. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, bought and sold human beings as chattel, because it was acceptable in his outlook. But towards others he held another standard. In his 1785 State of Virginia Address, Jefferson says, Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.Ó JeffersonÕs actions show us that the attempt to build morals and virtues based upon ones own opinion will result in hypocrisy, at best. The issue of slavery was so divisive that it nearly destroyed our nation within one hundred years of its inception in the bloodiest war that America has ever been involved in, The Civil War.

An opinion can seem entirely logical and be completely unsound. There are natural laws that constrain our daily existence. For instance, it may be your opinion that the sun will not rise tomorrow morning but if you get up early enough and wait, you can watch it prove your opinion incorrect. You may take a flight above the clouds and choose to get out and walk on them. Solid in appearance, this is not an irrational conclusion. Nevertheless, it will be to the peril of your life because there is a law beyond appearance called gravity. These are natural laws that govern our daily being.
Along with natural laws, civil laws govern our lives as well. For example, if a man murders another man, he has broken a civil law and is condemned to face the consequences of his actions. Committing a heinous crime will prompt a just judge to pass an appropriate sentence. An appropriate sentence is established by moral law. Moral law governs every relationship in a civil society. Truth and right is the foundation of moral law.

The word truthÓ is a self-descriptive word which should need no explanation. Many in our generation are of the opinion that the act of believingÓ makes things true. Many believe truth, whether in science, education, or religion is created by a specific culture or community and is trueÓ only in and for that culture. Unfortunately, because our society is based on moral and civil law, when you remove truth as the foundation of these laws, you cannot define right and wrong.
Without truth as a foundation for opinion, a belief is like the proverbial house built on the oceans shore. What is there to hold that opinion when waves come and lap upon the coast, shifting the sands? Instead, we should place the cornerstone for our beliefs on a solid foundation that will never shift, as hard as it may be in this day. Finding the bedrock of truth and building upon it, no matter which direction popular opinion may shift, is the mark of a wise builder. Truth defines the laws surrounding us; an agnostic ideal will never allow you to see this. The fact of the matter is: truth is not a tolerant fad. Rather truth is something that will stand no matter what may sweep the generations. Truth is not a matter of opinion; truth stands alone. Opinions often form the foundation of many great thoughts, ideologies, intuitions and inventions, but let us never be so proud as to allow opinion to overrule truth.

How would our nation be different if the founding fathers would have declared, We hold our opinions to be self evidentÉÓ? This will certify that the above work is completely original. Brandon Kenyon

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