Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Self righteous, moi?

I'm accused sometimes of being self-righteous, but I don't quite get that. Okay, I have strong opinions but I'd never say my opinions are more valid than someone else's. If I'm presented with an argument that's more convincing, more sensible, better thought-out, or better researched, I'm happy to adopt it and dump my own opinion in a second.

For example, I used to think prostitution was acceptable until I read that most prostitutes show signs of post traumatic stress disorder, which changed my mind instantly. I used to think it was healthier to be thin, but dropped that idea when I heard that slightly plump people are actually less prone to serious illnesses.

I'm also accused of being opinionated, which might or might not be true. True if opinionated simply means having strong opinions on most subjects. Not true if it also means I foist my opinions on others and expect them to agree.

I express strong opinions in my blog but I don't expect others to swallow them. On the contrary I welcome totally opposite opinions that make me think through my own views more carefully.

In my non-blog existence I usually keep my opinions to myself unless someone specifically asks me what I think about something. Of course that might just mean I don't want my dubious and half-baked opinions to be challenged by anyone else.

If I'm really self-righteous and opinionated, I've obviously missed my vocation. I should have been a politician.

21 comments:

Secret Agent Woman said...

Do you have a source for the thin being less healthy than overweight thing? I don't mean blogs or opinions, I mean an actual research-based source. Or do you mean underweight vs. slightly overweight? I know that in lab rats, underweight rats live longer, but I don't know about disease incidence. I have to suspect, in the absence of any actual data here, that simply being thin is not a risk factor (except, perhaps, for osteoporosis). I'd like to know what the research says about being thin versus "slightly chubby" when you control for muscle mass, diet composition, and so on. So all that to say, will you change your opinion based on someone's argument without seeing the research to back it up?

Nick said...

Agent: I'm sure there was a story that slightly plump people are healthier, but now all I can find is that overweight people can be equally fit as normal-weight people provided they have normal blood pressure, cholesterol etc. I shall keep looking.

If someone cites research I'll take their word for it, but of course I might find out later they've got it wrong.

Grannymar said...

All I know about being thin is that I feel cold most of the time.

Nick said...

Grannymar: Funny that, you know how thin I am but I always feel much warmer than Jenny, and she's definitely not thin!

Bijoux said...

Nick, it is YOUR blog, so you should be opinionated. Again, if readers are offended by your opinions, they can find a blog that better suits their tastes. Personally, I enjoy being challenged by opinions that I don't necessarily hold. As a blogger, I'm not here to find my twin.

It doesn't bother me for people to disagree with me, but when the name-calling starts, or the use of derogatory adjectives, well, time to press the ignore button.

kylie said...

self righteousness is quite a different thing to being opinionated or ignorant.
transferring the attention to politicians at the end of the post was a cheap shot, nick. you are better than that

Nick said...

Bijoux: Exactly, I'm not looking for my twin either, I'm looking for intelligent and interesting opinions, be they akin to my own or not.

Kylie: Well, they're sort of loosely related, I think. My father was both opinionated and self-righteous big time. He was insufferable.

A cheap shot at politicians? Well, they fire plenty of cheap shots at us, lol.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

I'm opinionated, too, and maybe self-righteous as well. I don't know. Or maybe the fact that I don't know means I'm not opinionated and self-righteous. I don't know that, either ... another thing I am is really, really indecisive.

To be serious, I have learned that people who accuse others of being self-righteous or opinionated are usually very insecure and need to bolster their own confidence by knocking down yours. ;)

Nick said...

I'm seldom indecisive, I'm usually very clear about what I want and don't want.

I think you're right about people needing to bolster their own confidence by attacking others.

Jenny Woolf said...

People with no opinions are soooo boring! You keep on as you are, Nick! suits me :D

Nick said...

Aren't they just? What do you think of X? "Well, maybe blah blah, on the other hand blah blah." For God's sake, come off the fence....

Suburbia said...

Hi Nick
I think a blog is a great place to air your opinions!

Surly you can't be labeled opinionated if you change your opinion on matters when faced with new findings can you?

Nick said...

Suburbia: I wouldn't have thought so. But maybe some people have the impression I cling firmly to my opinions and refuse to change them.

Rummuser said...

You will be a disaster as a politician. To be a successful one, you should have no opinions!

Nick said...

Ramana: You have a point there. I think to be a successful politician you either need a load of knee-jerk opinions most of the voters will agree with or no opinions at all so the voters can project anything they want onto you.

blackwatertown said...

Speaking of politicians and having opinions - Edwin Poots MLA - creationist - seriously? He's an MLA. Dear oh dear.

Reminds me of the time the local vicar gently corrected an eight year old "The sun isn't a star."

Nick said...

Paul: Edwin Poots is thoroughly strait-laced in his views. Rampant homophobia among other things.

speccy said...

Unbelievably, and I'm sort of amazed to be even thinking it, Poots is preferable to the Health Minister in waiting, Jim Wells. He really is a throwback to all sorts of reactionary politics

Nick said...

Speccy: Oh, do you think so? I've never actually compared the two. But reactionary politics aren't hard to find in Stormont.

Roses said...

Self-righteous? That's a bit harsh.

But it's your blog and you get to voice whatever you want on it. If they don't agree, why don't they just shove off? Read another blog?

Honestly.

Nick said...

Roses: Well, maybe I'm a bit self-righteous sometimes, especially on subjects I feel very strongly about. And actually I welcome disagreements, as long as they're not voiced in a nasty way.