TED Conversations

Thomas Hawkins

This conversation is closed.

Do we have an opinion about everything? If not, should we?

The ideas, questions and debates discussed here on the TED platform allow us to share opinions, answers and lots more.

What is it that makes us form an opinion? Is it something we do through choice? On what level of consciousness are opinions formed?

I chose the "Gotta Share" video as it was the last video I watched before I thought about this. Perhaps its the sharing with others that makes us opinionated? How we make our identity?



Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 29 2013: I think an opinion emerges from a mix of informations, feelings and memories because of a may be even unknown brain's function designand / or evolved for survival, long time ago. At present, human being uses this function for socialize and realte with other people; for letting them know how he/she feels or what would like to be known for. If we'd not be social beings, we'd not feel the need to inform others about us or our thoughts.
    It's not essential to have an opinion about everything, but it's very important to be able of having it when needed.
    • thumb
      Mar 29 2013: Hi Sean:>)
      I agree that opinions form with a mix of information, including thoughts, feelings, experiences, and memories, as well as what information we choose to see, hear and embrace in every moment of our lives. I also agree that it is not essential to have an opinion about everything, and it's important to be able to have one when needed. For me, it is important to be clear about the information that helps form the opinions.

      It is a choice, and opinions can be formed on many different levels, perhaps dependant on the importance of the information and opinion we are considering? Awareness may prioritize our opinions, and contributes to our clarity regarding how, when, where, and with whom we share our opinions.

      Opinions, if strong enough CAN form the whole identity of a person, or at least that may be how it appears at times.
      • thumb
        Mar 30 2013: Hi, Colleen. I agree with you. The second paragraph of your statement seems to me very interesant. And about the third one, I also agree; I'll add one more thing, very similar to what you've written: sometimes to have an opinion may oblige oneself to be coherent and correct. Because, sometimes, people'll know us only through our opinions, and I think they are like little pieces of us that we offer to others for knowing or getting into touch one with others.
        • thumb
          Apr 2 2013: Hey Colleen and if I may, Hey Sean,

          I agree with you both. What we experience, etc helps shape our character which ultimately builds our morals and ethics in turn, giving us the ability to form opinions on topics. It is within this logic that I draw attention to the end of Colleen's first paragraph. "For me, it is important to be clear about the information that helps form the opinions". This I completely, whole heartedly, agree with. However, this can sometimes be the hardest thing to do as emotions can take over and sanity can leave mind as easy as a word can enter the ear.

          Also, Sean, I love that you highlight how people build opinions of others by judging the opinions we have shared. Very true!

          Thanks to you both
        • thumb
          Apr 2 2013: Hey Thomas!
          If we are not clear in ourselves, we cannot be clear with others.....that's why I think/feel it is important:>)

          How can "emotions take over"? Who is guiding the emotions? It sounds like you are giving emotions a life of their own outside our "self"?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.