- Have I invested enough research into this opinion? Did I take the time to research relevant info by myself? Or did I hear something once with little support and abruptly agree with it? Is this an opinion I take seriously myself, or am I just following a herd?
- Have I used reliable sources for my data? Am I referencing sources with none or minimal bias? Did I check if there’s any proven, verifiable conflict of interest that’d make me distrust this source? Do this source’s fact justify their viewpoint, or does their viewpoint justify their facts? Am I checking these resources against other reliable ones? Am I holding this view just because someone who seems reliable said it, and didn’t check if they really are?
- Did I look at any opposing arguments? Have I looked at serious, reasonable counter-arguments to this viewpoint? Were the counter-arguments serious or resort to childish arguments like attacking the one making the argument instead? Am I willing to concede good points from the opposing side and moderate my position accordingly?
- Did I check my biases? Do I have any beliefs affecting my judgment? Am I looking for selective facts to justify a viewpoint I already have? Am I avoiding arguments that make me question my beliefs? Am I examining where my biases come from and how valid they are? Did I make sure I don’t have a strong emotional attachment to my opinion that keeps me from doing any of this?
Most importantly, am I willing to critically re-examine my views and admit I’m wrong?
If you didn’t do any of the above, but still feel you have a right to your opinion, so be it. But know I’ll have the right to take your opinion as seriously as you have and ignore it.
~ Cheers, Max A