The GMO “debate” never strays far from the headlines. Almost every person I know has an opinion on the matter, and I cannot stomach that. As Patrick Stokes, senior lecturer in philosophy at the Deakin University, argues:
“The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue [with that person] is somehow [seen as] disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.”
And a disgusting feature at that, Dr Stokes.
You are entitled to an opinion; you are entitled to an opinion that can be reasonably defended with evidence and logical argument. This is why I am so fascinated by science denial. I have various friends and acquaintances who think GMOs and other “toxic” food ingredients are the single biggest threat to civilisation. I’m reluctant with my usage of civilisation as I’m not entirely sure proponents of this view can truly appreciate what civilisation is and why it is such a precious and fragile thing. However, they still expect their opinions as a non-experts to be respected and heard.Readmore