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Opinions vs. preferences Tue, Dec 29, 2015
I posted on Facebook, "Feel bad about your opinions; don't feel bad about your preferences."  I feel it requires an explanation. 

People have opinions about everything, usually involving entertainment, consumables, or even facts.  "Mad Men is a high quality TV show."  "Budweiser is a fairly crappy beer."  Opinions can be based on facts, or they can be based on non-facts.  "All Muslims are bad."  "Global warming is a hoax."  The first part of my Facebook post was basically saying that if your opinions are based on ignorance or misinformation, you should feel bad about them.  The fact that "they're just opinions" doesn't negate the fact that they're wrong, or stupid.  If your opinions are stupid, you're stupid.  Stupid. 

But preferences are another matter.  A preference is what happens when you recognize a fact, and it doesn't change your mind.  You can recognize that Budweiser is a crappy beer, but you can still buy it and enjoy it because it's your preference.  I enjoy fine whiskeys, but I never turn my nose up at Jack Daniels, even if it's widely recognized as inferior.  The second part of my Facebook post was saying that people shouldn't feel bad about preferences, because preferences can't be wrong.  Preferences also can't be applied to facts.  You can have an opinion about facts, but you can't say you have a preference one way or the other. 

This comes up a lot with wine and whiskey.  I have certain preferences for things, and I like to share my purchases with other people.  But I always say, "Don't feel bad if you don't like it."  I'm not offended if your preference doesn't match my own.  In fact, you could even say your preference really isn't even your choice.  It just is what it is. #psychology


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