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Matter of Opinion

I do not agree with the article and I would like to explain why. First let’s take a look at the statement “entitled to an opinion”, what does it mean to be entitled? Entitlement is simply staking claim, so when someone says they are “entitled to their opinion” what they are saying is they are claiming the opinion as theirs. We can assume this to be true because they have stated an opinion and now they are stating that the opinion is theirs, while this should be the end of the story it is far from over.
Part of the problem with this article is the fact that the author is stating his opinion that “people are not entitled to their opinions” as fact, however he contradicts himself. Fact either is or is not true, so either people are entitled to their opinions or they are not, he can’t have it both ways, but this is exactly what he is trying to do when he specifically states in the article that there are some opinions that just can’t be argued, such as those involving personal preference (Stokes, 2012, para 7). It makes sense then that if an opinion cannot be argued against for reason of logic then the person of the opinion must be entitled to it.
My argument does not stop there however, let’s just assume people who have opinions on their personal preference are not entitled to them and move on to what I believe the author was really trying to convey, people should not have an opinion unless it is based in fact and they can back it up. What about Juries? Are they entitled to their opinions? And if they are not entitled to their opinions why are people being tried and convicted based on someone’s opinion who is not entitled to that opinion?
Pennsylvania State Code recognizes opinions by “lay witnesses” as non-expert testimony in the form of an opinion that is limited to the witness’s rationally based perception, an opinion that is helpful to clearly understand the witness’s testimony or to determine a fact in an issue or an opinion that is not based on scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge (Pa.R.E. 701, 2001). Basically the state recognizes that individuals with “common” knowledge are entitled to their opinions and can, by law voice their opinions as long as the testimony does not go beyond their scope of knowledge in a specialized subject.
What about expert witnesses? If their opinions are based in fact then how come the defense and prosecution’s expert witnesses can have differing opinions? Are they entitled to their opinions? Pennsylvania State Code recognizes an “expert witness” as one who has special knowledge, skills, training, experience or education beyond that of an average person. The expert testimony should help the average person to understand evidence or determine a fact of an issue and the expert’s methodology should be accepted in the field of discussion (Pa.R.E 702 (a-c), 1998). Basically expert testimony should only be used to help the jury members form their own opinions based on the knowledge of the expert witnesses if their opinions are widely accepted in the relevant areas of discussion.
The concept of the Earth being round was a matter of philosophical speculation and highly debated, often regarded as pure speculation and not widely accepted by experts in the field until centuries after the theory was first discussed, yet we now know it to be true. Therefore I believe people are entitled to their opinions, their opinions may or may not be true but as long as their opinions are based on factual perception they are entitled to them, this does not however mean we have to agree with other with them, but this is my opinion and according to the article by Patrick Stokes I am not entitled to it. Pennsylvania Code. (2001, November 2). § F.R.E. 701. Opinion Testimony by Lay Witnesses. Retrieved from:
Pennsylvania Code. (1998, October 1). § F.R.E. 702. Opinion Testimony by Expert Witnesses. Retrieved from:
Stokes, P. (2012, October 4). No, you’re not entitled to your opinion. The Conversation. Retrieved from:

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