The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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66                     THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
verifiable and impersonal, an opinion is not a reference. The personal side of the opinion cannot be referred to something in the outside world. The personal side of the opinion resides inside someone's skin.
An opinion is an opinion because all the facts are not in. The supportive evidence of an opinion may change from day to day. For this reason opinions are kept open-end and subject to revision on the basis of more informationincreased evidence new references to things which are relevant to the opinion.
A static opinion is a closed opinion. The supportive evidence for opinions should be referred continuously to things in the world.
And What about our loyalties? we may ask.
Anyone will concede that an opinion is better or worse than another, depending on the supportive evidence that can be brought to bear as witness. But our loyalties, Murphy points out, are the most stable aspect of the personality and the most difficult to alter. They derive, of course, from our cultural and social past. We are born to them. They are virtually unshakable. This we know.
Do loyalties, can loyalties, have supportive evidence? Some would say No. Some would say that our loyalties to religious faith, to race, to nation, etc., are not subject to evidential support. And this is the very point which, I believe, is now an issue.
If we will not countenance critical attention to our loyalties, we must accept the only alternativethat loyalties are compulsions. Today1958, most of us don't want to be compulsive about anything, if we can help it. We have the feeling that compulsion is behavior on the low level of human potential.
We all have our loyalties, and we need them. A per-