We as a society did not replace truth with our opinions. We tell others that we think is true (and perhaps it is true), but hide it behind the façade of “opinion” in order to sustain our sensitivity towards one another.
Not anything we claim to be an “opinion” is truly not only an opinion. Perhaps our opinions are true, and are backed by a consistent logic and evidence, but because we are a heterogenous society with large portions of it believes in things that are not true, the “religion” of political correctness has “forced” us to portray some truths as opinions, so the feelings of those who deny those truths won’t get hurt.
In a specific situation during work, the employees (most of which are religious) spoke about evolution. One of them said “if people want to believe that humans originated from apes - let them believe that”.
The thing is, evolution is backed by a lot of evidence, and it doesn’t even mean that humans originated from apes (it says that humans and apes share a common ancestor).
The funny thing is, her ignorance about evolution, a scientifically proven theory, made her religious beliefs to be nothing more than an opinion she and many of the workers there hold, if they are indeed so sure that evolution means that humans came from apes. But, since only I (apparently) knew she was wrong about evolution, only I stood up against her.
She asked me, “and in what you believe in?”, which I replied, “I believe in accurate information from reliable sources”.
She replied, “But isn’t the Old Testament a reliable source?”
Well, since some information in the bible was proved wrong like science (from the 7 days of creation to the world being only a few thousand years old, and not mentioning dinosaurs at all, if I’m not mistaken), I told her that the bible is not completely correct about everything that is written there.
But in order to cooperate with one another during work and avoid potentially-aggressive conflicts, both of us had no choice but to respect and to accept each other’s beliefs as “opinions” and move on (even though I was correct) with our assignments.
Therefore, you can conclude from this anecdote that we are sometimes “forced” to portray truths as nothing more than “opinions”, so we would be able to live with one another harmoniously. The phrase “everyone and their own opinion” is often used (at least in Israel) to finish and/or to avoid conflicts against one another, because the word “opinion” is more respectful towards one another than the word “truth”, even if what we believe in is actually true.
So we didn’t necessarily replaced truth with opinion; we replaced truth with political correctness, in the name of cooperation and harmony within a heterogenous society. Those who don’t accept the opinions of others (even if true) are often portrayed as either aggressive or arrogant, as if those who don’t accept the beliefs of others are “omniscient”.
Being an intellectual is not always easy when others feel threatened by your debating, memorization of evidence and logical skills, and (perhaps) as a result they have developed this stereotype that intellectuals are arrogant and narcissistic dreamers, believing that they know everything and are superior to others, and/or are just “trolling” - a belief that might be used as a way to overcome the uneasy feeling of being intimidated.
Hence why we, intellectuals and non-intellectuals alike, in a global society of various cultures, are either faced with choosing to be tolerant of others’ possible and/or existent truths as “just your opinion”, or choosing to assign the other one or more stereotypes as a justification for their beliefs that you disagree with, when you don’t necessarily have equally-logical and evident counter-arguments to their own arguments.