I am when I am. When I've done research and put thought into a subject, I will stand by my opinions. Plus, I enjoy being in the company of (reasoned, thoughtful, and amicable) dissenters. I WANT to be challenged. Give me a POV I haven't considered yet. Poke holes in my arguments. Force me to either shore up my reasoning or go back to the drawing board. Agreement is nice, but doesn't often make for lively conversation.
The only things that will get me to change an opinion are new evidence, or new arguments that I had not previously considered.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius
Well, I'm a "Randian Libertarian" (just made that up). That goes against what I think is the opinion/belief of the majority of liberal thinking members of this community. I've posted some things that generated some prickly and dissenting responses, which is ok. Happily, most of the people here are nice and intelligent and we can agree to disagree.
Sure, hopefully not solely for the sake of being a contrarian though. A healthy society needs variation in perspectives and being able to defend those views (better if informed) makes us better. Plus, sometimes you’re just saying what others think. So why not give them a voice?
I met a friend a few years ago, a person i hadn't seen in 60 years. He told me about his memory of me when he and his parents, with me and mine, went out for dinner while vacationing in St. Alban's Vermont about 50 years ago. I certainly have no memory of it.
He said that he had been shocked (and impressed) all those years ago when i disagreed with all the adults at the table, but he couldn't remember about what. He was amazed that an 8 or 10 year old boy would argue with his father and 3 other adults.
I've never worried about being in the minority on an issue, or even being the lone voice in a wilderness. The fact that the majority may disagree with me has nothing to do with whether I'm right or wrong.
I can be wrong, have been many times and will be again; but the fact that others disagree doesn't in and of itself make me wrong.
I have the utmost confidence in my opinion as it is only an opinion, I prefer the color orange. Knowledge is not an opinion and therefore I am either correct or incorrect 2 + 2 = 4 (and not 5). If I am incorrect prove that to me and I'll update my information or thoughts to be correct.
If you get into the arena of more insubstantial criteria such as "which is the best form of government" then I work to identify the parameters for "best" before doing my research and proposing my thoughts. Once again, my opinion should have no bearing on the answer.
Opinions and knowledge are too often confused and should not be. Your opinions on hot button topics are irrelevant even if you get angry with the opposing answer.
Depends on what the topic, who the audience is, what their argument is, and what the consequences are. Im confident that peer pressure and being alone on one side wouldnt sway my opinion by itself. Reason, logic, compassion or self preservation might. If I observed good enough reason to make concessions or change my mind to any of those ends I wouldnt hesitate. I don't get attached to positions if Im not positive they’re the most defensible.