One of Those "Lightbulb/Duh!" Moments
Every once in a while, something that has been right in front of me all of my life comes into a new focus. I recently had one of those moments with the phrase, "Everyone's entitled to an opinion." I first notice that this phrase implies that said entitlement is bestowed by someone else. Entitled? Entitled by whom? God? Not necessary. Could I really stop you from having an opinon aside from killing you? Why would you think that you need someone else's permission to have an opinion, except for the unethical suppression of free speech? Depending on your present form of government, you might not be "entitled" to express your opinion, but no one can stop you from having one but you yourself.
The second thing I realized, is that most people who spout this wisdom are actually saying the exact opposite. They are attempting to shut down a difference of opinion, and attempting to make one party of an argument feel guilty for pressing that argument. In other words, they are defending what they perceive to be a weak argument against an adamant adversary. Next time someone throws out this phrase, I am likely to tell them "Those that do not have anything material to contribute to a discussion should keep their mouths shut. That's one of my opinions too."