We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Somebody somewhere highlighted the distinctions between the two, especially as regarding political issues, and suggested that we consider which might be guiding our points of view.
Opinions, I suppose, require rational arguments whereas attitudes do not. Attitudes, it seems to me, come from temperamental predispositions, personal experiences, social environment, and the like. Nobody asks you to support a general attitude with data.
What's your view? Is it a meaningful distinction or not? I think it is.
Yes, of course it's a meaningful distinction.
Attitude is more a physical attribute, exhibited mostly through body language; whereas opinion is a verbal or written declaration of one's thought on a particular matter.
There is a meaningful distinction, but there doesn't HAVE to be one all the time.
Opinions often inform attitude. I have an opinion about a person, and it will inform my attitude about that person.
In other words, if my experience with someone is they are loyal, sincere, honest and reliable, then my attitude will tend to be positive and lead me to act the same way - creating a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle (in all likelihood).
Similarly, attitudes can inform opinions. If I happen to meet someone during a bad day, and the meeting doesn't generally go well, my opinion will be crafted in a larger context of "bad day" leading to, potentially, "bad person".
Either situation may be difficult to change.
But generally, the distinction is pretty meaningful and usually with things you don't have regular interaction with.
I have an opinion about Progressives, in a general sense, and it informs my attitude about them when I see them on the news. But when I see my friends who are Progressives, the attitude will change because my opinion is informed by personal experience and knowledge of who they are.
I have had many of them say "You say nasty things about Progressives, but I am one. Don't you think that bothers me?" I say "No. Because if you're crafting your view of yourself entirely on the basis of your political views, then you have tunnel vision and a poor sense of self. If what I say is untrue or somehow 'wrong' - then educate me. If you realize it's true, then there's a larger conversation that probably has to take place within yourself."
I think of it this way: Opinions may draw upon attitudes when they are being shaped, but not vice-versa.
I wish Hunter S. Thompson was still alive & well and writing on politics. Here's a question for the audience: What would that have looked like in the post-2016 race, right about now? Would he have been in the tank for Hillary, sanguine about Trump, or full of vitriol for both of them and with a Mueller-fired Old Testament blood lust permeating his writing? Talk about attitude and opinion.......
First, I'm not sure HST was crazy enough, for our current times. That said, I believe he'd be Trumpian(?). He was pretty big on individual freedom... I just can't envision him caring for HRC.
It can be a daunting process not meshing the two, i.e., having opinions/attitudes about certain behaviors. As some negative behaviors can be guided to normalcy if ones opinions don't meld into sensed attitude. Need bolsters that process.