Opinion Vs. Fact

@ParaTed2k (22940)
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
December 31, 2007 6:17am CST
Here at Mylot we come to discuss things we like to talk about. The topics run everywhere from the weather to war. Some of us like to discuss politics and religion (despite our grandparents warnings), while others prefer less provoking subjects. Most of what we write about are opinions, backing them with either the opinions of others, or some facts. Both are part of any good discussion, but I've noticed that sometimes the facts presented are shrugged off as mere opinion (usually when the shrugger either has no legitimate way to argue against the facts). Opinions are important (if we didn't think so, we probably wouldn't be at Mylot), but there are some things that are just plain fact. Water is wet, a mile is 5,280 feet, no two species have the same DNA and 650nanometers will leave a person seeing red. Just because a person uses facts to support their opinions, doesn't mean the conclusions are accurate, but that doesn't mean facts are opinions. Of course, facts cited could be inaccurate too, so facts can be challenged, but not merely shrugged away as opinion to save the challenger the bother of actually thinking. So challenging the facts is valid... but only by showing where the facts cited are wrong, not by simply saying, "that's just your opinion".
7 people like this
16 responses
• United States
31 Dec 07
What a discussion! You surely know how to get to the heart of the matter. In this case, the problem of disagreement, dissension, and denial. Let me list some examples. Nah, on second thought, let's not!
3 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
Yeah, I like to get to the heart of it. I also like comments that do the same. Disagreement, dissension, denial says it all.
3 people like this
@medooley (1873)
• United States
31 Dec 07
Para I totally agree with you, and of course this "trend" doesn't just appear here on myLot I believe that it is something that is taking place in everyday life. I get so sick and tired of arguing with people who can not see the difference between their opinion and fact. It is amazing how many people think that just because it is what they believe that it is fact and no one else could possibly be right. Another thing that annoys me is how people use the term, I have to... It is amazing what most people believe they have to have, or have to do, when actually they choose to have it or choose to do it. There are really only a handful of things that you have to have... water, food, and oxegyn are a few of those. A lot of people think that they have to have something that makes their life easier, again they are choosing to have this, not that they have to.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jan 08
Medooley, is it a fact that there are really a handful of things that you have to have? Isn't it just your opinion that people need water, food and oxygen? Do you have any proof that people need these things or is it just an urban legend? LOL.
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
I admit, I use the "I have to" thing a lot. I do know the difference between what I really have to do and what I choose to do, but I don't get too wrapped up in it.
2 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
7 Jan 08
LOL, I don't know about Medooley, but I have proof, I've seen first hand what happens when people go on oxygen and/or water strikes. ;~D
1 person likes this
@flowerchilde (12529)
• United States
31 Dec 07
This is interesting! I love to think about the many ways in which people debate. One of the most common things I come across is the old "i'm right, you're wrong" and nothing to back it up.. or very popular today, is ridicule and belittling.. and assuming the opposing view is merely "blind faith" with no thinking, studying, pondering or reasoning involved, only indoctrination.. Yet most people rely on what they have learned or been taught.. very few, have actually deeply studied the field they are discussing and say, proven the theory of evolution.. yet time and time again it is presented as "proven" and as "fact" when all it is, is theoretical answers to some questions.. And people are taught these, so they "believe" it is true and proven, and fact. But is that true? (I've looked into it for myself.) Few dig deep into the scientific studies to see just what they're actually talking about, lotta copy and pasting tho.. So to me, often it's blind faith (none of us study and ponder deep enough) debating just another form of blind faith.. or am I overly cynical? [I, myself am a christian, but few of us realize for all the modern challenges to our/my faith, there are very simple answers, so we fall back on no answer, or...?]
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
2 Jan 08
I agree with you there, Flowerchilde. For most my life I took my faith as a matter of.. um.. faith. But the more I learn, the more I see God's plan unfolding around me. To me, the only reason science and spirituality are at odds is because both come to conclusions without enough facts. Just as we look back at those who lived a hundred years ago and wonder how they could think so backward, those living a hundred years from now will wonder about us. ;~D
• United States
31 Dec 07
Over ten years ago I began to question everything especially the "blind faith" doctrine. I found it not to be scriptural. We have a brain for reasoning and thinking so we're meant to use it. I've found that almost everything that I was taught as a Christian was not true and wasbasd on pagan beliefs. It was a shocking encounter. Rattled my whole belief system. Not for long though. I resarcehed and dug through "blind faith" and found the facts.
1 person likes this
• Canada
31 Dec 07
I am so glad you got that of your chest and mine too. I couldn't of said it so well you clearly brought truth to light. I am usually shaking my head over resisting the urge to yell - this is not opinion idiot it is fact. Do other mylotters out there ever think about this or get frustrated by this?
2 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
1 Jan 08
Frustration: That feeling you get when you are forced to acknowledge the effect other's decisions have on your life. ;~D
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 07
I think (hence my opinion!) is that this is a relatively recent phenomenon. With a government that openly states it is not part of "the reality based community", it is so very easy to interchange fact and opinion. VP Cheney can say that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attack, with authority and conviction, misleading people into believing that it is fact. It is only opinion, but he blurs the line between the two. This occurs regularly in the public discourse through the media, politicians, and advocates or opponents of any issue.
2 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
I don't know how recent it is, it's probably always been used as a means to artifically make a point, or debunk one. Critical thinking is probably the best defense against it.
• United States
31 Dec 07
I would certainly hope that peoples opinions are backed up by fact, but reality says this is not true. Most opinions are formed from experiences that are then biased and distorted. Facts are easily dismissed with "I've never heard of that". So, to them and their vast knowledge it must not be true. Another, "They wouldn't do that" especially when it comes to government. Some people are only interested in their fleating opinions and not in facts.
2 people like this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
I don't mind if their opinions are backed up by personal experiences. But if something is a fact, people who disagree should either dispute the fact or accept it.. not try to discredit it by trying to say the fact is just an opinion. I agree on the "they wouldn't do that" argument. I know there's a lot of things I'd never do... until I found myself in a position where I did.
1 person likes this
@Kowgirl (3490)
• United States
31 Dec 07
Great discussions...but I will not disagree with anyone anymore I have found that to be a bad way to get a minus and points taken away from your reputation, get your response deleted and/or yourself banned from Mylot. Unless I have the facts and can cite them I wont disagree. I don't think I have ever posted "thats just your opinion" But I have posted "that's just MY opinion" Facts are a must when and if you should disagree with any discussion.
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
2 Jan 08
I'll have to start worrying about my star rating then... nah.. why bother. ;~D To tell you the truth, I'm surprised mine is still as high as it is... I'll chalk it up to evidence that, while there are people here at Mylot who do inflict negative ratings for childish reasons.. most don't.
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18278)
31 Dec 07
It seems to me we suffer more from the opposite problem, people claiming that their opinion, or the accepted opinion is a fact all the best urban
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
But that's just your opinion. ;~D
2 people like this
@urbandekay (18278)
31 Dec 07
And that it is my opinion, is a fact. hehe he he he all the best urban
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13627)
• United States
31 Dec 07
Most of the time when I see someone arguing with facts it's simply b/c they don't want to admit their wrong and can't find any other way to argue their side. Some ppl will also throw the line out of "You just don't understand". That one irritates the h*ll out of me b/c it makes me feel like I'm too stupid to understand when actually I understand perfectly...I just don't agree or believe the same way they do. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
That's part of the problem too. Beliefs aren't facts, so it really doesn't matter if someone "believes" the same way you do for the facts to work. We can argue whether purple exists (for example)... but in the end it doesn't matter if I believe it exists or not (since I can't see it). The fact is, it does (but I never admitted that. ;~D
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11179)
• United States
31 Dec 07
Indeed. and it is good to base our opinions on factual information that we have collected or experienced. Of course nearly everything, if not everything, we believe to be True is also influenced by our own judgement and interpretation of the facts - which in themselves may become skewed. your final statement mentions something that has become the norm in conversation/discussions these days, it seems that proper decorum and rhetoric has made way for emotional outbursts and strawman tactics, as well as a few hit and runs.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 07
Ah! That's very true..! :)
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
1 Jan 08
Strawmen are people too you know!! :~D
1 person likes this
@kamran12 (5526)
• Pakistan
2 Jan 08
Hello ParaTed2k! A very interesting post indeed, especially when I often see the problem the other way around, like another poster said i.e. people stating their opinions and considering them as established facts when, actually, they are not. I would agree with you that calling a fact, an opinion is indicative of the 'fact' that that person is unable to argue against the fact. I probably never had someone calling my presented fact an opinion, but people do tend to brush my whole argument with a broad stroke saying that it's just another opinion or simply saying that I am wrong without pointing where precisely I am wrong about facts and figures and where I have flawd argument.
1 person likes this
@theprogamer (10535)
• United States
31 Dec 07
This discussion is epic. Also, this discussion needs more quote for the truth. I sometimes like whenever some people come up short on posts in terms of either opinion or little/no citation. It seems to make my response a bit more fruitful. Okay, maybe its more because I can try to completely destroy a very flawed argument. Its even better when someone points out an erronous fact, that makes the counterargument/citation that much sweeter. As for your post, we're gonna need to see some citation on those so called "facts" you listed!(kidding =D)
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
I'll just cite my own opinion in another thread and feel like I accomplished something. :~D
2 people like this
@theprogamer (10535)
• United States
31 Dec 07
I've done that a few times myself! Heh heh!! Either for the same reason or just because the work is already there, so why rewrite :)
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 07
Yes, good point....I'm trying to remember if I have ever done that....said, "that is just your opinion", to a fact....hmmm....don't know, I hope not...I usually do a little research so I can back up what I say when I argue or debate with people, so I am probably safe on that...if not, I will definitely be more concious of it the future, hehe.
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
I'm not sure if you've ever done it either, Betsy. I could probably come up with peope who have, but this isn't directed at anyone in particular, so it wouldn't really matter.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 07
Oh no, I didn't mean to imply that you were directing it at anyone in particular. I was just posting random thoughts about it.
• United States
31 Dec 07
It is funny that I just read your topic post. I have a friend on here that probably couldn't agree with you more. We were just discussing this the other day. There are a lot of people that forget that their opinions are just that...opinions, not fact there is a difference. I couldn't agree with you more!
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
2 Jan 08
I'm glad you agree, and that's a fact! ;~D
• Italy
2 Jan 08
I'm not so concerned with people who take their opinion as facts, sometimes non-english speakers like me forget to insert IMHO, "in my opinion" or something like that and so seem to take their opinion too seriously but it's only a matter of language. The thing that bugs me most is when someone makes a huge post with tons of numbers about a topic( so you think "with all these statistics he must be saying the truth") but if you search the statistic are uncorrect so you don't know if he's blatantly lying or it's only a mistake (but if the same person does it a lot of time...). At least I've learned not to take the other posts as the truth revealed
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
2 Jan 08
Ah, the old Baffle them with BS tactic. For that very reason I usually don't bother reading excessively long posts here. They are against the TOS, and there usually isn't enough meat in them to justify the time. ;~D
@bear_cute (124)
• Malaysia
31 Dec 07
If someone give the speech or attend competition in the debating must use the fact.This is very important to give a strong statement.The judge must depent the fact whether true or not.Besides that must give the example according an issue to give the strong the fact.Sometimes an opinion can use follow the experience or the their reader at magazine,book,journal.
@ParaTed2k (22940)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
31 Dec 07
True, but we're not talking about official debate with queensbury, forensic or parliamentary rules here. We're just talking about online discussions.
1 person likes this