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Thread: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

  1. #1
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    Default What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    So I spent the weekend up in Northern Ohio visiting my mother and stayed with my sister and her husband. As I've told you in past threads he is a red-meat Trumpist. Whenever his TV is on it is tuned to FoxNews channel. Once again my sister invoked the "we don't discuss politics when we have guests" rule. My BIL was visibly struggling to comply. I suspect that is strictly for my benefit and is not a routine household rule.

    On Saturday, while my BIL was away I told my sister that I rarely watch TV news. I told her I subscribe to a number of newspapers and read them online daily. I opined to my sister that the hyper-partisan political atmosphere in America today is due in large part to cable TV and the internet and the fact that every political faction has a cable network or blog that pushes a particular viewpoint mixing fact w/opinion. I said that I read newspapers for fact and form my own opinions.

    She asked, "How can you tell fact from opinion?" A sad question to be asking, IMHO.

    I replied, "'woman accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assault' and 'Senate votes to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court' are facts. What it all means is opinion."

    She had no reply and our conversation moved on to other things.
    Last edited by Tom Montgomery; 10-08-2018 at 10:51 AM.
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Facts are the basis for having opinions.

    I just returned from having my blood tested for my blood thinner. Although I usually don't bring up politics but, its been a very bad week. The Secretary was there and we got into a slight tiff. Bottom line, she votes, she votes Republican. Bottom line, she doesn't stay informed and just takes every day that comes. She said, well I have opinions which I accepted but, made the mistake of asking what they were based on. She said FACT! I asked her like Kellyanne's facts? No answer.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Easy: you can have your own opinions.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Easy: you can have your own opinions.
    And she does with no facts unless you think what Sarah spews are facts.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by S.V. Airlie View Post
    Facts are the basis for having opinions.

    I just returned from having my blood tested for my blood thinner. Although I usually don't bring up politics but, its been a very bad week. The Secretary was there and we got into a slight tiff. Bottom line, she votes, she votes Republican. Bottom line, she doesn't stay informed and just takes every day that comes. She said, well I have opinions which I accepted but, made the mistake of asking what they were based on. She said FACT! I asked her like Kellyanne's facts? No answer.
    FACTS no longer matter. They've become increasingly less important. We have accepted being lied to for political gain as free speech. Now we're paying for doing so.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by S.V. Airlie View Post
    And she does with no facts unless you think what Sarah spews are facts.
    Those who watch FOX believe they are getting facts. And FOX can, as a 'news' network, give out alternate facts, because it's all free speech.

    I've often suggested it's fraud, but am obviously in a minority.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    She asked, "How can you tell fact from opinion?" A sad question to be asking, IMHO.

    I replied, "'woman accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assault' and 'Senate votes to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court' are facts. What it all means is opinion."
    I thought it meant that there were 9 individuals on the Supreme Court. What it all means also seems to be a fact.

    Perhaps it is best to say some facts are more important than other facts. And my important facts may not be others important facts. Which facts are important are either facts or opinions. That is where the rub is.
    Life is complex.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    My answer to your sister would be been twofold.

    First - facts are verifiable. Check other reliable sources to see if they agree with what's being put forward.

    Example -- Almost every 'news' outlet would have agreed with the two you offered as examples. There were accusations against BK, and BK was confirmed by the Senate.

    Second - find reliable news sources. I'd have promised to email her the following chart to help her develop a set of sources she trusted --

    David G
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    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    It is a FACT the Trump's electoral college victory was not the largest since Reagan.

    Some facts are easily proven.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G
    I'd have promised to email her the following chart to help her develop a set of sources she trusted --


    I have just posted that on my Facebook page with the comment, "A helpful chart."

    My sister will see it. Thanks
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  11. #11
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Easy: you can have your own opinions.
    Bang!
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    Crying white mothers are ratings gold. -- National Rifle Association

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    I have just posted that on my Facebook page with the comment, "A helpful chart."

    My sister will see it. Thanks
    Lets hope it actually turns out to be helpful for her.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    In The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark — the same
    indispensable volume that gave us Carl Sagan’s timeless meditation on science and spirituality, published mere months before his death in 1996 — Sagan shares his secret to upholding the rites of reason, even in the face of society’s most shameless untruths and outrageous propaganda.

    In a chapter titled “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Sagan reflects on the many types of deception to which we’re susceptible — from psychics to religious zealotry to paid product endorsements by scientists, which he held in especially low regard, noting that they “betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers” and “introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.” But rather than preaching from the ivory tower of self-righteousness, Sagan approaches the subject from the most vulnerable of places — having just lost both of his parents, he reflects on the all too human allure of promises of supernatural reunions in the afterlife, reminding us that falling for such fictions doesn’t make us stupid or bad people, but simply means that we need to equip ourselves with the right tools against them.
    The Fine Art of Baloney Detection (107k PDF DOWNLOAD LINK)

    The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bull****-Busting and Critical Thinking (Article LINK)


    #include [ std-disclaimer ]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    This question, is where, I find people simply don't know about what we use to call a dictionary. Too much of our lives are run by theories thought to be facts which is why some act on hypotheses fervently. But, that is just my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by isla View Post
    It's difficult to explain virtue signalling, as I was just saying to my Muslim friends over a fair-trade coffee in our local feminist bookshop.

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    An excellent resource!
    yes - thank you.

    Sagan ends the chapter with a necessary disclaimer:
    Like all tools, the baloney detection kit can be misused, applied out of context, or even employed as a rote alternative to thinking. But applied judiciously, it can make all the difference in the world — not least in evaluating our own arguments before we present them to others.
    King Moonraiser:
    A toy is never truly happy until it is loved by a child.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Neat chart, #10.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Facts are simple and facts are straight
    Facts are lazy and facts are late
    Facts all come with points of view
    Facts don't do what I want them to
    Facts just twist the truth around
    Facts are living turned inside out
    Facts are getting the best of them
    Facts are nothing on the face of things
    Facts don't stain the furniture
    Facts go out and slam the door
    Facts are written all over your face
    Facts continue to change their shape


  19. #19
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Barry - clever... but inaccurate.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Barry - clever... but inaccurate.
    How So?
    Navel gazing, pontification nor proselytizing are any closer to the facts ("Truth") than the lyrics of a simple song from the 70's.
    Nor is condescenion. ( Clever,my Ass)
    But, Here's the crux of the current dilemma;

    "Facts don't do what I want them to
    Facts just twist the truth around"

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    How So?
    Navel gazing, pontification nor proselytizing are any closer to the facts ("Truth") than the lyrics of a simple song from the 70's.
    Nor is condescenion. ( Clever,my Ass)
    But, Here's the crux of the current dilemma;

    "Facts don't do what I want them to
    Facts just twist the truth around"
    Just plain inaccurate. Facts are facts.

    If one doesn't like the facts... that's a personal problem, not something wrong with a fact.

    Twisting the truth around is called 'spin', 'lies', 'advertising', or 'propaganda'... but it's not fact. It's the antithesis. Even if you build the spin around one little kernal of fact... as the best propagandists often do.

    The song lyrics are a form of poetry, which is allowed to take liberties in order to convey a message. Not an accurate definition.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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