'Facts Don't Have Fences To Sit On, They Just Are'

The distinction between fact and opinion is vital. Opinions can differ, but a well-reasoned opinion will be based on facts, not blind prejudice or lazy assumptions. If you can't make your mind up about something, the chances are you haven't fully absorbed all the relevant facts.

I've borrowed this quote from my fellow tech journalist Richard Chirgwin, but it's a point that has been valid for a long time: you need to distinguish between facts and opinions, and it's facts that matter when you're trying to make your mind up. Decisions are rarely easy, but uninformed decisions are never right.


Comments

    with that fact in mind - does this mean religionists haven’t fully absorbed all the relevant facts?

      The latest in Christian Apologetics is that unless you believe in and have received revelation from God, then you can't know anything, including 'facts.' Eric Hovind is the chief spouter of this argument. Do not YouTube him, you will start shouting at your screen. Other variations pursue the idea that since (according to the Apologeticist's wild interpretation and over simplification of scientific basics) since we are all 'just chemicals in motion' we can't know anything, because chemicals can't know anything. This disregards energy, biological structures, the mind-brain relationship and a range of areas presently under research to do with consciousness and memory. Basically it's the 'strawman' fallacy.

    That's right. The ultimate delusion.

    Sure, there's a difference between opinions and facts but...

    Facts are not always black and white. They can change through time, they need context...etc

    I think one of the major issues is that some people can't differentiate between what the think are facts, but are purely their opinion - no matter how educated or otherwise it might be.

    Interesting argument, I forget the term. Empiricist? Anyway, it does somewhat overlook the fact that many or even most choices are either emotional or moral which can't be resolved simply by weighing facts.

    The existence of an objective 'fact' depends on whether you adopt a positivistic paradigm / philosophical perspective, and what kind of phenomenon / experience / process / etc you are factualizing. 'Fact' does not necessarily mean truth - it may only mean tested theory (within the limitations of that theory).

    Whenever I start reading how facts are defined, it leads me on to thinking about a profound philosophical discussion about facts vs truth that I've never been able to pick a side on, typified - like most things in life - by a scene from a quirky 90s sitcom:

    http://youtu.be/JBRpxrxNo9M

    (If you're not interested in context - and it is pretty involved - just skip to about 1:45).

    So, Angus, is this article a fact or an opinion..?

    If you can’t make your mind up about something, the chances are you haven’t fully absorbed all the relevant facts.

    So whose opinion determines what 'all the relevant facts' are?

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