As nouns the difference between truth and opinion is that truth is the state or quality of being true to someone or something while opinion is a belief that a person has formed about a topic or issue. So, a belief is an idea that people hold as true. In other words, a fact is true and correct no matter what. The Earth is round, and people in the past and even today who say otherwise are mistaken. Well... might as well shoot you, because I seriously doubt you can live in that world. There are lots of ways that people try to use opinions as facts — and people who try to make facts look like opinions. It is similar to the fiction versus nonfiction argument. Opinion is an expression of judgment or belief about something. Our efforts at self-preservation have allowed us to distort the truth. "In finer terms, a fact is a proven truth, whereas opinion is a personal view that represents the outlook of an individual, which may or may not be based on the fact." Remember: Think well, Act well, Feel well, Be well! Absolutely nobody believed the world was flat 1000 years ago. Truth on one hand and opinion on the other. Similarly, an "alternative fact" is just a feeble effort to promote what might be one's "truth" as an actual fact. Call themselves ignorants. Do You Often Feel Disappointed in Your Relationship? ;-). Such people are often insufferable and are seldom genuinely liked. Better yet, it is at least coherent to say something like "the prevailing view is false", but on your view, this would be contradictory because, on your view, the prevailing view is true by definition, whatever it happens to be. Being right is very important to such people. Is this particular truth claim supported by facts? anon992292 August 28, 2015 . Facts can be verified with the help of evidence or statistics. Truth is a proposition that is true (how's that for circular, but usually meaning the proposition accords with reality), independent of opinion or our ability to know that truth. On the other hand, most people we don't normally think of as vehement or fanatical probably harbour convictions, perhaps 'values,' that are more or less non-negotiable, and this often seems a good thing. Opinions can carry a … Presenting truth and facts in a way that conveys information honestly is actually rather complex. Facts are place-holders in rational systems; if you removed all the things from the world you wouldn't have taken away any facts or, for that matter, any of the world's 'truths' either. Still, thanks for taking the time to comment on my post. The artist Rene Margritte painted a depiction of a pipe and then wrote under On top, you have people that the only truth is faith tough by some profitable religion or even more antique religions that were funded on controlling. On the contrary, opinion is not supported by any evidence. If Henry prefers wild rice to white rice his report of this is certainly a factual claim about something, and what reason would we have to suppose he might be lying about it? I would not be willing to commit to the idea that truth is just widely-held belief, or the "prevailing consensus", as you say. Now we know our planet is spherical, 4.5 billion years old, and orbits a rather typical star which is but one of many billions in a galaxy which is itself but one of many billions in an expanding universe of unimaginable size. A reader wrote me to ask: "Please could you elucidate the distinction between a fact and an opinion? a. What's more, truths and even cherished beliefs change while actual facts tend to remain the same. I'm no Camus; but no matter what anybody tells me, I'm never going to express my religious beliefs or political grievances by blowing up a random crowd of strangers, some of whom, for all I know, could share my views, and none of whose lives are coin for me to spend. Beliefs are often just ideas that most people of a prevailing era agree are true despite no scientific evidence of their accuracy. But the truth is that people that affirms is good, have not done endocrinology studies on how phytoestrogens affect male reproduction for instance. This article brings a fairly non-controversial distinction to our attention, but in a way that isn't particularly 'well thought.' But your statement that “All facts are subjective” is interesting. Facts explain what actually happened. For example, mathematical facts aren't supported by any empirical or scientific evidence, yet they are facts nonetheless. Similarly, an "alternative fact" is just a feeble effort to promote what might be one's "truth" as an actual fact. Nor can we easily contest the claim that wild rice, at least nutritionally, is a 'better' food than white rice. Definition of Fact. Opinion is an expression of judgment or belief about something. What separates a belief from a fact is that facts have reproducible evidence that confirms their validity. Some of us have beliefs about such facts. Facts are things that are based on the truth, while opinions are what a person believes, which may or may not be a fact. My truth is simply a perception of the reality I create. For example, 1,000 years ago, when people stated the earth was flat, only a few thousand years old, and the center of the universe, they were speaking the "truth." Albert Camus was once admiringly described as a man of "unshakeable decency;" and, based on his writing, this is my impression too. Ethics is on the lowest of points in this time, many studies and they can not be reproduce. Preferably about the absurdity of "alternative facts," and other sophistic ploys that are attributable to our current leadership. Distinguishing Fact From Opinion Leo M. Schell TT IS CUSTOMARY when discussing critical reading to list "distinguishing fact from opinion" as one of the primary sub-skills involved in this evaluative process. Maybe I just have a different concept of truth in mind. The problem with modern science is the ambition to publish and make money out of it. This isn't to suggest he's not open to input (again, this is something somebody else might know about him, but I don't). Who knows, if we went on long enough, we might find that we are just disagreeing about how words should be used, and that is not a very interesting disagreement (at least *this* disagreement wouldn't be very interesting if it were merely terminological). But what I would really like to know is who or what decides what is a "fact?" They cannot be disproved or even contested in a rational or logical manner. In this sense we are all 'opinionated;' and 'being right' is presumably important to everybody, including the article's author. But whether peer-reviewed or not, thought, if it is to succeed in its tasks, must be coherent--no?--especially if critiquing confused thought and sentiment is the aim. They fail to realize that there is a big difference between facts on the one hand, and truth, opinion, belief, taste, and preference on the other. I am a secondary school English teacher and there is a lot of rubbish written on this part of the curriculum that would lead to such absurdities as, for example, the atomic weight of sodium is a fact, but the proposition 'raping babies is wrong' is merely an opinion." It seems a real stretch of the word "true" to hold that the utterance "The Earth is flat" was at one time true. Hi "Amerigo," I though Columbus set out for the New World around 1492. I'm in no position to have an opinion; but presumably someone is. Truth, by definition, means the actual state of a matter or that it is a verified or indisputable fact.. It’s important to avoid attacking or labeling those who disagree with us. We the people have no capacity to leave matters that affect us to the experts. Unlike an opinion, a belief is a conviction based on cultural or personal faith, morality, or values. This post is for informational purposes only. Clearly, your points and objections are cogent and compelling but please consider the intention of the post is to stimulate thought and discussion. Fact is a statement of our knowledge about the truth value of some proposition, and we're asserting that we have a high degree of confidence in our knowledge. Fact relies on observation or research while opinion is based on assumption. One is a fact, the other Someone who makes statements such as, “Wrong!” or “That’s ridiculous!” or “You're completely incorrect!” when someone disagrees with him or her? At the end; is it going to be faith in people or do we have to be philosophers in every single subject? ;-). To wit, a tree that falls in the forest still makes a sound, even if no one is around to hear it. A fact can be an opinion and an opinion can be a fact. One important feature of the fact is that it is universal and does not differ from person to person. Facts are neither true nor false; they're simply givens of experience (which include, of course, our tastes). At one time it was taken as a fact that whites were superior and that blacks were just kind of animal. Not 1092, right? anon945062 April 10, 2014 . Even when they are dead wrong, they don't let actual facts get in the way of their opinions. Thanks again, David, for your very thoughtful and well stated comment. If the fact/opinion distinction were identical to the fact/value distinction, then once again we would need to revise our common thinking about facts and opinions. Keep in mind there are considerable numbers of people living today who claim that humans have never set foot on the moon, the pyramids were built by extraterrestrials, and the earth is indeed only 6,500 years old (to name only a few examples of the preponderance of ignorance and misinformation). I'd just prefer to place 'truth' under the reality side of this distinction rather than the representation side, and I'd encourage a non-epistemic view of facts (i.e. Thank you for your reply. Facts are statements that are either backed up directly by evidence or where evidence can easily be retrieved to prove it. Fact is supported by evidence and Opinion has no backing of any evidence. Truth verification appeals to facts; but what are facts? As I suggested to David previously, the post is not a scholarly treatise intended for a peer reviewed, professional publication. Such a listing im-plies that there is a difference between facts and opinions and that this difference can be reliably detected. Thank you for your comment. To understand more completely, let's define each. No red meet during this season, people died of cysticercocis or diphtheria, these leaders were smart, people has no capacity or will power to study and learn, only follow by faith. It can thus be said that a fact is the subset of truth. It seems natural to say that the prevailing view can be, and oftentimes is, false. The question of how tenaciously or half-heartedly you insist you are 'right' is a separate matter, and--generalized--an interesting one. 2. Both are important, but it is important to know the difference between them. Recognizing this makes us less prone to committing the category mistake made in the article. Is the sun a star? It’s an object, an article, a fragment of information, a bit of trivia. It happens all around us in our everyday lives. Indeed, it's misleading, since either kind of opinion can be vehemently or tentatively held and expressed. Simply stated, a fact is a truth. Most of my strongly worded, passionate opinions are doled out deliberately. A fact can be tested or checked: Lincoln was born in 1809; that cereal contains 21 grams of sugar; the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second (in a vacuum). What Are the Main Values of a Narcissist? We can take for granted that the article's author has fairly firm opinions about what counts as appropriate qualification in his own area of expertise, what constitutes competent diagnosis and useful recommendations for treatment, and in all likelihood who the 'best' doctors are. The notion that opinions are merely matters of taste, unrelated to facts, is counter-intuitive. But once reproducible evidence emerges that calls into question, of flatly disproves, the idea it will no longer be held as a truth among people "in the know." Fact refers to something that can be verified or proved to be true. At the end this will result on having faith on other people that are doing the right ethic way. Another important difference between fact and truth is that a fact answers several questions such as ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how.’ No it's a candy bar. Similarly, in this context, a "truth" is a prevailing consensus that is taken, prima facie ("on the face of it"), as valid and correct. Unlike an opinion, that represents a perception about something. (Er, yes... we are!) His associate, Chris, might not necessarily agree that the film is the 'best ever;' but he's being pointlessly polemical if he refuses to accept Henry's enthusiasm as evidence that the film is at least competently done, according to some generally accepted, objective measure of competence that Chris himself would appeal to if he were rating a film. A fact is a statement of truth that can be verified and is able to be proven as true. But who decides what the "Facts" are? Psychology a none exact science that relies on statistics, and the sample size and methodology have a big questions even biased by intention to conclude. Your email address will not be published. Opinions are the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. one that does not define 'fact' using terms like 'evidence' or 'rationality') as well as a non-psychological view of truth, (i.e. Opinions are assertions people make about their beliefs and or judgments. LEGO Braille Bricks Help Blind Children Learn to Read. Truth. In this case, the belief (or perhaps more strictly speaking, the belief's content) can be checked for accuracy or truth. Should You Be in a Romantic Relationship? I just wonder how many things now considered "facts" might be proven to be wrong (and just the "opinion" of ignorant people) in the future? The fact is described as the statement that can be verified or proved to be true. I think we basically agree with regard to the epistemological and hermeneutical foundation of interpretation and are at odds largely due to how words should be used (as you suggested). When we say, 'It is a fact that the author of this article has a Ph.D.,' we are saying, 'The proposition, 'The author of this article has a Ph.D.,' is true.' I'm all for stimulating thought and discussion. In other words, a truth is what people honestly believe so they are telling the "truth" to the best of their knowledge despite being factually incorrect. No Miley Cyrus is a "star" It clearly can't be a matter of intelligence; many fanatics are exceptionally intelligent, and their ability to weave all facts brought to their attention into frightening but difficult-to-challenge narratives is very real. Scientific facts usually arise from scientific inferences, an educated guess or opinion, made by a person, though it is not a fact until is proven. Our taste isn't an infallible guide to what foods are good for us, of course, and our diets might not always conform to what a nutritionist--basing his own opinions on the factual requirements of human metabolism--would recommend. The word fact is sometimes used synonymously with truth. The Bill O'Reilly example is just the first one that comes to mind. An opinion is not always true and cannot be proven. In education, children as young as kindergarten engage in conversation about fact an… Opinion refers to a judgement or belief about something. Ifwe were to look back into history it will tell us that GeorgeWashington really was the first president. For example, there are many facts about goings-on in galaxies far far away for which we lack evidence and proof, but they are still facts. Do you know anyone who speaks with great certainty about everything? There are a lot of opinions on what constitutes a fact. Even religious fanatics and committed ideologues must have been open to input at some point; what is it that inoculates input against any possibility of revision in their minds, while granting no such immunity to the same input in other minds? Nevertheless, when not dealing with clear-cut facts, an emotionally intelligent person will say, “It seems to me…" "It’s my impression…" "I think…" "I believe…" or "In my opinion…" rather than make emphatic declarations with absolute certainty. It is important to distinguish between fact and opinion because a fact is a truth based on evidence, while an opinion is a view that is not based on checkable evidence. A fact is a thing that can be proven as true by someone else. Some beliefs are true, others are false. Rather, it is a thinly veiled discussion and criticism of some current, sociopolitical events and sentiments that many people find most disturbing. My non-professional opinion (I'm a retired reference librarian with an M.A. The difference may seem subtle, but it is not. We can hope that what such determined believers believe is, in fact, true; but if the goal is to create a bit of psychological space between these individuals and their beliefs, to 'lessen their attachment' to their beliefs, that's a different project than assessing the truth status of particular beliefs by fact-checking, or affirming a tautological (since definitional) distinction between facts and opinions. Well a fact and opinion can be both the same. Having teased apart these various distinctions, and looking back over the several attempts to explain the difference between fact and opinion, we might propose the following definitions: Their philosophy is “I think I know, therefore I absolutely know!” Or they declare, “My opinion is not just an opinion; it's a fact.”. Imagine a scenario in which, in order to make things right in the world, you are obliged to shoot your son or daughter. Opinions are far easier to defend when truths are sandwiched into the argument. Does this clarify my thinking or just add to the confusion? These types of forceful mashing of facts and opinions are not exclusive to any political party, gender, race or religion. 'Vehemence-tentativeness' and 'fiction-fact,' in short, are conceptually unrelated distinctions which we have no reason to suppose share common extensions. FACT OR OPINION?George Washington was the first president in theUnited States of America FACT OPINION 8 7. “I just saw the best movie ever,” he announced to some associates. 3. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, David. Watch this video to learn the difference between facts and opinions.-- Created using PowToon -- Free sign up at http://www.powtoon.com/ . in philosophy, not a psychologist) is that the 'vehemence' problem is a formidable one. beliefs) and reality (e.g. So it is very likely that some people did belive it was flat 1,000 years ago. In a courtroom setting, the same facts are available to both prosecution and defense. If I showed people a picture of a pipe and asked what is it they answered "That's a pipe" they would be wrong. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional assistance or personal mental health treatment by a qualified clinician. This is the "truth" of the current age and, more importantly, facts that are not likely to change much in the future. To reiterate my previous point, a truth need not be witnessed to be true. An opinion, in contrast to a fact, is a statement that reflects an author's or the speaker's point of view, beliefs, perspective, personal feelings, and values; opinions cannot be verified and proven to be true or false like a fact can be verified and proven to be true; however, a person's opinion can be supported or refuted when a critical thinker and a critically thinking reader of a text scrutinizes and critically evaluate… It's doubtful he considers these opinions merely rooted in his own, 'unverifiable' taste, and equally doubtful he'd be willing to substitute someone else's judgment for his. Statements such as "Capital punishment is legalized murder" are often called "opinions" because they express viewpoints, but they are not based on facts or other evidence. But it provides a reliable enough guide to keep most people alive and relatively healthy. But the key is understanding the difference between Truth and Facts versus Opinions and Bias (for lack of better terms) and how likewise how they can be used in tandem to speak honestly. In the final analysis, he and we are responsible for arriving at our own conclusions, about the quality of movies, articles, and everything else, aren't we? People use facts to create their own opinions about a certain topic. Soy stories; good, bad, good again. Is the "Milky way" a system of stars? Facts can change anybody’s opinion, but vice versa is not possible. Facts are part of truths. Also, I see no reason to think that truths change. . In the case of testimony, the oath that is repeated by many means that what will be said should be the indisputable facts of what actually happened. Still, every person has a right to express opinions without being ridiculed or shouted down. 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