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Brian Topp

Facts VS Opinion

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I have noticed a theme lately where members have given dialog as facts, yet when some member ask that person where he got these facts from or even where they heard these facts, their reaction is either side stepping the question, ignoring it or belittling the person who asked them.

i am not refering to beliefs, where some one says they believe in some thing a from they experienced.

what I am refering to is people who say things like "Microsoft has alien technology" or "Nasa has an live alien" and yet they can't tell us where they heard it from or have any documention to back it up.

this seriously baffles me, how can one treat this misinformation/rumors as facts and yet they will deny that it isnt their opinion and belief while refusing to give references, links and the source. Does some ones opinion matter more than the facts it self? is it perhaps the frame of mind that thinks, it sounds plausible so it must be true?

Edited by Brian Topp
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That is why I have disclaimers on my profile. I am hoping that whenever I say something, that it stirs the curiosity and the reader will do the search for themselves.

I took a senior level communication course in college where we learned to assess what is fact (something you can see for yourself, something you can hold in your hand or view with your own eyes, or have your own experience with) from reports (something that is reported as fact, yet you have no way of knowing if that report is authentic) or opinions. Knowing this has been extremely helpful.

I have noticed a theme lately where members have given dialog as facts, yet when some member ask that person where he got these facts from or even where they heard these facts, their reaction is either side stepping the question, ignoring it or belittling the person who asked them.

i am not refering to beliefs, where some one says they believe in some is a form of opinion of what they experienced. what I am refering to is people who say things like "Microsoft has alien technology" or "Nasa has an live alien" and yet they can't tell us where they heard it from or have any documention to back it up.

this seriously baffles me, how can one treat this misinformation/rumors as facts and yet they will deny that it isnt their opinion and belief while refusing to give references, links and the source. Does some ones opinion matter more than the facts it self? is it perhaps the frame of mind that thinks, it sounds plausible so it must be true?

Edited by regeneratia
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is it perhaps the frame of mind that thinks, it sounds plausible so it must be true?

I think you nailed it. I'm not on the boards to lie to anyone, nor do I like being lied to. On the same thought, I'll give an example using me:

I do -believe- in a God. I do know that everything around me does not need that belief to work. I have seen evolution (micro leading to macro) as a testable model, a perfect model to explain species, changes etc. Is God to me a personal fact? I don't know and I would not present my beliefs or ideas as fact unless testable.

I think people inherently desire their ideas, thoughts and faiths to be indisputable. It has blinded many to truth. From scientist to layperson.

Disclaimer: I do not believe that science is blind to facts, just individuals who refuse to test their ideas or that fudge data to prove a point.

EDIT: I hope that I made sense. Coffee is weak today.

Edited by RedSquirrel
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There is a reason why this site is called "unexplained-mysteries"

This is not www.physicsforums.com, where facts are indeed demanded. I was a member there for many, many years.

What comes to mind on our forum are subjects such as ET-UFO's and the paranormal topics. Very little is factually-based, rather opinions or "reports"

This is not unhealthy, as, if everything was demanded to be factually-based this forum would not exist. Thus, a robust, entertaining discussion can occur on a specific topic without an overwhelming need for "facts"

I like that position. Though of course, like you, I like "facts" too.

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If someone has an opinion, they should clarify their position and say very bluntly it is their opinion..

If they say it is a fact, they should be able to cite an authentic source.

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True, but on certain topics it should be clearly evident that it's an opinion.

To constantly use "IMHO", for example, is redundant by default of the topic.

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True, but on certain topics it should be clearly evident that it's an opinion.

To constantly use "IMHO", for example, is redundant by default of the topic.

And that is where common sense comes in. Asking for a source on current events, history or the like and someone won't provide it they are either lazy, arrogant or ashamed of their sources. To constantly hound someone about "proof" in regards to bigfoot, ghosts or religion borders on the ridiculous sometimes... IMHO. :P

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While I do respect opinions in regards to certain topics, I don't think that's the problem presented in the OP. The problem is, as can be seen on certain threads, when opinion is expressed as absolute fact! Even when this is not the case, how the poster came to the conclusion can be expressed, and can lend some credibility to those opinions as well.

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This site seems like a good place to share opinions, as crazy as some of them may be. I'm guilty of it myself. Lol

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It's a fact that it's my opinion that facts are more important than opinions.

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It's a fact that it's my opinion that facts are more important than opinions.

No doubt. But it's also suggested that some scientific discoveries eventually leading to facts actually started with pure speculation and "opinionated" banter. IMHO.

Edited by pallidin
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It's a fact that it's my opinion that facts are more important than opinions.

that's funny. Facts are wonderful and all.... but what is an Idea? a fact or an opinion? I'd say that every idea and inspiration is akin to an opinion until verified as fact or folly?

ORIGIN Middle English: viaOld French from Latin opinio(n-), from the stem of opinari think, believe.’

Edited by lightly

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If someone has an opinion, they should clarify their position and say very bluntly it is their opinion..

If they say it is a fact, they should be able to cite an authentic source.

i do'nt think people should have to back up their opinions. There is nothing to compell me to back them up. Take them or leave them. They are opinions, by their very nature, subjective.

If someone has an opinion, they should clarify their position and say very bluntly it is their opinion..

If they say it is a fact, they should be able to cite an authentic source.

I think that ist is the job of the reader to search for things that back up someone else's opinions.

No doubt. But it's also suggested that some scientific discoveries eventually leading to facts actually started with pure speculation and "opinionated" banter. IMHO.

I respect that.

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I think you nailed it. I'm not on the boards to lie to anyone, nor do I like being lied to. On the same thought, I'll give an example using me:

I do -believe- in a God. I do know that everything around me does not need that belief to work. I have seen evolution (micro leading to macro) as a testable model, a perfect model to explain species, changes etc. Is God to me a personal fact? I don't know and I would not present my beliefs or ideas as fact unless testable.

I think people inherently desire their ideas, thoughts and faiths to be indisputable. It has blinded many to truth. From scientist to layperson.

Disclaimer: I do not believe that science is blind to facts, just individuals who refuse to test their ideas or that fudge data to prove a point.

EDIT: I hope that I made sense. Coffee is weak today.

I think that sometimes science is based on an opinion and then the studies are done, are designed, to back up that opinion. Time and time again, we see scientists admit to altering data or skewing a study design.

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I think this is just like the scientific theory vs. personal theory (synonymous with idea) issue.

There's a difference between scientific facts that are provable etc. and personal facts which people accept as true for themselves.

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Wanting to believe is the stumbling block to what is factual.It's part of Human nature which some fail to overcome by not accepting this very nature that's within us all, and it becomes habitual.For some old habits are hard to break.

This site is enriched by the members of reason in the journey for the facts.

Untestable personal experience is just that, and is fallable by many factors which everyone must come to understand.

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I think that ist is the job of the reader to search for things that back up someone else's opinions.

This gets too little attention. Lets say you have a problem with people who post stuff that is more on the opinional side, the way they post it implies it's a fact. Sometimes even clearly proclaims it is. What is the problem here? That someone posted something you think is wrong, or that you feel strong about it when someone posts things like that? I dont think it's just one of them.

I dont have a problem with someone claiming a big-ass Belzebuub lives next door to me, or a CIA agent or whatever. I only have a problem with things like this when it's a topic I actually know something about and the other person seems to base their opinion only on their limited knowledge and limited amount of thinking the subject. Lets say you're a physics professor and I come say to you "hey man atoms dont exist they're god's little sparks that have a life of their own, I know it for a fact". Wouldn't you feel p***ed?

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And I'm saying the problem is in my end in that case. When it's something you've taken time to study and then someone says stuff like that like it's plain obvious.

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i do'nt think people should have to back up their opinions. There is nothing to compell me to back them up. Take them or leave them. They are opinions, by their very nature, subjective.

I think that ist is the job of the reader to search for things that back up someone else's opinions.

I respect that.

I never said anything about backing their opinion.

Their opinion is their opinion. It's their own.

I said backing their facts with a reasonable citation, whether through a link to an authentic report, paper, journal, etc

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Oh, another part of the problem is whether you want to engage a courtroom-kinda prove-this prove-that battle where you're a lawyer against a lawyer or just discuss things and hope you find something new. I'm not saying those two couldn't fit together, but why must one always be tried to be included forcefully?

I just feel that derails the fruitful part of the discussion, takes focus & resources away from that fruitful part. It's of course fruitful to have those extensively researched studies and present them if you have, but if you have a problem when there's none, why not drop out of the discussion if you're incapable of discussing without them?

Edited by Mikko-kun
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It's actually pretty simple: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts.

Facts are verifiable, corroborative, reality based. Opinions are personal and can be based on whatever one chooses. That said, if one's opinion is lacking in the factual support department then don't be surprized if others aren't willing to accept it.

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i do'nt think people should have to back up their opinions.

They don't, but It does help sometimes to clarify their train of thought, so others can see and understand how these opinions have been reached.

I think that ist is the job of the reader to search for things that back up someone else's opinions.

I don't agree. If someone posts an opinion that person can't expect everyone else to go searching to verify its accuracy. But then if it's an opinion I doubt if anyone would want to.

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I think that sometimes science is based on an opinion and then the studies are done, are designed, to back up that opinion. Time and time again, we see scientists admit to altering data or skewing a study design.

Hypotheses are one of the foundations of science. A hypothesis is stated, and then the search is on to discover whether there is any evidence to support it. It's not quite an opinion, but maybe it's first cousin.

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Oh, another part of the problem is whether you want to engage a courtroom-kinda prove-this prove-that battle where you're a lawyer against a lawyer or just discuss things and hope you find something new. I'm not saying those two couldn't fit together, but why must one always be tried to be included forcefully?

I just feel that derails the fruitful part of the discussion, takes focus & resources away from that fruitful part. It's of course fruitful to have those extensively researched studies and present them if you have, but if you have a problem when there's none, why not drop out of the discussion if you're incapable of discussing without them?

Oh, very nice. I like your thoughts.

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I have also found that presented facts, including official links, are not always taken well, and sometimes leads to extensive argumentation.

Thus, over the years I have found that, at times(not always), it's best leave out the factual reference and just say "research it yourself"

A specific case in point on this forum would be the 9/11 twin tower incident. Or the moon landings, etc.

Facts, including links, are presented, but thusly argued against, and it just goes nowhere and becomes highly contentious.

So, sometimes I just give a strong opinon and say "look it up yourself"

Edited by pallidin

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