• YuZhonglu
    146
    My argument:

    A "fact" is just an opinion that a person is confident about. For example, the statement "it's a fact the Earth goes around the Sun" actually means "we're really really confident the Earth goes around the Sun."

    However, before anyone jumps in and claims I'm a relativist moron, I also claim that some opinions are better and more useful than others. For example, While both of the following statements "the Earth goes around the Sun" and "the Sun goes aorund the Earth" are technical opinions, the first opinion is more useful for launching satellites and doing astronomy then the second. Just because all statements are opinions, does not mean all opinions are created equal.

    Why am I posting this? Because I'm tired of people claiming "X is a fact.' The moment someone claims anything, they're just offering their opinion.

    What are your thoughts?
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. They are not entitled to their own facts."

    Is "There Are No Facts. Only Opinions." a fact or an opinion?

    A "fact" is information that is verified by experience; not just one person's informed experience, but everyone's informed experience. Opinions are judgements about facts.

    The opinion that there are no facts, only opinions, is an invitation to chase rabbits (Alice In Wonderland) where there are no facts.
  • tim wood
    2.2k
    before anyone jumps in and claims I'm a relativist moron, I also claim that some opinions are better and more useful than others.YuZhonglu

    Indeed some opinions are better than others, but that says nothing about facts; it speaks only to the relative value of opinions. You need to demonstrate that facts are opinions. Until you do, I'd like to be first: you're a relativist moron.

    Make your case and I'll relieve you of your moron status. Keep in mind your path is steep. Your position is that there are no facts. Good luck! I'll be watching.
  • Frank Apisa
    487
    My opinion is that there are facts...and that the tree you are barking up...

    ...is the wrong tree.
  • YuZhonglu
    146


    LOL. No. It's my opinion.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.4k


    It's not a fact that it's your opinion?
  • YuZhonglu
    146


    Here's a short summary:

    1. In order to establish a fact, you have to, you know, state it.
    2. But the moment you state it, you're expressing an opinion. Perhaps the Earth does circle the Sun, but the moment anyone claims it to be true, they're expressing an opinion.
  • YuZhonglu
    146


    It's my opinion that it's my opinion.
  • YuZhonglu
    146
    [How do you edit previous posts?]

    Main point: facts do not exist independent of humans. For example, if there are no humans, the Earth might still circle the sun. But without humans, there would be no "facts" regarding the Earth circling the Sun as there would be no one to think or state these "facts."
  • YuZhonglu
    146
    I guess what I'm really going for is that there are no facts independent of human experience because the very definition of "fact" requires a person to define it.
  • ssu
    1.1k
    How is death just an opinion?
  • YuZhonglu
    146
    It's not. But the moment you talk about it, it's an opinion.
  • christian2017
    177


    While there is something to what you are saying. Some opinions are so close to being 100% true most of the time that they are tested that you may as well call them facts.
  • ZhouBoTong
    181
    Pain hurts.

    It's not. But the moment you talk about it, it's an opinion.YuZhonglu

    So death is a fact? And facts exist? But if we talk about them then it is just opinion? If we created 2 A.I. entities could they communicate facts? What would that communication looks like?
  • YuZhonglu
    146
    Reality exists. Probably. Even if it doesn't, we may as well assume it does. I mean if a car is barreling down at me at 60 mph, I'm going to get out of the way.

    But the moment a human talks about reality, they're just expressing their opinion. When they say "fact," what they mean is "an opinion I'm really confident about."

    About AI, dunno. Still thinking about it, but it depends on how the AI was programmed.
  • Terrapin Station
    8.4k
    It's my opinion that it's my opinion.YuZhonglu

    So it might not be your opinion?
  • YuZhonglu
    146
    I'm pretty sure it is.
  • Frank Apisa
    487
    Question:

    You been smoking powerful shit?
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.2k
    LOL. No. It's my opinion.YuZhonglu

    so you might be wrong?
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.2k
    It's my opinion that it's my opinion.YuZhonglu

    So you don't know for sure about whether or not its your opinion? lol
  • NKBJ
    894
    But the moment a human talks about reality, they're just expressing their opinion. When they say "fact," what they mean is "an opinion I'm really confident about."YuZhonglu

    Oh, so if I just think to myself "absolute relativism is wrong" then it's a fact as long as I keep my mouth shut about it?

    Yeah, okay, I'm definitely not saying that (out loud).
  • YuZhonglu
    146
    No, because the moment you think about it you're stating it to yourself.
  • YuZhonglu
    146


    No I'm pretty sure it is my opinion. I don't understand your line of questioning. What's your point?
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.2k
    lol it just sounds a lot like you're saying its a fact that its your opinion and that facts don't exist.
  • YuZhonglu
    146
    No, I'm fairly confident in my opinion that all facts are just strongly held opinions.
  • NKBJ
    894
    No, I'm fairly confident in my opinion that all facts are just strongly held opinionsYuZhonglu

    Is that a fact?
  • NKBJ
    894


    Is it a fact that you have opinions?
  • Terrapin Station
    8.4k
    I'm pretty sure it is.YuZhonglu

    Is there a way we could know?
  • whollyrolling
    229
    This is precisely the mode of thought that has polarized the political climate and stunted the education system in the West. Allow me to explain the difference: an opinion is something you're entitled to, a fact is not.
  • TogetherTurtle
    199
    A "fact" is just an opinion that a person is confident about. For example, the statement "it's a fact the Earth goes around the Sun" actually means "we're really really confident the Earth goes around the Sun."YuZhonglu

    Why am I posting this? Because I'm tired of people claiming "X is a fact.' The moment someone claims anything, they're just offering their opinion.YuZhonglu

    But you just defined what a fact is. Have you defined the non-existent? How can a fact not exist when a fact is an opinion verified by experience? Those criteria are met for claims all the time.

    Surely this implies that facts are not as set in stone as most people take them to be, but I'm sure everyone around here knows how fragile our theories can be. Even if facts are only slightly more powerful than opinions, facts do carry the burden of proof.
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