Thursday, May 23, 2013
Subject: Facts vs Opinions
Opinions cannot change facts. Neither can beliefs. No matter how many people have an opinion or belief that human beings never went to the moon, that doesn't alter the overwhelming facts which prove that 12 American astronauts walked on the moon.
Anthrax Truthers argue either opinions or beliefs (and sometimes prejudices). They have their own opinions about who sent the anthrax letters in 2001, and they argue that all the facts which say Dr. Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax letters mean nothing. They argue that the official facts are are all just coincidences or otherwise meaningless. It's often difficult to tell if they have opinions or beliefs, because they do not seem to have any meaningful facts which prove their own suspect is the anthrax mailer, and they argue that if the government would just do things their way and look at things from their point of view, the "facts" would become clear and would prove they are right.
They seem to believe that facts can be found to support their opinions. But they want "the government" to find those facts. And, if "the government" doesn't find the right facts, then "the government" didn't try hard enough. When they refuse to accept "the government's facts" and cannot present any other facts of their own, then their opinions cease to be opinions and become beliefs. Opinions can be altered by facts. Beliefs are a matter of faith (or mindless prejudice) and are unaffected by facts.