Bigotry

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Facts v Opinions

Fact refers to truth as opposed to interpretation. Most of what we do in our daily lives is express our opinions to each other and play with ideas. Sharing our thoughts and opinions with others is fun and here in HubPages we are provided with the ideal facility to do just that.

The problem is that some people get carried away and start to believe that their opinions are true and when enough people share the same opinion that opinion becomes a belief which eventually becomes accepted as fact.

These are highly intelligent individuals but with a remarkable capacity to completely overlook a very important fact, that an opinion will never be true no matter how many people believe it and no matter how loudly you shout it.

The Challenge

I recently read a hub written that very clearly shows how a person can become so caught up in a belief that for them it is fact. The hub was written to build a case for why marriage should be denied to anyone other than heterosexual couples. Following are what the hubber calls facts and upon which s/he has based the argument and which s/he states very clearly at the start of the hub:

It is not bigotry to cite FACTS

  • FACT: An LG couple is different than a heterosexual couple. There is no debate possible to change that fact.

  • FACT: An LG couple cannot procreate, therefore they cannot have children of THEIR own.

  • FACT: There is no valid reason why same sex couples cannot have a Civil Union instead of Marriage.

  • FACT: Same sex couples cannot have traditional sexual intercourse.

  • FACT: LGBT is either a genetic defect or simple a sexual preference.

  • FACT: LGBT creates a Gender Issue that is not handled by society today.

If there were no LGBT today, what would the world be missing?


The reason I am writing this hub is because the hubber challenged me to argue my case that what s/he terms facts are nothing more than opinions.

Selective Exclusion

I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but there are times when being in the minority can make life feel very difficult. We each had to have felt the feeling of being excluded at some stage in our lives and I don't think there is one person who enjoys that feeling. People tend to hitch their wagons to the consensus because it ensures inclusion and people will do anything not to be excluded or marginalised.

Can you imagine an African American supporting opinions that would exclude African Americans from enjoying the same rights enjoyed by other members of society. Could you see a gay person advocating that LGBT couples be excluded from marriage? What are the chances of you hearing a Moslem advocating opinions that would exclude Moslem people from enjoying the same rights as any other member of society?

It will always be a person who does not share the same preferences or opinions who will propose excluding those who don't share theirs. And this is exactly what is happening here.

As a Matter of Fact

Before I go any further I feel that I must first direct my attention to the word FACT used in the hubber's challenge to me.

A fact is an indisputable truth. This means that it is independent of the observer.

1+1 = 2 is a fact if regardless of who considers this information everyone agrees and if nobody can be found to hold a different opinion then it is true.


Rebuttal

The first FACT stated is that “An LG couple is different than a heterosexual couple. There is no debate possible to change that fact.”

This is not a fact because not everyone will hold this opinion. The word “different” is subjective and is completely dependent on the observer. To state that such an opinion is fact and then express another erroneous opinion to say that there is no debate possible to change his opinion is further proof of the power of a person's beliefs to make him believe what he says is true.

The second FACT stated is that that “An LG couple cannot procreate, therefore they cannot have children of THEIR own.”

This is not a fact because because not everyone will hold this opinion. Once again owning children is an opinion and everyone's idea about what constitutes “THEIR” own will be different. Also there are plenty of heterosexual couples who cannot procreate and that does not stop them having “THEIR” own. Ask any parent of an adopted child if it would be true to say that they did not consider the child their own. There are also those people who do not subscribe to the idea of ownership of children at all and see children as being on loan from God. It seems very narrow minded to state this opinion and call it fact when there are so many who would not agree.

The third FACT stated is that “There is no valid reason why same sex couples cannot have a Civil Union instead of Marriage.”

This is not a fact because valid reason is subjective. Valid to whom? Maybe not valid to you but you are not the world! Same sex couples have as much right as anyone else to marriage and to deny them this is to exclude them and treat them as people who do not deserve the same rights as everyone else. I don't think many same sex couples would agree.

The fourth FACT stated is that “Same sex couples cannot have traditional sexual intercourse.”

This is not a fact because traditional is subjective. What may be traditional for you could be perverse to another. For the statement to be true everyone must agree and there is no way that everyone is going to agree on what they would consider as traditional intercourse.

The fifth FACT stated is that “LGBT is either a genetic defect or simple a sexual preference.”

This is not a fact because because there is no way that everyone would agree with the idea that sexual orientation is any kind of defect and to imply that people choose their own sexual orientation is also just an opinion.

The sixth FACT stated is that “LGBT creates a Gender Issue that is not handled by society today.”

Once again the ideas put forward here are all subjective. It depends on the observer whether or not there is an gender issue and if LGBT are the ones who create it if in fact it does exist. If such an issue does exist then how could the idea that it even requires handling by society be a fact?

Bottom Line

Bottom line is that for an opinion or belief to be true then it must be true independently of whoever observes it. To state an opinion and then call it fact in order to build a case to support the opinion that a certain group of people do not deserve the same rights as every other member of society is bigotry.

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Comments 26 comments

CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

Spirit Whisperer, a bold leap into the hub pages world you have taken to discuss this topic that so many don't want to face. I recently wrote a poem about a school friend of mine who decided when she grew up to prefer relationships with women and then she decided to dress and act like a man. I was shocked as I knew her as a pretty little girl. And I think it was quite well presented in this hub, because many of people do not want to acknowledge what is obvious.

It is important to speak the truth and not to shun the eyes away to what is going on in the world. Thank you.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Hi Tina, thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your honesty. For me it doesn't matter what a person believes or doesn't believe as long as they are clear that we are dealing with beliefs that have little to do with truth.

In this hub I have used LGBT to illustrate my point but the same principle could be applied to anything anyone believes is true. It wasn't very long ago when some white people in America believed African American people to be inferior and only fit to be slaves.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

You made some excellent points in your rebuttal Spirit; and the consensus of the judges has decided in your factual favor. The board also recommends the plaintiff do more in depth research before bringing their subjective truth suits against reality. This court stands adjourned.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Alastar LOL. I could actually hear the judge's gravel bang loudly at the end of that.

Thank you.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada

Hear, Hear! ;)


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you Slarty, I hear you!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Great hub !!!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Eiddwen, thank you.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Well said, SW. My opinions and beliefs are fairly set in stone, but I acknowledge them as just that - opinions and beliefs. Slarty actually had a hand in helping me to understand this, and it's something that's really resonated with me. Thank you for putting it forth so well. I hope it resonates for others as well. We are all different, and we can't agree on everything - the strength with which I hold my belief plays no role in making it fact.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you Motown2Chitown, you have said that very well and have my respect for saying so.

As soon as I get a chance I will be over to read your life story. I loved your story about Pepsi and that was what got me interested in your hubs.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Thanks, SW. I'll welcome you with open arms. :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, it seems to me that there are a few on here that believe in the 'facts'! no names mentioned! he hum!! but as you say facts are independant of the individual with an opinion, so as Alastar said, Adjourned! cheers nell


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Who are we as a people can say what is right and what is wrong for another person. For years it was thought that being Gay was a chosen life-style, we now know that it is a Genetic anomaly. All people everywhere should have equal rights, that includes marriage. Thank you for this enlightened Hub.

:)


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you Nell and always exploring your comments are always welcome and I appreciate you taking the time to read this hub.


myi4u profile image

myi4u 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Great hub! Do you watch The Apprentice? When I read this hub until the Selective Exclusion, it reminds me of Susan in this series of The Apprentice. From what I have seen, none of the participants seem to take her opinions seriously even though Susan was correct most of the time.

Anyway, they can write just about anything in their CV but characters and personalities don't cheat. It goes to show even the "successful people" (as they claim they were) are prejudice or couldn't handle pressure very well!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you myi4u for reading my hub and taking the time to comment. Yes, I watch The Apprentice with my family every week and we love it. I think the camera can make anyone look any way they wish so I don't put too much store in the way each person is portrayed. In fact this is a very good example of how easily we are influenced by what we are shown. Having said that I think Susan is great but she is shown as weak and a bit flakey but that is to do with the way the programme is edited. When you see them on the Dara O'Brian Show after they have been fired you get a more balanced representation of the person. This is my opinion and as such has nothing to do with the truth because everyone will have a different opinion and that is to do with ego. It's fun to share opinions until some people get very serious and believe that they own the truth.

When are you publishing your next hub I can't wait! I saw Never Let Me Go, last night but was disappointed. The book was just so much better. My opinion! LOL


myi4u profile image

myi4u 5 years ago from United Kingdom

You are very welcome! You are absolutely right! They were so much different when they were on the O'Brian Show; relax and happier I think! I just thought why can't they be themselves when they are on the show??!! But I guess, giving comment in front of the TV while watching the programme is a lot easier than being on the show, hehehe ... so, courage to them!!

I just published a hub but it might not be of your interest; "Is iPad the ultimate portable gaming machine?"

I didn't watch Never Let Me Go because I don't really like Andrew Garfield! When I heard that he is going to be the new spiderman, my heart sank! I can't imagine Tobey Maguire not in a spiderman suite!

I recently watched Sucker Punch and Battle Los Angeles. Both are good but don't expect more than that. Sucker Punch is quite refreshing, by that I mean it's different from just some movies. While watching it, it's almost like I was playing a game! Battle Los Angeles, well, what can I say, aliens and shooting and bombing to sum it up!

A couple of months ago, I watched August Rush. It's one of those movies where I keep putting it off until one day, I decided to watch it and it turned out to be a good movie! But you could also say that because I don't expect a lot from it, therefore it's good after watching it. Anyway, it's definitely better than Never Let Me Go!!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Atonement with Keira Knightley is more my style as is The Reader with Kate Winslet.I normally read the books first and then watch the movie. If I watch first it interferes with my imagination. A boy was asked why he preferred to listening to the radio. He said the pictures were better.

I also love audio books and have quite a collection.

On the action front I loved, Troy, 300, Braveheart, Matrix, Gladiator to mention but a few. I have quite a collection of DVDs and as a family we watch them over the years and some are just jewels.

My son loves Spiderman and that kind of movie and he rents them from LoveFilm. I do watch them but they are not my favourite. Having said that when Star Wars and Superman first came out I was first to the cinema with my girlfriend!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Very interesting - thought provoking as usual. I think everyone should be allowed to have their own opinion. Just as I would not like to be judged by mine - I will respect that others have had their own experiences that shaped their own opinion. Who am I to interpret the flavor of their life?


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you RealHousewife and your comment was well said.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Great hub and very well argued. I can't add anything fresh to the other excellent comments made, simply to say I really enjoyed the valid points you have made.

My main philosophy - apart from everyone having the right to an opinion - is live and let live. Many thanks for sharing.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Yes, Seeker7 live and let live is the way. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.


alian346 profile image

alian346 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Your Hub is extremely well argued, Spirit Whisperer. If only others could see through their cloud of opinionated junk and have the confidence to do it, this world would be a better place for all of us.

Ian.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Thank you alian346 I appreciate the support and you taking the time to let me know how you feel.


Sarah 4 years ago

Thanks for an interesting post, only just got around to reading it.

I think your point about selective exclusion is interesting, as I actually know a few gay people who don't believe that they should be allowed to get married in a church (the general argument being that a) religion is sacred and not up for interpretation, therefore gay marriage is wrong, and b) why would we want to get married there when they don't want us?) I have a lot of issues with this myself, but was wondering what others thought...for myself, I think it might have something to do with being so embedded in a societal construct that you can't see the benefits for yourself in challenging it. It made me sad to hear my friends' comments, anyway, (even though it's their decision) and I just thought I'd share.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man Author

Hi Sarah, thank you for your very interesting comments. I would have thought that all religions have always been up for interpretation. After all, all of the established religions are hundreds and hundreds of years old and have come from an oral tradition. The second point about gay people feeling excluded and unwanted seems valid to me ... sad but more for those who exclude than those excluded. Who has the more open heart and most love to give? Thank you for sharing your

thoughts.

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