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.
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.
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.
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 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.