Opinions And Facts Both Have Results

 Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.                                              Daniel Patrick Moynihan

This famous Moynihan quote is being recited often nowadays. This is because truth and facts are now important, but not popular. Telling the truth has consequences; not telling the truth has consequences. What you do depends on what you believe. Is what you believe an opinion or a fact? Moynihan’s quote makes it clear that opinions are not facts. Your opinions and facts both have consequences.

The reason for this blog is to encourage readers to think about the consequences of their opinions and facts. Your opinions and facts reside in your mind. And remember, The eye sees in things what it looks for, and it looks for what is already in the mind. Scientific School of Police, Paris. So your opinions and facts come from what is already in your mind. This means you need to investigate your mind’s eye.

Definitions: Opinion: a thought or belief formed in the mind about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Fact:something that is known to have happened or to exist, especially something for which proof exists. Truth: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

 So facts and truth have something in common. Opinions and beliefs are not facts or truth. There is no such thing as a false fact or a false truth. It is a falsehood, an untrue statement. But there issuch a thing as a false opinion or belief. Definition of false:contrary to fact or truth. Once again the need for self-awareness, knowing one’s self, appears. Knowing one’s self includes knowing what you believe, and its consequences.

And “you can’t know yourself by yourself.”  Unless —-

 Every person should have a built-in automatic fact detector operating inside his/her mind’s eye. (To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway’s famous crap detector quote.)

 Since we don’t have such an automatic fact detector in our minds, we need to get confirmation of our opinions and facts from other minds. This leads us right into tribalism. We always ask for confirmation from our own tribe, not from “them”.

 So, how do we solve this problem?  My response will be to quote the famous 5 cent  counselor, Lucy Van Pelt: I don’t pretend to give advice, I just point out the problem.

Maybe there is no solution. We may have to live with these truth consequences.                       … depending on the perspective of the viewer, the angle of vision, the time frame, and the scale of observation one might see very different pictures of the same underlying truth. 

                                                                                                                  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


This entry was posted in Beliefs. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Beth Lyon says:

    Hi HB
    I read this to Barbara today. She was upbeat and liked it. Last week she was really out of it when I was with her, so I was glad you weren’t there I’ll hope to go again sometime when it’s not your nap time.
    Happy Thanksgiving

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