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Fact vs. Opinion (Critical Thinking)

September 29, 2010

Fact vs. Opinion
(Critical Thinking)

FACT

–noun
1. something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.
2. something known to exist or to have happened: Space travel is now a fact.
3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.
4. something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.
5. Law . Often, facts. an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence. 

6. after the fact, Law . after the commission of a crime: an accessory after the fact.
7. before the fact, Law . prior to the commission of a crime: an accessory before the fact.
8. in fact, actually; really; indeed: In fact, it was a wonder that anyone survived.

vs.

OPINION

–noun
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second Medical opinion.
4. Law . the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.
5. a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.: to forfeit someone's good opinion.
6. a favorable estimate; esteem: I haven't much of an opinion of him.

Do you know the difference?

Glenn Beck explored this topic on his show today. Sounds silly but just from selling on eBay I have learned that the majority of American does not know how to decipher between fact and opinion. Ridiculous right? You would think but people really do not understand that when you see things and develop a "theory" about them it does not miraculously become "fact".

Where do you get your news? Another mindless question, right? Ask a few of your friends and co-workers sometime and you may be surprised to learn how many people depend on comedy based and editorial programs to keep them up to date. Use the follow-up question of "what are you reading right now?" and you may even chuckle! 

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