Lecture Notes.
 
  

 
Module Four: Session Seven

Basics of Truth

Why do people get confused about this?

  • People often think that if something is controversial or if the answer is unknown, then this falls into the category of "matter of opinion." This is incorrect.
  • People can have opinions about matters of fact.
  • Example: "It is my opinion that there is nothing wrong with having an abortion."
  • This is an opinion about a matter of fact. Either there is something wrong with it or there is not. It is not a matter of personal preference as is one's preference for ice cream.
    Example: "It is my opinion that people live on other planets."
  • This is an opinion about a matter of fact. Either people do live on other planets or they don't. This is not a matter of personal preference, even though no one knows the answer
  • The key thing to remember is that "matters of fact" (objective claims) are not connected to anyone's belief. The truth of the matter is independent of people's minds.

Review of "Matters of Opinion" and "Matters of Fact"

  • If something is a "matter of opinion," then it is a subjective issue.
  • In these cases, what "matters" is the opinion and nothing else.
  • If something is a "matter of fact," then it is a objective issue.
  • In these cases, what "matters" is the fact.
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