By Kenneth Justice
~ All this week I’ve been discussing opinions and suggesting that more often than not what you believe to be a fact, is actually nothing more than an opinion. Is it a fact that I’m more handsome in person? Well, that may be my opinion but for the people who have actually been blessed with my presence, they might beg to differ.
Consider the following ‘facts’ we were taught as children, none of which can be proven beyond-the-shadow of a doubt,
—-) Our bodies need 8 glasses of water every day
—-) Our bodies don’t need 8 glasses of water every day
—-) Life begins at conception
—-) Life doesn’t begin at conception
—-) Pluto is a planet
—-) Pluto is not a planet
—-) The differences between genders can be determined by physical traits
—-) The differences between genders cannot be determined by physical traits
—-) Chemical imbalances in the brain need to be corrected by pharmaceutical medicine
—-) Chemical imbalances in the brain do not need to be corrected by pharmaceutical medicine
Does your body need or not need 8 glasses of water? Well, it depends on who or what you believe. There is data on both sides of the issue and there is no way to “prove” empirically an ultimate ‘truth’ regarding water and our bodies.
Does life begin at conception or not? Well, it’s a very philosophical issue and depending on what core premises you adhere to it will affect your position on the subject; it’s a complex issue because different people have different definitions for the word ‘life’ and many people are emotionally charged toward the subject because of experiences they have had related to the issue.
Is Pluto a planet or not? Well, first of all we have to define what exactly a ‘planet’ is, and that alone might take a while because who actually gets to determine what and how to define the term ‘planet’? Does Webster’s dictionary get to define the word? Why? Do people who call themselves scientists get to define what a planet is? Why?
What makes someone a man? Did you instantly think of that little thing that dangles between a dude’s legs? Well what about people who are born with BOTH sex organs? What about someone who is born without a dangling thing or a vagina?
Did you know that there is no test that can actually measure the chemicals in your brain to prove or not prove that you have an imbalance? And the very term ‘imbalance’ means that there is a ‘standard’ that the medical community is appealing to that is ‘out of a balance’; so what the hell is this ‘standard’ measure of chemicals that is supposed to be ‘normal’ in our brains? Did you know that there is no known ‘standard measure of chemicals’ that are supposed to be floating around in your synapses?
I’ve kept the questions related to my examples at a bare minimum but when I’ve written on these subjects in academic essays the questions can end up filling dozens of pages; the reason that these issues are not clear is that although the subject matter appears to be dealing with ‘empirical facts’, the truth of the matter is that empirical facts have less to do with the subject matter than opinions.
You’ve grown up in Western Culture where you’ve been taught to look at the world through a black and white lens; fact versus fiction. You’ve been sold a false bill of goods. The world is actually a lot more grey than what you were taught to believe.
And perhaps if we started to see the beauty of the grey, then we wouldn’t all be at war with each other so much of the time. Perhaps a grey world is better than a black-and-white world. And if you can’t stand the opinions I’ve shared today, come back tomorrow and I’ll drive you even more crazy; but for now I think I’m gonna finish this cup of coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society