Friday, October 7, 2016

THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH in an uncertain world...

"There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul.  We spend our entire lives looking for the outlines." ~Josephine Hart

Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, each one of us is on a quest for truth.  It is human nature to wonder--to seek--to fill the gaps of knowledge, and color in the spaces between the known and the unknown.  We are not satisfied to "let it be" and accept that perhaps some information is beyond our grasp.  It is what makes life frustrating and wonderful.  It is what makes us pathetic and extraordinary at the same time.

We are seekers.

And thank goodness we are.  If we weren't, polio would still plague us.  The world would be flat.  Lands and islands would remain undiscovered.  We want answers.  We want to be able to look into the looking glass and see not the murky image but the real one.  We are searching for the truth.

Whether it's the Truth with a capital T or the truth about something specific, it is the same general concept.  Every subject you take in school supports this search:  What really happened on December 7, 1941 and what were the events that led up to it?  What is the answer to this mathematical puzzle, or what steps did Einstein take to derive his theory of relativity?  What is the author really trying to tell us in this passage, and does this symbolize anything profoundly universal?  We want the answers, and we want them to make sense to us.  We want to know, once and for all.  

Schools seek to teach us not only how to uncover "truth," but how to recognize when something might be masquerading as truth.  It starts early--some might argue too early--in elementary grades when we try to identify the differences between facts and opinions.  We try to define both--put them into a neat little box--so we can easily and quickly recognize both and decipher their differences.  

But...that begs another question...can "truth" be characterized in this way?  Can opinions also be facts?  What about morals and ethics?  Are they facts?  According to many dictionary definitions, they are not. So if our notions of right and wrong cannot be characterized as truth, but merely opinion, then why was the world so outraged recently when a cartoonist was brutally murdered because someone did not like what he had to say?  What right do we have to point fingers if "Murder is wrong" is a moral opinion, not fact?

So much to sift through.  I would like to challenge you to read this opinion article recently submitted to the New York Times.  Not only is it an excellent  piece of persuasive writing, but it also challenges the way we define truth and differentiate truth from opinion.  After you read, please answer the following questions:  1.  What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?  2.  Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?  3.  Is there such a thing as truth?  How do we recognize it? 
Maybe the search for the truth will always remain just that:  a search.  As the quote indicates at the top of this post, maybe truth is eternal.  Therein lies the quandary:  

We are bound creatures searching for  something boundless....


75 comments:

  1. Mrs. Caraway I feel like i've seriously been truth bombed. I think that defining truth is sort of tricky because it can confirm things that we want to hear but also point out things that we don't want to recognize if that makes sense.. I am one of those people that thought (and still sort of think) that truth is factual and opinion is just your belief/judgement.
    Moral truths seems more like something that is passed down through the evolution of man or generation to generation. I believe that moral truth does originate from opinion because usually it is someone that has a feeling about a certain thing and pushes that opinion as a statement to someone else and it just gets around. We are the one's that push moral rules like be honest, do not cheat, be respectful and kind. Those are things that are pushed onto us in our society.
    I agree with the Justin there is something fishy about all claims only fitting into the two categories. Not everything should be justified like that it. Some claims should be have the chance to be evaluated and questioned! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    1. It's tough! I think I look at this as a chicken and egg question--in a way. Perhaps, in the very beginning of time as we know it, there was truth and with people comes perspective and interpretation, so it all becomes murky. Just a thought! ;)

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  2. Odd to think about, isn't it? However, when you DO think about it, it does bring on some mind bending thoughts. Most people will say that facts are true, but then we have the problem of people stating that their opinions are true, and then the other issue of some facts turning out to be false, leaving us with a troubled view on fact vs. truth. No doubt that there is a problem of distinction between the two. Anything ever said can be labeled as both as it depends on who hears the statement. For example, I once read in an article that the statement, "God created all" would be a fact for those who believe, but not for those who aren't believers. The two concepts, fact and opinion, end up boiling down to statement of fact or statement of opinion, and the distinction between the two, as mentioned earlier, does bring on some food for thought because it really depends on the person who believes it as they will put it in one of the two categories that they best (believe)
    is (true). An opinion, to me, is the thing between ignorance and intelligence. It's the middle man. As the saying goes, "in my opinion."
    Moral truths. These truths are often personal. One cannot state that there is only a singular truth that conveys morality for one specific subject. When we look at the moral truths in society (helping people is good, cheating on tests is bad, etc.) these things may not hold true for all individuals within society. Maybe they came from a different culture and the moral truths they had learned to know, are frowned upon here in the U.S. Are there moral truths or not? All I can say is that there is no (universal) moral truth. If I state whether I believe it or not, it would be just that, a statement of opinion.
    Truth is extremely difficult to define. We use the word, the concept to back up our stories, "it's true!" or we use it to question the people we know "is that true?" and well, we have come to rely on it almost everyday of our lives. Many truths exist. Elusive truth, narrative truth, social truth, public truth, and more. We've taken a word and created an abstract concept of that word, not allowing us to simply define truth for what it is. Perhaps truth is different for every person, community agreement can be a form of truth in itself, and we can recognize it by our own standards I suppose. There are those who look to the Bible for the truth, and then those who seek the truth from the world around them or from their peers, like I said, some mind-bending thoughts. Here's an interesting quote, "Truth comes only from the laws of nature. Nature always demonstrates its laws. Therefore truth is unique and universal." Does this quote ring (true) among (beliefs)? I suppose it all depends on who hears it.

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    1. Yes - it is mind bending. I feel like I can understand it, but not in a way that I am able to explain with words. Is there a TRUTH? I believe there is. Can I prove it? No. That brings us back, therefore to beliefs again. :) I think that by teaching kids it's all relative though, we can do significant damage, as the article points out. Great article, right?

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  3. I am a person who believes facts are things that are undoubtedly right and are proved with evidence, while opinion is what someone believes, thinks, or feels. I do think that the two cross paths some time, but honestly I don't know if there is anything wrong with that belief because that's how i was taught so too, me it's right. I have never heard of the term 'moral truth' but I do belief that it does exist. In my opinion a moral truth is an ethical topic that is proved right by a populace, and through shared experience.

    Truth does exist but everyone's sense of truth is changed through their life experiences and the cultural that they live in. So if you grow up in an American Suburb vs. a war zone you're sense of truth will be extremely different. Also so will your values. There is no one truth is it completely subjective. I believe if a person has a truth and they can back it up with evidence (life experience) then it is true to them whether you believe it or not.

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  4. I agree with Kaitlyn, I was taught the way the authors son was taught; a fact is something that can be proven or tested and an opinion is what someone believes or thinks. I also think that they can cross paths at certain points. The example used in the article of him speaking with his son I think was a bad example to use. "I believe George Washington was the first president." This sounds more of a fact than an opinion, even if he believes it, Why does he believe it? Because it is true and has been proven that he was the first president.Maybe my thought is wrong but this is what I thought when reading the article. An opinion would then be something that you believe, feel or think that is not proven to be true.
    Moral truths are opinions that are true in your culture and social convention, or matter of personal preference. I believe that there are moral truths, but that's just my personal opinion, because I was raised with moral truths (Be honest, lying is wrong, don't cheat, etc).
    Is there truth? We don't know that for sure because every has their own interpretation of what they think truth means. To me truth is what we believe to be true based on what we believe and what we have experienced.

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  5. First off, I want to say that reading this after a long day made my brain almost explode. However, there are many problems with the way that fact and opinion is defined today, but the main problem that I see is that there is a definition for both. There are so many stipulations and exceptions that go with trying to apply these words/concepts to everyday situations that they simply cannot be defined in my opinion. A fact can be a fact to one person, but not another because of their differing beliefs. One person can think murdering is wrong while another thinks it isn't. Does it make either of them a fact or opinion? It depends on the person.
    Based on the article, society teaches us to NOT have moral truths. However, I think some people have moral truths because of their religious backgrounds, or general beliefs. Moral truths to one person won't be the same moral truths to another person, almost like some theories of relativity applied to moral situations.
    I do not think that we will ever find an overall truth for all of society. One may find a truth for themselves, and they can live up to that, but I do not believe that there will ever be an overall truth for all of society. Some may find their truth, others may not. Again, I feel that this varies from person to person taking into account all factors of their life. Truth is infinite and eternal.

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  6. This is such a great article to get one's brain wheeling. It's so simple in what the author is trying to say, yet so complex. The ideas of truth and opinion are hard to tackle because they differ greatly between different types of people. Some people believe that each person has their own truths in life due to their beliefs, while others believe there is one Truth in life despite the beliefs of others. On top of that, opinions are usually seen as backed by what we call facts, or proof. These ideas and this complexity are, to me, what the author was hitting on as to how the current teachings are wrong; having single definitions for the terms "truth" and "opinion" that must be separate categories is such a black-and-white worldview. The problem with this distinction is the ignorance it has to the grayness of the world in which we live. Understanding this complexity makes it difficult to argue that there are moral truths, as it would be an argument. Yes, there are rules and 'codes' we live by in our culture, such as the mutual agreement that murder is wrong, or that cursing is inappropriate in school settings. But all these moral truths our society attempts to live by aren't accepted world-wide, as other cultures have different views. These different viewpoints then become opinions and make it hard to say that there are moral truths in the world by which we should all be following and living, as not everyone will agree. This is where we are taught to be open-minded, which doesn't necessarily mean that moral truths, or truth in general doesn't exist, but rather to be open to the idea that not everyone see's your truth as their truth.
    All of this makes it hard to say, for some, whether or not there is truth. Some people will say that there is truth, while others will not. And the truths that people see may differ from person to person, as we are all individual and founded on our backgrounds of culture, family values, and religion. So while I believe that there is a Truth, and I know it to be true because I recognize it in the world around me, someone else may not see as I see. This gives the world the gray area of possibility and mystery which make it beautiful, so long as we learn to get along in our universal search for truth. Maybe one day we will be revealed to a truth that is above all opinion... or maybe we already have and just don't know it yet.

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  7. There is nothing wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion. The definitions stated in the opinion article were accurate. Where people begin to question the definitions is when moral truth is applied. As it said, truth and proof are required to make a fact. Moral proofs and truths differ according to each person, therefore so do our facts and opinions. In order to satisfy everyone's views on facts and opinions, the category of beliefs should be considered. By having beliefs, opinions, and facts the "truth" becomes clearer. Facts can the become more universal, opinions can be one side or another, and beliefs have no limits. On another note, I liked how the blog reviewed natural human curiosity and our hunger for knowledge. Knowledge is what makes us feel secure. Unfortunately we are too proud as a species to admit that we know nothing for sure. There may be a truth, but we will never know it because we desire proof for everything.

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    1. I feel you said the magic words here: knowledge makes us feel secure, yet we know nothing for sure. Therein lies the rub. There is something that limits us, which is why we struggle with the notion of perfect truth. LOVE that!!

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  8. This article made me question my beliefs and their potency. To answer the first question, I would say it is accurate in its form of the difference between fact and opinion, but it can be determined and interpreted in so many ways. To me there is such thing as "moral truth" because a moral is something that you believe in or stand for, therefore making it your personal truth or abiding navigation. In a way it could be considered as an opinion, but truly I see it as a fact. Lastly, a truth is not something that can be taken lightly. It is represented within you, for instance, people can read it through your composure, eyes, confidence, etc. Also, ones form of truth can be based on their background, upbringing, and culture, making everyone's truth different. One's truth can be another persons lie. After reading this, I am not sure if I will ever see a truth as a fact again, I will see it more as a moral code.

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  9. While I have always believed that a fact is something that exists and cannot be changed while an opinion is something that is believed or thought, I am now unsure. Like it says in the article, it can be both a fact and an opinion that cheating on a test is wrong. We have been conditioned this way since we were young, but who is to say that it is ALWAYS this way. I personally don't believe in moral truths. Everyone thinks differently. Even the extent of murder, while horrible and disgusting, might be okay in someone else's eyes under the right circumstances. "Truths" are things that are KNOWN. An example of this would be that the world is spherical. We know this as the truth because we have extensive evidence to back this up.

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  10. 1.What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    Some opinions are nothing but facts that haven’t been proven. For example, most scientific theories were once “opinions” only we called them hypothesizes. Now that we’ve “proven” them, suddenly they’re facts. Another issue is the things we know are true but can’t prove. We know a mother feels love for her child, but all we prove are the concrete ideas- nurturing, attachment. These functions don’t explain the mother who dies for her child. Obviously the mother has love; this is a fact. But we can’t prove feelings, so this is currently classified as an opinion.
    For the last two questions I am taking quotes from the Bible. The Bible is the greatest source of truth. This is based on a “belief” which currently categorizes these claims into the opinion camp, but for me these are absolute truth.
    2.Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5
    Anything in the Bible is true. It says murdering is wrong, so it is. It says it is important to love your neighbor, so you should. Etc.
    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16:13
    I believe that if you have accepted Jesus Christ, and have a relationship with God, you will be able to recognize the truth. According to this verse, this is a promise.

    So after a long answer- yes, there absolutely are moral truths, and yes "opinions" can be facts.

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  11. Wow, I have never thought about any of this before on such a deep level. I agree with most of what the author said; there is something wrong with the distinction of fact and opinion. It is not as “black and white” as we are taught in school. Some statements can have both factual and opinionated aspects to them. It is not simply that opinions are beliefs, and that facts are true through proof. I really liked how the author brought up the concept that proof and truth are two totally different things because things can be true without being proven (the alien example), and things can be proven without being true (such as the belief that Earth was flat). It reminds me of a TOK we did in math this year. The question read, “If something has not yet been proven, does that make it untrue? Is the state of an idea being true or false dependent on our ability to prove it?” This article could have helped me when answering this question. Something that my answer did have in common with the article, however, is that if proof is involved to make a fact true, then it becomes “person-relative”, so, since we are imperfect beings, facts are always open for uncertainty anyway. In other words, our ability or inability to prove something does not always make it true or false.
    To answer the second question, I definitely believe that there are moral truths. That being said, there is a big difference between man-made morals and morals in the Bible. I believe the latter are true because the Bible’s content is what I strive to live by, and I consider it Truth. So yes, certain morals should be considered facts in my opinion.
    There is such a thing as truth. Truth is seen with the eyes. Therefore, everyone has a different version of the truth. For example, we will never know if everyone interprets colors the same exact way. Color blind people, more specifically, don’t see things the same way we do, but that is their world; that is their truth. Truth is what you believe, too, also making each person’s version of truth different. For instance, God is true to me, but might not be to someone else. Truth is not as direct and easy to identify as it may seem. I don’t think there is a true definition, but rather that everyone has their own adaptation of truth/reality.




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  12. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    - I don't think there's anything wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion, although after reading this article, I'm having a really hard time distinguishing the two when they combine. I think the definitions of both are wrong after reading this article. There are times when they come together, whether they are proven or not.
    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    - To me, moral truths do exist. Moral truths are something you believe in, and it's not fake. After believing moral truths for long amounts of time, they begin to become fact to you and others who believe in the same thing. I can see how it can be identified as an opinion, however opinions and facts can still combine and remain true and be proven.
    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    - There is definitely such thing as truth. However, after reading this article, I'm not sure if all truth can be identified as fact. One's person truth can be an opinion or not true to someone else. What I think really matters, is if the truth remains truth to you. Only you can distinguish what is truth and what isn't,because it just, is. Everyone is brought up differently, but everyone knows what the truth is, whether it be the same or not.

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    1. I agree! This article really sheds light on the fact that we can't just put things into two categories and call it a day! Sometimes, it is very difficult to definitively distinguish the two!

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  13. First, let me start off by saying I was pretty confused when I started reading the article. I wasn’t aware that this generation didn’t understand moral laws. I was pretty skeptical coming into it, but as I read one I began to understand a bit more.

    As soon as my eyes glanced over “Public Schools” and “Common Core” I immediately began to worry. I thought “oh crap, what kind of propaganda are they trying to get kids to swallow now?”. Apparently, whether intentional or not, schools nationwide are teaching kids that facts cannot be argued with, yet opinions are always beliefs, feelings, or thoughts of an individual person. This is contradictory to what I was taught an opinion was: A statement that could be debatable. Theory and opinion was practically the same word, where an opinion would hold value because we were able to support it with evidence. I think there is a problem with the common core definition of an opinion because it’s essentially telling children there are trues, and everything else is simply opinion and belief. This is an incredibly regressive mindset. Innovation and truths are discovered when we have faith in an idea and try to find evidence to support it. If any theory or opinion was simply discarded as a belief, no one would could test new hypotheses because they aren’t based in facts or are only partially true.

    I think morals largely depend on the culture of a particular group. Facts don’t change because they’re set in stone and non-debatable. However, morals may change over time. Legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t have even been conceivable 50 years ago but now it’s legal nationwide. Morals are fluid but that doesn’t mean they can be dismissed as a belief. We have morals for various reasons. Some are to protect us, our families, and our property. Others stem from tradition or religion. Moral laws cannot be “proven” and they are debatable in certain cases, however, they do serve a purpose in each society whether it be practical, spiritual, or human.

    Truth exists. It’s all around us. When it be gravity pulling something to the ground or the sun coming up each morning, they’re are deficient facts in the world we live in. A lot of subjectivists like to argue the point of there being no real truth and that everything in subjective. This is not only a useless inquiry but also a means of moral decay (degeneracy). Even if a modern philosopher discovered that there were indeed no truths in the world, what would that accomplish? If we are supposed to spend our lives looking for truths, why would we want to destroy the concept we’re looking for? On top of this, to argue that no truth exists, it takes a lot of legitimacy away from moral laws. “There is no God apparently, so why shouldn’t I be able to do this?”. That makes laws to be determined by man only, meaning that they can be very unjust or cruel depending on what the lawmakers deem right or wrong.

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    1. So many great things here in your post--you truly are diving into the heart of philosophy. I love that you mention that while in the world, morals may be fluid that doesn't mean they should be dismissed. And the notion of destroying the very thing we are seeking....mind blowing!

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  14. This article was very enlightening and made me think about what I thought was true and question several things I had learned. Despite that however, I do not believe that there is anything wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion. These definitions do cause a bit of a gray area, but that is where moral truth is applied and you as a person have to decide where the topic stands. Moral truths can be opinions but I believe that they can also be facts, many people choose not to believe in things that have been proven because they don't fit in with what they believe and the principles they follow. The people that can see the proof however would consider it to be a moral truth. I also believe that despite considering some things as “truth” that there is no such thing. We are taught from a young age to question everything, to look up at the stars and wonder what once was, this mindset however keeps us from ever finding truth. We never stop questioning things even when most people believe they are true, once upon a time it was considered truth that the world was flat. But we kept questioning and wondering and chasing proof until there was no truth.Therefore I believe that there is no truth or, if there is, that we have no way of recognizing it.

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  15. After reading this article, I began to question my whole existence. Deep questions like what is fact and what is opinion can lead to so many other unanswered questions which then lead to trying to answer them but then that leads to wondering about the whole universe and life and BIG questions.It's like a never ending question game that messes with my sense of reality. After going through my cycle of questioning, I gathered as much knowledge as I could to attempt to answer these unanswerable questions...with opinions and maybe some facts.
    1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion? The current distinction between fact and opinion is how an opinion can be taken as a fact and a fact as an opinion, for example, terrorism is bad because it hurts people. It’s a fact that terrorism hurts people, but it’s an opinion of mine that terrorism is bad. Some people take it that terrorism is bad because it hurts people and therefore it’s a fact that terrorism is bad. These “moral truths” are what blur the line between fact and opinion.
    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only? To some people, moral truths are what they believe are the facts, which makes it difficult to define what the fact and opinions are. Yes, morals and beliefs are based on opinion only because of the same problem of not being able to define the exact answer of fact and opinion.
    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it? Truth is able to exist but not in the way we think it does. If someone is taught an opinion as a fact, then they will spend their whole life thinking that it is true, that THAT opinion is the truth. Once they realize the fact they knew was actually an opinion then the truth no longer exists, it existed in the moment when they thought that their opinion was fact but no it no longer exists when their opinion is proved wrong. The existence of truth evaporates once it is no longer believed in. This kind of sounds like a Disney movie, like “Believe in it and it will come true.” Overall, I was pretty unsure on most of my responses because I kept thinking, “Is my answer true or false? Do I know what I’m talking about anymore?” This really made things difficult for me, but it’s interesting to find how something you were so sure about could be completely untrue.

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  16. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    I think there is a slight problem with the current distinction between fact and opinion, because after reading this article, I realized that you cannot put anything into just two groups, fact and opinion. I think the definitions of both need to be modified.
    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    I believe that moral truths do exist. Moral truths are something that you or anyone has a strong belief in. If it is someone else's belief it cannot be proven as false. A moral truth could be labeled as a opinion or a fact, depending on who is labeling it.
    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    There is a for such thing called truth. Not all truth can be identified as fact, because it could be true to someone else but not true to another, therefore it can a definite fact. Everyone is going to have their own thought on what can be a fact or opinion. Something starts out as an opinion until proven otherwise. Therefore anything once believed to be an one of the two could always change.

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  17. 1. The current distinction between fact and opinion rides on a very fine line. There are facts and there are beliefs, but you can cross them and it tiptoes on that line of distinction. Many people see the line as a guard rail of right and wrong. If your statement is on one side but puts a toe over the line, then it is incorrect or not the statement you said it would be.
    2. "Moral truths" are a touchy subject with most people because they feel that they are being attacked for the way they feel. If the majority thinks the way they feel is wrong then, without proven fact it automatically wrong because it is seen so in the eyes of the majority of the population. I don't believe there is a right or wrong opinion to have because we all differ in situations. That is my belief and others perceive it as wrong. There are things I don't agree with, but i don't tell someone they are wrong. I tell them that it is their opinion and it differs from mine.
    3. I believe we all have a personal truth or a moral compass or something along the lines of doing what we think is right. However, that is hard to define as existing or not existing because they all differ from person to person. The truth is an opinion that differentiates for each person. It is neither true or untrue.

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  18. The current distinction between fact and opinion is wrong. Some opinions are based on facts and some facts are easily confused for opinions. This does to make the facts wrong or the opinions factual- it simply means that the line is blurred.
    Morals truth do exist. Killing a person causes great harm to their loved ones and their dependents. It cannot be proved with science that it is wrong, but it is a moral truth that it is.
    Truth is hard to define. It cannot always be scientifically proven, but is sometimes a moral thing. What is wrong to one person may not matter to another. So while it exists, it is hard to recognize. It is what is right to the individual as well as what can be scientifically proven.

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  19. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    As a firm believer in "yes" and "no" and "right" and "wrong", truth is very important to me. Without a foundational knowledge of how the world works in truth, the world would be in utter chaos. Opinions have their time and place, but science, mathematics, and law is not the right place for them. Presently, Truth is seen as a fact that can be tested over and over again and will every time be proven to be correct. Opinion, on the other hand, is what someone thinks or believes. Now this definition is an idea that has been reinforced in our minds over and over again, and now much to my dismay, a third grey area category has been introduced: Moral Truths.
    It's where the Truth and Opinion lack in togetherness that Moral Truths sneaks its way in; it bridges the gap between the two. Where Truth lacks compassion, the Moral Truth gives way. Where Opinion lacks reasoning, a Moral Truth builds the argument.
    Personally, I believe that a world without a solid truth would be one of utter chaos. Science would lose all footing, and concepts once accepted would be questioned. Even if truth is an arbitrary concept, our society still needs it to function.

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  20. I feel that there is an issue with the definition of what is a fact or what is an opinion. Everyone is always told that there is a very defined line of what is right and what is wrong, but when you throw in this third option it makes things more difficult. Now you have to take into account people's morals and how that will affect their answer. Moral beliefs are something that can be very controversial. If someone thinks differently than everyone else then they may be afraid to voice their opinion. It is something that everyone is entitled to and it should be included in truth or opinion. There are certain things that are considered truths. You can not argue with math or science. These are two things that have proof with them, creating truth.

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  21. 1. I believe that the current distinction of Fact and Opinion is skewed. I think people very often mistake Opinion for Fact when they people are conversing. After reading this article my 'opinion' does not change.
    2. To know who a person really is you need to question there Morals. It really takes someone with guts to stand up for what they believe and how they were raised. When it comes to Morals, I don't think that there is a right and wrong when what your answering is "your opinion". I think it takes enormous amounts of self control to not say anything when that person gives there opinion. This reminds me of Donald Trump, he has no self control(ironic, that's my opinion), when someone says something that he does not like, he goes into a loop-hole of disrespecting them and saying that their opinion is wrong. I believe that we have more of a moral compass because you might not go to a party because you know that some things aren't right, or that some people are there that you know are going to do things that are against your morals. That also goes back to having self control. The truth doesn't change. The truth is the truth, but 'your' truth might not change.

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  22. I do have to admit that after reading this article the lines separating truth and opinions have become a bit fuzzier. Moral facts is a topic I have not heard of previously, and that may be due to the fact that I was also taught to separate claims into facts or opinions when I was in elementary school (and so forth) as well.
    When I think of how opinion and facts are separated into their categories, I always think of the need for evidence or proof. It is a common way of thinking in today's world that if something can be proved with the use of evidence, then it is fact. If it cannot be, than it is nothing more than a mere opinion. What I believe is wrong with this mindset is that it (at times) dismisses opinions that really may be true or concrete only because there is the absence of evidence. Because of this, there may be key ideas we are missing, as facts that may not be completely accurate.
    There are certain moral ideas that seem rather concrete, and so they may be considered moral truths. Perhaps moral truths are those that are widely (globally?) accepted to be true by people. Moral ideas that are more controversial or that are not accepted by as big of a group then are considered opinions. So there are instances of what appear to be moral truths with moral ideas that are globally accepted. However, what distinguishes a moral idea from being a moral truth, or opinion? Is it the follow count, or perhaps a feeling that one may feel along with many others that indicates that it is truth?
    What defines something as truth I feel is different for every person. There is such thing as truth, however truth is relative to the person, and their own mindset. This also means everyone's way of determining truth is different and unique to them. Someone may consider something to be truth based on their culture and personal values. Others may consider something to be true only through concrete evidence. These differences from person to person may be what makes it hard for us to find one universal truth. There are many perspectives and takes on what is true, how do we know what method of finding truth is correct?

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  23. 1. There is no difference between Fact or Opinion, is what most people think, however there is a difference. Most people categorize opinions as facts and vise versa. When in reality, a fact is something that can be proven, while, an opinion is something a person believes in.
    2. According to the article, "there are no moral facts, and if there are no moral facts there are no moral truths." I believe that there are moral truths, however that is an opinion, but, we don't like hearing the truth or others opinions.
    3. There is such thing as truth, "Facts are things that are true. Opinions are things we believe. Some of our beliefs are true. Others are not. Some of our beliefs are backed by evidence. Others are not." By this section in the article, the only conclusive way to determine a fact from opinion is based on the evidence, and if facts or opinions don't have evidence to back them up, the only other way is to research and prove said opinion or fact.

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  24. 1. After I have read the blog I now do not know if there is anything wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion. I used to believe that the current distinction was correct and that there are certain thoughts that classify in one or the other categories. Now I realize that there are some grey fuzzy lines separating these categories. Things like the thought that murder is bad is considered to be a opinion but that opinion is so widely spread that one could consider that a fact.

    2. I believe there are such things as moral truths but they are not true for everyone. People in different religions have aspects of their religions that disagree but both groups consider their opinion a truth.

    3. I believe that there is such a thing as truth because there can only be one correct opinion on a subject matter. For example, in religion all people in their respective religions believe that their idea or opinion is true but there can only be one truth. Even if your idea is the slightest bit off, it is not true and it is not a fact.

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  25. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    The current distinction between fact and opinion is confusing, wrong, and quite blurred. Facts is the truth and Opinion is the beliefs. But there is also the third option that can be seen as both. Currently, I feel that everyone in this era usually thinks there’s only one right and one wrong, not a middle.
    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    Moral truths is just something that most believe in, that there’s always a right or a wrong. I feel that that exactly is very opinionated. Of course there are some topics like killing someone is a wrong thing to do, but I think about it this way. Killing someone can be for a good thing, like what if they are a bad person and they were killing everybody else. So killing that specific person would do good for the society. I believe that these “truths” are opinionated because topics can be both bad and wrong not just one.

    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    There is such things as truths, except it is very hard to prove lots of these. The truth only belongs to person or group who thinks it is true. If another group or person does not believe it is the truth, then it is an opinion to them. Everyone is different and has different cultures and different beliefs, everyone has a truth whether it is good, bad, wrong, or right.

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  26. There are many things wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion, the first being it doesn’t allow for facts to exist and secondly it doesn’t allow for what we don’t know yet. As the article stated, all of the questions the children asked were, on the answer key, called opinions, but in real life most of them should be regarded as moral truths and facts. Mr. McBrayer in the article also pointed out how it doesn’t allow for what we don’t know to be possibly true. There are many things we don’t know yet, but that doesn’t make those distinctions, items, and beliefs any less true than a scientific law that has been proven. But, because we are teaching children that facts must be proven to be true, we are raising a generation that is not open to others ideas unless there is definitive proof. The problem is though, there is not always going to be definitive proof and many in the next generation will not know how to research, debate, form their own opinions, or even compromise because everything is an opinion so, why should they listen to or base their beliefs off of anything?


    There are moral truths however, in the world. Without these truths we have no guidance, no reason to do what we do in our daily lives today. The whole idea behind morals is that they are true and right and cannot be debated. Just because an idea or statement reflects a moral truth or the words “I believe” are used in a statement does not make the statement any less true.
    As stated in the article saying “I believe George Washington was the first president of the United States,” does not make the statement false. George Washington was the first president of the United States, and the addition of “I believe” to the statement just shows that the individual does not only know the information, but trusts it as well. Believing in something isn’t always an opinion, many times it is instead a statement of trust.

    Finally, there is such a thing as truth. Truth is sometimes hard to recognize and when so many different opinions are coming toward you telling you what is truth and what is not truth, it is hard to decipher it. Truth, however, is something when separated from cultures, opinions, wants, desires, and current situations, by itself as it is, is true. It is black and white like Plato said thousands of years ago. For instance, murder is wrong, we know that, but some will say murder is okay is the person who died deserved it or greatly wronged that person who killed them. That, however, doesn’t separate the act from the situation and look at the deed for what it is, the killing of a person, a wrong thing to do. If we lived by the idea that right and wrong depends on the situation (Aristotle’s theory) then we could never convict anyone of a crime or make any decisions. Therefore, there must be truth. That is not an opinion.

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  27. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    The current distinction between fact and opinion is very difficult to understand. It really all depends on your interpretation of it because one’s opinion can be based on facts. I believe schools need to redefine the what they really mean, it’s a inconsistent curriculum that needs to be fixed.

    2. Is there such thing as “moral truths” or does everything that is classified as moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    I believe that there is such a thing as “moral truths”. This is something that is different for everyone. We all truly believe in something, rather if there is evidence or not.“The hard work lies not in recognizing that at least some moral claims are true but in carefully thinking through our evidence for which of the many competing moral claims is correct.”

    3. Is there such a thing as a truth? How do we recognize it?
    There is such a thing as a truth, although it is difficult to recognize and distinguish it from the rest. The truth is different for each and every person.

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  28. I personaly don't think there is a problem with the distenction between Fact and Opinion, but I think it's mostly because that was the way I was taught and I understand it. If someone was taught a different way i understand how they would think it should be different. I think a belief is an opinion but you can believe in the truth "I beileve that George Washington was the first president". As for moral truths those are personal,those are facts about the opinion of what you think is right or wrong. What we are learning in IB is that different cultures have different beliefs of whats right and wrong, but that doesn't make one right over the other. I think truth is what can be proven. Gravity is true because when you drop an apple it falls to the ground. The moral truth that killing is wrong is proven when you feel bad after killing something.

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  29. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    The current distinction between fact and opinion can be crossed very easily just with a few words. Something as simple as someone's interpretation can change which side it is on. It's difficult for everyone to understand because what someone might believe to be a fact is an opinion for someone else, the definition changes for every person.

    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    I believe moral truths exist, it's something that you believe to be true, but not everyone has the same moral truths. Moral truths are something you believe in, and it's not fake.If you believe in these truths long enough, they can appear to be facts to you personally, but they differ for everyone. Depending on your culture, or background these beliefs lead you to decide what is right and what is wrong.

    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    There is such thing as truth, but something being true does not make it a fact. When considering things like moral truths, not everyone is going to agree on whether it is true or not.

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  30. I feel there isn't a problem with this distinction, because many beliefs and morals will stem from the opinions of others. Apart from belief and moral truths, there are truths that can't be denied because they are proven and documented facts. I believe there can be moral truths within groups of people, such as moral beliefs that stem from religion but I don't think there are completely universal truths. I feel there is truth in facts, but moral truths and beliefs can be subjective and effected by many different components.

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  31. We are taught today that fact is something proven that can't be argued and that opinion is anything that can be argued or what someone thinks or feels. But like it was argued in the article what if someone says they believe in a 'fact' or says they 'think' something? By the way we are taught opinions and facts today, every supposed fact could be an opinion. There isn't a clear distinction between fact and opinion. 
    Based off of what I've been taught at school, morals are just something people created based off what the way the felt about something and would be opinions not fact. But going by what I know to be right and based of my faith, I know that killing, stealing and such that we consider moral truths are truth because of the affects they have on others. I think that moral truths are facts because they prevent us from the possible harmful consequences of breaking those moral truths. If someone murdered someone else not only would that person be dead and the killer in jail, but if both had families then both families would have to deal financial and personal consequences of the outcomes of the murderer and victim's death. 
    Truth is shared knowledge between a group of people. The more people accept the idea the more truthful it becomes for people. For the longest time the idea that the world was round was considered a mere opinion but as more people began to accept the idea and look at specific known truths that proved it it become a fact. 

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  32. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion? There could be a problem with the current distinction between fact and opinion, because the lines that separate them can be so easily crossed. If someone states a fact, then it is a fact. However, if they put "I believe" in front of it, then it becomes an opinion.

    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only? I believe that mora truths do exist. It is something that people believe to be true, but not everyone may agree with them. If someone truly believes in something, then it would not be considered an opinion, even though another person may disagree with them.

    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it? I feel there is such thing as a truth, even though it may be difficult to view it that way. Every person may recognize a truth differently, so I do not believe that there is one set way to recognize it.

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  33. After reading this article I think that the distinction between fact and opinion only needs to be changed slightly. I think in some situations there's a very fine line between the two due to perspective and that makes the two almost one sometimes. I thought the author made an interesting argument in saying "Things can be true even if no one can prove them. For example, it could be true that there is life elsewhere in the universe even though no one can prove it" (McBrayer, 8). It really gets me to thinking about how fact and opinion are really all just a concept that we made up in the first place, and that makes my brain want to explode.

    Morality is an interesting topic because many people define it as the idea of right and wrong. You then have to look at the individual person and what they believe to be right and wrong, so therefore morality must be different for everybody. The third question goes deeper into that topic because it looks specifically at truth. We base our own truths on what we believe to be right and wrong and we then recognize it in our own individual ways.

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  34. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    I think what’s wrong with the distinction between fact and opinion is that many people aren’t even aware that there is a distinction. People feel the need to enforce their opinions upon others in a way that makes others feel obligated to believe their opinions are facts. I think schools should focus more on what a fact consists of and that facts must be accepted but opinions don’t have to be. If we can educate children into distinguishing fact from opinion, we might not be solving our problem today, but we are preventing it from happening in the future generation .

    2. Is there such thing as “moral truths” or does everything that is classified as moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    I think moral truths do exist. I believe that moral truths are not the same for every individual however, they exist. They can serve for different purposes rather than just indicating opinion. For example, many people are accepting towards the idea that hurting one and other is wrong. Many people know that hurting someone is looked down upon and yet, it’s not a fact that people shouldn’t hurt each other. Some people might be totally accepting to the belief that hurting one and other is fine. Therefore, groups of people and communities of accept moral truths as facts whereas others don’t.

    3. Is there such a thing as a truth? How do we recognize it?
    Truth does exist. I think truth is something that people choose to accept or not and in order to recognize it, a person must have the ability to recognize legitimacy within the source of the truth.

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  35. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?

    I think that people taking others opinions as a fact and not thinking entirely on their own is what would make the distinction a bit off. We may get our knowledge of certain things from other forces, but I think as a population we become too lazy to research a truth that we can understand to then form our own opinion on.

    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?

    I think that there is an absolute truth, just very few get to witness it. We stretch the truth to make something sound greater than it is, and withhold the truth to protect ourselves or others. But, in the middle there is the absolute truth.

    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?

    I don't know if there is a formula to knowing when someone is telling the truth or not. Of course there is technology for those kinds of things, but in the real world I would say make a guess as to what the truth is. In the world without these devices by our sides, I think we have gut feelings, or we trust a person well enough to tell the truth.

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  36. 1. What if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    I think that there has been a new idea in people's minds that there is no distinction. Everyone has the ability to make their own decisions as to what they believe which in turn directs their idea about what is right. As far as people's minds go, fact and opinion go hand in hand.

    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    I think that moral truths are different from opinions. Moral truths are things that we know in our conscience to be right or wrong where as opinions have to do with what our brain tells us is "best" in that particular moment. The decisions we make in the moment have to do with the opinions we have but can also can be weighed by whether or not it contradicts our morals.

    3. Is there such thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    I believe that there is an absolute truth underneath the blanket that is opinion in every situation. I also believe that for some situations it is very hard to find. For example, the fact that the earth is round is an absolute truth known by almost all people. However, there are certain situations, ex. a breakup where both parties appear to be guilty, that bode difficult to find the truth as so many moral obligations and opinions lie in the way.

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  37. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?

    It is not completely true to the "definition". If it cannot be proven, it does not make it wrong, but people see as it as merely an opinion. Also, there is no in-between where an opinion is a fact or visa versa. It does not fully differentiate the differences of the two, they are blended, but we are not taught that way through Common Core and when logically it is wrong as seen in the conversation between him and his son.

    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?

    In the passage, it had said that if every man were equal, there would be no voting on political systems. I agree. There is either absolute facts where there is no dispute or there are loopholes, such as political voting or any voting.

    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?

    It is possible to have truths, but every truth can be based off of opinion because there are different points of view, shared/personal knowledge. We recognize facts as something that can be proven or solved with evidence, when really some things just cannot be explained nor include evidence.

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  38. **Nerd Warning: I'll be approaching this topic from the more grounded, scientific/mathematical viewpoint, ironically defining the attitude of my opinion regarding what I see as truth in this topic**

    1: Based on the information provided in the article, the main problem with the distinction between fact and opinion is definition. With such limited restrictions to what makes an opinion or fact, there leaves little room for clarification or explanation; requiring distinct, narrow specifications of words and contexts to define one or the other. From my experiences in life and school, a fact generally contains an accepted truth, law, rule, event, etc. within a community that is/has been/can be proved and is still in the affirmative at the current time and can be enforced. Meanwhile, an opinion is more restricted to only things that are not befitting of the title of 'fact', and/or is not based on the consensus of the audience. Therefore, something that is considered a fact by one group becomes an opinion in an expanded view. For example, from the reading we discussed yesterday, the village firmly accepted their elders' word as truth and found it to be provable from their own experiences, but from an outside point of view, this fact shifts to an opinion due to the conflict of agreement and inability to prove their fact based on the different cultural understandings. A simpler example would be judging, like I saw at the fair today; while it may be a fact that an entry is considered best by the judges and is awarded the ribbon, it is an opinion as it is more difficult to prove to the visitors that the item is the best. It may be fact that it was awarded the ribbon, but it remains opinion as to which entry is superior and most deserving, despite any arguments in skill, quality, and creativity.

    2: I actually disagree with the author on this point. He states that there is no moral truth since 'man is the measure of all things' and that morals are relative opinions. However, like in my previous statement, morals are often enforced and thereby proven. For example, consider that killing another person in the context of cold blood without provocation or elicitation is wrong. This is enforced by the resulting laws and punishments that are preconceived and still actively enforced within society ~ it results in punishment, and is thereby not positive due to how we understand the topic.

    3: Like I said in response to the previous two questions, there is a way to recognize and define things as truths. However, while I see these as truths, within the context of the expanded community (in this case, the class), it conflicts with the statements of others and cannot be enforced or agreed upon as the most applicable, correct response. All in all, the matter of truth or fact and opinion is paradoxical. In order to define a truth, it must be reached by a consensus of opinion upon the findings. However, a truth held by one is an opinion to another, and the opinion of one can be seen as a truth to a different party, and so forth.

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    1. LOVE your last paragraph. I never thought about it that way, but yes, it is in many instances paradoxical.

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  39. 1) Well, according to the article and the distinction between fact and opinion, both facts and opinions can be wrong. They say cursing in school is wrong and that is a fact however that is more of an opinion according to their definition. However, children are eventually taught to believe the only thing that is wrong is what is wrong to them.

    2) I believe that there are moral truths only relative to the person, because one person's moral truths are not going to affect another individual no matter how bad they want them to. I do think there are moral truths on a higher level. For example, a religion or a country is going to have basic, standard moral truths that exist as truth and if you don't follow them they are consequences.

    3) There is such thing as truth. Truth is everything and anything that exists within the world around us. Truth within morals exists only conditional to the individual and truths that need proving exist only really within those who can prove them. I believe we can recognize truths as anything tangible and physical around us or something we prove and that conforms to our morals.

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  40. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    After reading this article I am not so sure if there's any real distinction between the fact and opinion. In the article they define a fact to be “something that is true about a subject that can be tested or proven” and an opinion as “what some thinks, feels, or believes”. I believe that the only true distinction between these two words is the need to categorize these terms so we can prove things wrong or right. Frankly, these terms cannot be categorized for example in the article the author states to son that what he said is both a fact and an opinion, despite their being the phrase “I believe” in front of it. When we are younger in school we are taught that if there is that phrase “I belive” in front of sentence then it is an opinion which we automatically file this as being “wrong.”, which isn’t always the case.

    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    I do believe that moral truths exist, moral truths are things that people to believe to be true. It is trickier to distinguish whether or not morals or beliefs are only opinions, because we cannot tell someone what they believe in is wrong, although we all do not have the same perspective/views on certain subjects we cannot go out and tell someone that their beliefs are wrong whether we think they are or not.

    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    There is such thing as a truth, but truths can be hard to distinguish because we may have clashing perspectives and influences on what truth actually is. Despite these opposing viewpoints we must set those aside to find an absolute truth that is the basis for what we all believe in.

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  41. The problem with facts and opinions is that it is not black and white. There are opinions that are facts and vice versa. There are also "facts" that are just another's opinion. The earth being flat was considered a fact for a long time but now we know that it was just what someone believed.

    Moral truths definitely exist and we follow them every day. We perceive things to be wrong or right depending how we were raised but who gets to say whether something is right or wrong? Moral truths are just things we assume to be true.

    I believe there is such thing as truth but I doubt humans will ever find much of it. We associate the "truth" with stuff we can prove or we know for sure. But there is so much we don't know. Until the day comes that we know everything, we will never know the WHOLE truth. And that day will never come.

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  42. 1. After reading the article and really thinking about this the problem between fact and opinion is just up to the individual. Like 1-1 is 0 could be a fact if the person chooses to take it as a fact ,but really its just their opinion but we go with the herd mentality so it's obviously 0.

    2. Moral truths probably exist ,they are what you believe to be true. For instance I believe that waking up at 2am and getting 2 hours of sleep is ok. Now other people would say that is horrible ,and I should see someone about that. We all have different moral truths ,it's really just a fancy saying of how do you live your life?

    3. Pfft. Truth totally exists We just haven't found it yet ,and then when we do it'll answer all of my questions. It's kind of like the anime One Piece where they try to find the -get this- One Piece ,oh I crack myself up ,but they don't know if it even exists ,but they still go looking for it anyways cause they believe it does. Also this reminds me of the game Titan Souls, it's about this little boy with no name ,and he has a bow and one arrow that comes back to you ,it's super fun. Anyways you gotta beat these 19 titans ,and when you do you open this big door ,at the end of this long bridge high up in the sky ,and it's night time and it's raining ,and you fight a final titan ,and get this it's name is literally TRUTH. Yea it took me like 1 hour to beat it it's super duper hard.

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    1. This really got me laughing bro you're a beast. XD

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  43. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion? After reading this article, I found that I agreed with the author in the feeling that the part that is wrong between the distinction of fact and opinion is that fact is defined as something true that can be backed up with evidence and opinion is defined as something someone feels or believes. This is wrong because there are many things that I believe are true that cannot be backed up with evidence.
    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    I feel like there is a such thing as moral truths. I believe that these truths define human beings as a whole and that they are important for everyone to have. These moral truths include that it is wrong to kill another human being, it is wrong to rob, it is wrong to cheat, etc.
    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    I think there is a such thing as truth, but I don't think that there is one, overlying truth for everyone. I think each individual has their own versions of truth that define who they are. For example, I believe in God, and that is my truth. Others may not believe there is a God and that may be their truth.

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  44. 1. I believe that the current problem from distinguishing between fact and opinion is that opinions can also be considered facts depending on the person and whatever arguement they have to back themselves up with. It was like how it was explained in the article when she said to her son and asked whether or not George Washington was the first president. Of course, that is a fact because it can be proven but, it is also an opinion if it were to follow the definition of believing in it. I don't think there is a clear set definition for either fact or opinion, and overall, it is just up to the person on whether they chose to believe it or not, or whether it can be proven or not in their world.

    2. Moral truths can do with ethics and how a person is raised. From a young age, we are told what is "right" and what is "wrong", and the opinions of what is right and wrong can vary between each household and their culture, how they were raised etc. I believe that moral truths are mostly an opinion of what people are told are right and wrong, because it is based on what they believe or how they feel towards certain situtions or problems.

    3. We identify truth by having it being proven to us, therefore we have to know that it is true because there is no way that it couldn't be if it was proven to us. However, truth can be identified in different ways, like stated before; depending on the person. There may be things that are proven, but what if that is not the "real" truth of the situation? Therefore the truth would be a false and everything we knew about it would be a lie. I don't think there is a such thing as truth when it comes to more complex and detailed conversations and situations but then again, truth varies between people on whether or not there is one or not.

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  45. I believe that people have come up with this theory of fact and opinion to cover up their inability to distinguish truth. I believe that since there is sin in the world and that humans are flawed, we cannot make the distinction between truth and not because of our self glorification and bias. So, because of this I believe that it is okay to have fact and opinion because there is no way we can truly distinguish one from the other. There is always a chance that our fact is not fact because we do not understand everything nor do we have all the information. There is a chance that our beliefs are fact because we again do not have all the information nor can we comprehend. So, to say something is fact and something is not is based purely on oneself due to biased thinking. So, it is true that for this reason fact and opinion are wrong, but it is inevitable. Moral truths in my opinion are real because when we are babies, we already have basic sin within us that we are not taught to do, but do it already. Young children will steal cookies or candy when a parent is not looking, they will say that they did not do it even if the parents know they did. By doing this they are showing both the wickedness of human nature and the fact that they know it is wrong. They do not do it right in front of their parents because they know they will get in trouble. The parents have not told them about stealing and the consequences of that, but they know them already and do it anyways. That is the basic moral truth. The things that we know are wrong and right without any outside influence are our truths. We know murder is wrong but we do it anyway in a back alley away from the people. We know robbery is wrong but we do it anyway with gloves and masks on to keep our identities concealed. These are our truths.

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    1. Very profound, once again. I think perhaps we do know truths to a degree, but are afraid or too rebellious to acknowledge them.

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  46. What's wrong with this distinction our educational institutions have made between "fact" and "opinion" is that it leaves no space for value claims, or moral truths, to exist as facts. We as a society generally consider certain things to be undeniably wrong. Our world generally believes that murder is amoral. But, our educational system has instilled in our generation that this moral truth everyone believes can't be fact. This leads to the crippling and logically failing concept of "moral relativism".

    There is undoubtedly such things as moral truths. It is a near-universal belief that killing another innocent human being is wrong. How then, could so many not consider that a moral truth? Moral truths exist within our society, most of the time sub-consciously, and just because a lot of people can't/don't recognize it, doesn't make it an opinion as opposed to a fact.

    I do believe that there is such thing as truth in the world. On top of that, I believe even more strongly that there is an ultimate truth in this world. I recognize and believe in it through religion, specifically Christianity. Others attempt to find it through the limited practice of human science and experimentation. Some people --and their numbers are rapidly increasing-- don't even want to find truth. They choose to live blissfully in-the-moment, unaware and unconcerned with the greater problems of our world.
    Truth should never cease to be sought.

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  47. 1.
    The Issue with the current distinction between fact and opinion is that the rule used to differ the two would only work in a black and white world. The world we live in is black, white and gray with so many blurred lines making this black and white definition difficult to apply to our colorful world. This causing extreme confusion and non'stop arguments.

    2.
    I feel like there is moral truth and that it kind of works with how he said something can be proven to me but not to you, whole thing.

    3.
    There is such thing as truth its just harder to find when you try to find it on a much bigger scale because what people believe is true begins to differ as they go through their walk in life.

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  48. This current distinction between fact and opinion that we have been taught leaves ethical and moral fact out of the picture. It rules out the societal values that have been turned to truth. For example, it goes without saying that murder should be punished but with the rules we have set, one could say this is only an opinion and not a truth.

    2. There is such thing as a moral truth or belief that can be considered truth. However, this all depends upon the person involved. The truth to one person can be a falsehood to another. For example, one person may believe in God while another does not. To the believer, God is the truth, and to the other God is simply a falsehood.


    It is hard to say whether truth exists or not. Sure there is that which can be considered fact, i.e. clouds are made of water. However there is also that which is 'believed' to be true. A person may not have any evidence to back up something but it may still strike them as truth. This can differ widely from person to person. One person may believe in one form of truth while another has a completely different and opposite belief of this same truth. With this in mind, perhaps Truth in some senses, is a sort of emotional reaction to some ideas which tend to strike deep within ourselves. Some controversial statement made by a person comes and causes us to find truth in said statement. All the same, it still is hard to say whether or not we will ever find truth in existence.

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  49. ~~May I just say that, I really enjoyed this article, but it didn't really surprise me~~

    1. This question is a little brain-racking because I'm trying really hard to put bias in this. It's hard to say whether or not things are right and wrong based on fact and opinion. For example let's bring in religion here! I honestly have no opinion on any religion and whether or not people use them, but let's just use a theoretical example here shall we?
    Let's say that in one religion it is vital that every new year you must sacrifice an animal of purity to represent the purity of the NEW year. But in another religion that is considered "wrong" because you are killing an animal that could have had a chance to live it's life in the new year. I think that everything can be considered "wrong" in someone's eyes based on their "truths" and other factors, like, where they lived, how they grew up, who they had in their life, just simple things that we don't really think could affect us. According to 2nd grade education Fact is Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven. Well anyone can twist the "truth" to make it true to them. I really liked what the article about truth and proof waffling together and how "it could be true that there is life elsewhere in the universe even though no one can prove it." Does that mean if you can't prove it or see it, it's not true, or the truth??
    Anyways I'm getting too deep for me, so next question.
    2. "Moral Truths" based on what I found is "of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical" But if we are question the distinction or right and wrong, how can there be moral truths??
    I agree with what the article said that "any claim with good, right, wrong, etc. is not a fact." And that there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths. Moving on...
    3. I believe that there really isn't a certain/perfect "truth" or "fact"
    We are taught the difference of fact and opinion when we are younger so that when we become older, we can be able to sift through life to find our own "truths", "facts", "opinions." That is how we "recognize" the "truth", because it is born from our own beliefs, experiences, and teachings.
    In summary, EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE. This includes, Truth, Opinions, and Morality.




    On a related, or not-so-related topic this reminds me of my favorite show called "Gravity Falls" On the episode called "The Last Mable-corn", Mable is sent on a "quest" to get some unicorn hair for their home to have protection. When she gets there the unicorn tells her that she's not "pure of heart" and won't give her the hair. Mable then goes to freak out and tries to go and do a thousand good deeds. After that she goes back to the unicorn and it says the same thing. Mable continues to freak out because all she wants to do is be a good person, but what she doesn't know is that she already is a good person. Towards the end the rest of the unicorns tell Mable that unicorns can't see in people's heart and that unicorns just say that so humans leave them alone. Mable and the unicorn get in a fight and she finally takes the hair by force and at the end her uncle tells her that she's a good person but she says "Thank you. But today I learned that morality is relative!"
    I don't know why I made that connection but it made me laugh so there we go!

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    1. Lots of analysis! :)
      A mind bender for you: If you say that everything is relative, then isn't that statement also relative and open to debate? ;)

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  50. 1) what, if anything is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    - Yes there is something wrong with these two ideals that we have of what is considered an opinion and what is a fact. I say part of why we can’t tell the difference is caused by the first years of school. When students get trained to answer the question correctly, and if for some reason can’t answer that question correctly is looked down upon with marking of a red pen with a bad grade. Therefore a student never gets to explore the reason why they think what they think. Because of the fear of being wrong, and wrong is bad. Never exploring why something would be consider a fact even though it has an emotional appeal. I also feel that we have a messed up ideal of the definition of what is bad and what is good. What really is a definition of bad and why is unacceptable with the society we live in today? For example arguing to someone is bad, yet why would that be the case if expression of speech is a good thing. Maybe that wasn't the perfect example but the main point is that people have been told that certain thing are bad and good, without really searching whether it true or not.

    2) Is there such thing as moral truths or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion ?
    - I feel this is a trick question for it depends on the background information within the situation. In general i feel that morals truths are more of an opinion just becauses of the simple fact that it is a guide of how people in society think they should act. Yet a belief of a person is a fact. For example i can say that I believe in mermaids is a fact for it is true that I believe in that belief. Where mermaids exist or not is another question.

    3) is there such a thing as truth ? How do we recognize it ?
    - Yes I do choose to believe that there is such a thing as a truth but we don't alway see it. Some time we see the truth but intentionally deny it, for the truth can be to hard to bare, understand, or simply to complicated to understand and accept that it is what it is. And other time we see truth within something and mold it or adjust to fit a criteria and which society can accept. Or we just recognize the truth in the reaction of our action.

    Maybe I make no sense of what im trying to say, but one things for sure. Truth is based on whether we choose to believe it or not.

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    1. So....if a person chooses to believe that there are flying unicorns in space that direct them to kill people, is that then truth because the person believes it? Is there a truth under that definition?

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    2. AHHH Mrs.Caraway you seem to never cease with these mind benders!

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  51. 1. The thing that is not right about how facts and opinions are determined today is that it disregards morals and is too based off of how a person feels or what they believe. As explained in the article if opinions are based on what people believe then facts can be opinions. The whole determination of fact and opinion contradicts itself in numerous ways.

    2. Yes, there is such things as moral truths. Is it okay to murder someone because you didn't like them? No. That little feeling you get when you're about to do something you probably shouldn't is a perfect explanation. Even if you do something wrong in secret and don't get in trouble you know it is still wrong, why else would you do it in secret? Now what if someone doesn't get that feeling when killing someone or thinks that it's perfectly okay? There's a word for that, it's called being a sociopath... Moral truths certainly exist and to say that they don't is ridiculous.

    3. Yes there is such thing as truth. Truth is not relative, saying that contradicts the very meaning of truth. Even the statement "there is no truth" is a truth itself which would contradict what the statement is saying. There are truths about the world that we may not even know yet. Like the articles says it may be true that there is life on other planets but we just haven't found it yet, science hasn't advanced to the point where we can investigate other galaxies or planets in a matter of days or hours even. In a sense, truth is hard to identify because we as humans have very well not have figured out all the "truths of the world/our existence." If truth was relative, then the statements, I am human or George Washington was the first president of the United States would be up for debate.

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  52. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    I think the problem with the current distinction between fact and opinion is that the definitions are to broad, and that younger children are going to be confused when learning what is a fact and opinion. If I were a second grader and I heard the definition of what an opinion is, and then was told that the claim "Cursing in school is inappropriate behavior" is an opinion, I would start to question whether or not cursing is actually inappropriate. I think that if schools are to keep teaching what a fact and opinion is in the way they are now, then they should also teach the children about morals and proper behavior.

    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    This is a tough question because people of different backgrounds have different morals and beliefs. For example, there once was a time when different societies believed it was okay to sacrifice human beings. To them, it was acceptable and morally just to murder a human being in the name of religion. In todays society that would be seen as horrific and wrong, so I believe there aren't really any moral truths since everyone has different morals.


    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    I think truth is something that is non - debatable which makes truth EXTREMELY difficult to recognize, because ANYTHING can be debated if you think about it.... So I guess it depends on what someone believes truth to is. I personally believe that truth and true meaning are bigger than us as humans, and we will not know or experience what is "truly true" until we meet our creator.

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    1. SO agree on morals and proper behavior! I believe that needs to start early--we need to teach kids how to treat others and what to expect as treatment for themselves (respect, in both cases!) Great point on truth at the end! It can be extremely hard to recognize in the world!

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  53. 1) To me, Fact and Opinion are mixed into a person's beliefs as well as their past educational experiences. I agree we are raised up as beings of told that this is the way things are and that this is the way that must be followed. But I think that right now there is some much needed changes to those definitions but I couldn't tell you what needs to be changed

    2) Moral beliefs can in a way be opinions but also they aren't. Being raised in certain ways influences this in dramatic ways and sometimes people can confuse moral beliefs with opinions but I think that it all relies upon our upbringing.

    3) Truth is a fickle thing to trifle with and not everyone understands it as well as they should. Everyday we rely on truth to be what our ancestors have laid down for the groundwork and we base our daily lives upon those same frameworks. How interesting it would have been to witness what was truth and what wasn't when it was being developed.

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  54. 1 It’s not that the current distinction of fact and opinion is wrong, the problem is how society has manipulated our minds to think about a thing that has changed over time, like everything else. Like how the article mentioned it’s not the philosophers fault, it's our own fault to try to interpret the concepts of these philosophers.

    2. Yes there is such a thing as “moral truths” but like everything, it really goes back on your society and your cultural and educational background that influences you to believe and what not to believe. I feel like everyone has their own experience and knowledge of truth.

    3. Like how I mentioned, truth is really upon on the individual person and their personal belief. “Truth” can be looked at in so many different perspectives, but I look at it as how you have been raised and your family values. It gets to a point where family values can be forgotten and replaced by society's values, and in this day and age it comes down to the media. With so many perspectives and beliefs in one area such as media, the so called “truth” is put in so many shapes and forms which really manipulates you and you start to make your own assumptions about truth.

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  55. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    The biggest thing that's wrong with it is that people believe that things like moral truths are simply opinions and cannot be a fact, even though it's a truth, which also brings up the inconsistencies of how people define truth and fact and they differentiate the two from each other. Moral truths by definition is something that is TRUE and therefore what is true must be a fact, correct? People believe that it's not because a truth like "killing an innocent person is wrong" cannot be tested or proven. This is just silly and whoever thinks this way doesn't know how to think logically and properly. Simple logic can attest that even though the phrase isn't proven/scientifically testable, it is true. Because it is true, the definition of a fact needs to expand to fit the FACT that a truth like that is indeed a fact.
    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    Easy question, of course there is such a thing as moral truths. Even if somebody doesn't THINK or FEEL that killing an innocent person (like a baby or unborn child) is wrong, it doesn't make the truth that killing an innocent person is wrong suddenly untruthful. Just because somebody has an opinion of the truth, it doesn't make what's an actual truth any less true. People who believe that truth or morals are relative immediately fall into their own pit of ignorance and blindness because they have somehow gotten themselves to believe in a concept that is inherently fallacious. We all KNOW inherently that killing someone innocent is wrong, and if they don't feel apart of this mutual, universal understanding, then they would be what our society calls a crazy person.
    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    There is such a thing as truth, and in fact, I would go as far as to say that there is an ultimate truth to and about everything we see, hear, experience, and believe. If something that someone believes ends up being false, like the "fact/belief" that the earth is flat, then the ultimate truth status of what that person believed would be that that belief was false and not true.
    Here's a little excerpt that I've written about truth about 2 weeks ago:

    If something has not yet been proven, does that make it untrue? Is the state of an idea being true or false dependent on our ability to prove it?

    To address the first question, no. Something can be true or untrue without it having to be proven. There are ultimate truths in the world and those things didn't have to be "proven" or "discovered" to be that way, they are ever-present.
    To address the second question, no as well. Ideas don't have to be proven to be inherently true. Truths are not up for the individual to decide upon, relativism is inherently fallacious and falls apart immediately. Truth doesn't have to be proven in order to be present. So the same applies to ideas. The idea of relativism is inherently untrue. It didn't need to be proven in order for it to be untrue, even though it's hard to say that because it's been proven as untrue. But the idea of something being "proven" is just a construct of society that helps organize and go through ideas in the physical realm, even though they've already been established in the metaphysical realm of God and his ability to understand everything deeper than anything or anyone else. That kind of only applies to things that aren't moral, absolute truths that have revealed themselves as such in our physical realm. Everything else that are ideas or constructs of man have a previous, God-known status of being either inherently true or untrue.

    Now drink up this fantastic knowledge and go spread the TRUTH of what I just said!

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  56. The problem between fact and opinion is that now opinions can be considered as facts because people now tend to look up facts to back up their opinions just so that they can be right. Honestly there really isn't a clear definition for what fact and opinion really mean.
    I believe that there is such thing as moral truth. I think it differs with everyone. Some may think that without evidence it is not true. But I think it honestly does not matter, everyone thinks differently.
    I believe there is truth, but again it differs with everyone.

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  57. 1. I think the hardest part of distinguishing between a fact and an opinion is that in some sense opinions can be considered facts and vice versa. We as humans have a very hard time accepting things that we haven't always had the prior knowledge of. For example, scientists come up with new facts often, however we don't always accept these into our society because people can thing of these things as opinion. Religion also plays a large role in this distinguish because not everyone believes the same things, and I know that when a person challenges another persons beliefs they can see it as a fact and not as an opinion so you will be trying to arguing with people who think of facts differently than you do.

    2. Truth does exist, however getting everyone to believe it completely is a different story. We are all emotion based humans. We let our emotions control everything that we believe in. Our past experiences and emotions play a major role in what we believe and what we will value as fact or opinion. This means that we wont always believe in the the same things.

    3. Our identification of truth is an individual experience. Truth has to be recognized through the proof provided for us. Some need more than others, while some need less. I think that for little things there are of course truths, however I don't think that there is one major overlying truth that conquers all.

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  58. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion?
    I think what is wrong with the distinction between fact and opinion is the way it is being taught. Honestly the second grade teachers definitions of fact and opinion make complete sense, because that is how almost all kids are taught when they are in elementary school and it seems pretty ethical. And the theory of everything being an opinion and how there are no facts or truth may be valid, but it’s a little hard to wrap your brain around it (even as a high schooler) so honestly, I wouldn’t have any other way to explain these claims to elementary kids! What's wrong with the current distinction is that the author is challenging the reader to now look and realize that there are no facts but you can’t expect younger kids to grasp that type of concept, and would probably affect their morality and their understandings of what is good and bad, which I don’t think any parent would want. SO if you want to present that distinction to elementary kids, good luck! Because most high schoolers and adults would have a hard time understanding. Possibly the reason the current distinction is wrong, is because it’s simple to understand and is also a good moral lesson to learn as kids, even if it is technically not true (according to the author).
    2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only?
    Ethically and according to the article there is no such thing as truth, even a moral truth. But I’m sure for most people that concept exists and they believe it is the truth but is something that they adhere to strongly that it is not expressed by them as an opinion. I tend to see this commonly with religion.
    3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it?
    I don’t really believe so once you truly think about it. There are very few things that you can prove to be true and still not sound like an opinion. I think that most people who haven’t read the article would have the opinion that there is such thing as truth, and would say certain claims and things are true. But if you asked them to in any way prove it they would realize that they really can’t.

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  59. I feel like opinion is fact and the other way around. Todays’ society doesn’t care about facts anymore, they care about others opinion. Like the political debate in the US. No one listens to the fact of Clinton or Trump. Instead they focus on their opinions and hatred against each other. Of course politics has something to do with opinions, but we have to remember that most importantly we have to think about the facts and what will happen when one of them gets elected!
    Moral truths is only another way for protecting people from getting hurt by the real opinion, I think it all depends on what your moral is in life.
    Yes, if we talk facts. An opinion has to have factual information behind it before I see it as being true.

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  60. Oh my this article made my brain hurt to say Mrs. Caraway. I found it very interesting though especially because of the service my pastor gave on Tuesday, about absolute and relative truths. My pastor, Mike, gave the example of relative truth applied in life. Suppose someone believed it true that a green light meant stop and red meant go. This would cause crashes left and right because of their personal truth being correct. I found this interesting because I think some people think they live by relative truth in situations such as religion, minor rights and wrongs, raising children, etc. Although, by saying you live by relative truth is an absolute truth contradicting yourself. Therefore when I read this article I thought well that's how people have been viewing things in "well that's your opinion" when it definitely is more a fact. Taking this as a situation, a man beating his child just because. We all know that's wrong but for him that's right because it's his truth. By defining facts and opinions the way Common Core is defining it, it is growing children into believing that the only facts that matter are hardcore facts but anything with morals isn't indeed an exact fact but an opinion. This causes so many dilemmas as said prior.

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  61. I think that the way we are taught to separate facts and opinions is directly contradicting with the rules that we are asked to follow in school and in society, like Justin said, "copying homework assignments is wrong," and, "cursing in school is inappropriate behavior." I believe these rules are appropriate and have truth behind the reasons they were created, even though the things were are taught directly contradict them. Also along with what Justin said, this contradictory is likely the reason why a lot of kids fail to follow these rules and end up having their own thoughts about why the rules are pointless or do not apply to them. Also along these lines, I believe there are many moral truths and I know a lot of them to be true, but people are definitely entitled to their own beliefs and opinions as to what is morally true and what is not, as well as their own personal knowledge and experience. Every person in the world experiences every day differently from everyone else, allowing everyone to have their own experiences and knowledge and creating the dilemma that truth and opinion is often subjective to the person that it is being applied to. Yes, there are truths that the majority of people agree with, such as historically documented events that most people accept as true and did occur, however moral truths and opinions have always been a gray area that people continuously disagree on and argue about. I believe everyone should seek truths for themselves and never rely solely on what they are told to be true, that they may allow themselves to find what is right and true, and what is simply somebody else's opinion that was pushed upon them as a 'fact'.

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  62. 1. Something that may be wrong between the current distinctions of fact and opinion is relativity and objectivity. This is a very controversial subject.
    2. I think there is such a thing as moral truth. This boils down almost to the idea of relativity. I think that there are some truths and ideas that remain true even past other’s opinions on it.
    3. I think you can recognize truth when it is bigger than independent opinions. Often, truth stems from majority, but there are also some truths that feel right regardless.

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  63. 1. What, if anything, is wrong with the current distinction between fact and opinion? The things that are wrong about the distinction imprinted on us between fact and opinion is that though things such as moral truths and moral facts, and other similar things, are being placed as opinion, and because of it people are feeling more justified in doing wrong or bad things because in their minds it is likely seen as simply a way to get to a goal, whether it be to steal food so that they can eat that night or cheat on a test so that they can pass a class, both are morally wrong but based on the way we are taught, people can judge neither of these examples, because that is simply an opinion. 2. Is there such thing as "moral truths" or does everything that is classified as a moral or belief indicate opinion only? Based off of the examples 3. Is there such a thing as truth? How do we recognize it? There is a thing known as truth, but the way that people see it, it is their choice whether to accept it or not. Everyone has their own idea of the truth, but few ever find the real thing in morales, in fact in morals we find that everyone has their own ideas, and although some people agree with certain truths others disagree, Truth is found really in what you feel is right, whether it be from judging past experiences, or just a feeling, Truths are based on the person and what they feel is right or wrong.

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