PHASE ONE

Week Two: Nature of opinions

Throughout the history of humanity fact and opinion have been notoriously difficult to separate. Religion has been a marker of mankind’s decisions, and beliefs for hundreds of years. Many religious teachings are widely accepted, yet the authenticity of these teachings remains unconfirmed. Even though many opinions are equated with facts by the majority (such as religion), that is not to say all opinions are factual or by any means equal in merit. Beliefs that are verified by experts, widely accepted, and “proven” are more factual than beliefs founded in emotions, biases, and without any possible way of confirmation (Imagine Easy Solutions, 2014). So even if many religious teachings are widely accepted, they are technically still matters of opinions, as they cannot be confirmed.

Yet, certain popular truths, such as the position of the earth in our universe (rotating around the sun) can be considered a fact, and not a matter of opinion, as it is supported with a plentitude of scientific evidence. As such, “given that logic and reasoning are not simply matters of opinion, these supported positions cannot be dismissed as being simply matters of opinion” (LaBossiere, 2007). All this to say that it isn’t possible to assert that all knowledge is a matter of opinion, as some beliefs are routed in more merit than others.

However, one of the great talents of mankind is our ability to be wrong, proven wrong and make mistakes. Consequently, information that is considered factual (beliefs that have merit), may be “proven” wrong with the use of more advanced technology. What I mean by this is humans are inherently biassed, whether or not we attempt to approach information neutrally. We are biassed in how we interpret data with our known information. New discoveries may change our current understanding of a natural phenomena, disproving the basis for our thought processes. The misinterpretation of information is seen throughout human history. Therefore, it would be a mistake to treat any information, even factual beliefs, as the absolute truth. Humans don’t really “know” anything. Numbers, words and even facts can be manipulated to suit our opinions and beliefs. Although some opinions are more factual than others, we as mankind are not capable of omniscience, we are in a perpetual state of proving and disproving beliefs.

Imagine Easy Solutions. (2014, Aug 25). How to Identify Fact vs. Opinion in Writing & Research[Video File]. Retrieved from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTZjqOU_6Vc&feature=youtu.be

LaBossiere, Michael. (2007, Aug 26). Is philosophy just a matter of opinion? [web log comment]. Retrieved from

https://aphilosopher.drmcl.com/2007/08/26/is-philosophy-just-a-matter-of-opinion/

Week One: Exploring my vast hatred for technology?

Hello, I am an English and Professional Writing student in my first year at York University. I have journeyed far, originating from the dense forest wasteland of Fredericton, New Brunswick. My interests as well as my supposed identity, mimic greatly the stereotypes of my woodland people. I enjoy adventuring in the woods, preferably on a four-wheeler or snowmobile, and incorporating various selections of plaid into my everyday attire. My transition in a “city folk” is greatly motivated by my love for films, music, and literature. Toronto has much more opportunity to offer within such fields of study and employment.

I am nervous about recording my voice, and thereby the process of coming across somewhat entertaining and professional. Though I have been told I have an excellent face for radio (podcast), my voice is less suited for comfortable listening. However, I am excited for the opportunity to create a script, detailing my opinion. Manipulation through the use of language would certainly serve to be beneficial in my life.

Finally, when it comes to research tactics, the only strategy which I have used is peer collaboration (also known as mooching off your friends). Unfortunately, my peers often don’t research similar topics as I do, or even know of further research strategies, they too employ the peer collaboration method. I hope to learn ways to efficiently and thoroughly find reliable information, without the required assistance of my peers.