Week II: tHaT’s mY OpiNiOn!
In philosophy, the term for the belief system that all knowledge is merely opinion is Relativism. The two arguments I’d like to present against this thought process are simple.
First, let us consider the existence of indisputable facts. For example, exact value of the speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second. This is a universal physical constant and is irrefutable. Like the number seconds in a minute or the number of minutes in an hour, these are evidence based and scientifically proven. Verifiable truths, such as the figures previously mentioned, would not exist if we believed that all we know is simply a matter of opinion.
Now, the second and glaring problem with believing that all knowledge is a matter of opinion is, that statement itself, is paradoxical. If one believes that everything is opinion, by that logic, it can be argued that, that very belief is merely an opinion and can be easily discarded. This renders the entire claim moot as the only way one can argue that everything is unquestionably “just an opinion” is if one believes the very claim that everything is a matter of opinion is definitive fact, which is both contradictory and hypocritical.
That is a wrap on my philosophy crash course on Relativism. Check back next week when we dive head first into at an extremely pertinent topic in today’s world!
Week I: Mic check 1, 2
Hello! You can call me Ash. I’m fairly certain you’ve heard the accent by now, so I might as well tell the story now, so you aren’t entirely confused later. My mother is South Indian, my father is Malaysian and the first couple years of my life I grew up communicating in either Tamil or Malay. They were adamant to instill their culture in me as soon as I started speaking, which, at 6 months, was unusually early. To continue the trend, I started preschool at 2 and a 1/2 because I was too bored, or too talkative (depending on which parent you ask) to keep at home. Until I was 4 and a 1/2, I attended an entirely Malay preschool before they moved me to a tiny institution had 2 main teachers, my British homeroom teacher and my Australian elementary headmistress. The first time I heard English, it was spoken the way I speak it now. And, as they say, the rest is history…
I must warn you, I have lived in and out of Canada from when I was 7 years old, so the accent does wax and wane from a very normal Canadian one to the convoluted Australian/British mix depending on my level of comfort.
Now that that’s out of the way, there’s not much more that is as interesting about me. I am trying so hard to keep an open mind whilst I reenter university life after having taken a medical break and dealt with a lot in all aspects of my life. I am a strong and vocal advocate for intersectional Human rights. Which is ideal because I’m doing a double major in Human Rights and Equity Studies and Professional Writing. I enjoy stories in all their forms, whether it’s movies, tv shows, short films, podcasts, web series’ books, etc. Since this course offers me the opportunity to be the one telling it for a change, I hope to produce some exciting content.
A shortcut often used for research is Wikipedia summaries to generate core ideas and opinions and use the linked references as one’s own references without having read the piece. This would be helpful as a starting point, to help find a direction to focus research. It is also useful in case the student doesn’t know very much about the topic, since Wikipedia is a useful summarizing tool. However, it’s very limiting in the amount of detail and accurate information it provides when looking into the researched topic. Not reading the source materials and understanding what its entire point is means there is a higher chance of misunderstanding or miscommunicating the source. It also may not provide a complete picture of all aspects of the topic, since using only Wikipedia is sometimes outdated and unreliable. Good research requires analysis, which would not be complete without considering all points and fully exploring the facets of the topic. I hope to have conveyed my thoughts on the question clearly.