PHASE ONE

Week Two: Alternative Facts

I recently had a run-in with a quite unpleasant character who engaged me in a debate over a matter that is very dear to my heart. I remarked repeatedly that nothing he could say would change my stance, as the issue is deeply entrenched in my sense of identity, and he responded with a statement that was quite peculiar. He told me, “We have to debate these things so that these people will reconsider what they believe.” And yet, in my eyes, every single one of his arguments were flawed, incorrect, poorly worded and utterly unnecessary. Not once did I ever waver from my stance or question my belief.

Perhaps I was in the wrong. Perhaps he was. Or, most likely, we were both spewing out desperate half-truths in order to cling onto our fragile worldview. Dr. Michael LaBossiere, a philosophy professor, wrote an article that thoroughly debunks the notion that all information is simply a matter of opinion using rigorous logic. He states that many people hold a misconception that all opinions are equally valid and equally true. The allure of this misconception is tangible, especially in a society where we emphasize respect, equity and acceptance. It would seem that in a perfect world, every opinion would be respected equally. I believe this thought process stems from a misunderstanding over the definition of an opinion. Many people automatically assume opinions are rooted solely in emotional reasoning and cannot be taken as true or even probable. But in actuality, what we define as opinions are actually matters of opinion, defined in lecture as something that cannot be proven as true or false. On the other hand, opinions can be justified and rooted in evidence, and these opinions must be taken as more valid as matters of opinion or opinions based on incorrect or misleading information.

LaBossiere, M. (2007, August 26). Is philosophy just a matter of opinion? Retrieved from https://aphilosopher.drmcl.com/2007/08/26/is-philosophy-just-a-matter-of-opinion/

Week One: Feeling Pumped!

Hello, everyone! 😜 I promise that is the first and last emoji I will use on this blog (unless, of course, I’m allowed to put them in these posts). Anyway! The name’s Pan! This is my third year at York University and my first year on the Keele campus. Oui, je me suis inscrit au collège Glendon pour le français et les mathématiques avant de s’inscrire ici. (I’m not actually sure if my grammar is correct in this sentence. It’s… been a while since I’ve spoken French.) I’m in Math right now, but I’m planning on applying to the Social Work program here at York. I love writing and I’m very passionate about people—how they talk, how they think and how their inner world comes out in the way they behave and react to external stimuli.

Honestly, I’m pretty pumped for this assignment. As a Math major, I never really got to talk about things I was interested in. I also never ran into research papers in post-secondary. That being said, I only know one tactic for research. It was taught to me by my mother back when I was just a little kid. She told me to go to the library, find a number of books that look promising and then flip to the index and look for key words. The same logic applies to online journals—control-F, keyword changed my life.

This is definitely helpful in the sense that you can find what you need really quickly, as there tends not to be too much in any one book or journal that actually corresponds to what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, using it leaves you reading excerpts out of context. The author writes a book or journal with the intent of providing a cohesive thesis, after all. Picking and choosing certain pages without truly understanding the content can potentially be very dangerous and hurt your own credibility.

I’m looking forward to continuing on in this course and exploring more on how to research effectively!

Pan Goordat