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"Opinions are not fact!" Topic

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Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 5:31 a.m. PST

For pete's sake people; an opinion is not fact. If you state "X is boring" or something of the sort don't be surprised or act all butt hurt when someone points out that people may disagree. Also if someone states they "think X rules are boring" don't go telling them they are wrong. Opinions are not facts period.

I will say that opinions are like a**holes, we all got them and they all stink. 😏

Winston Smith06 May 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

They are too!
Especially MY opinions!

nazrat06 May 2017 7:21 a.m. PST

They are in fact, ALTERNATIVE facts, according to some. 8)=

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian06 May 2017 7:48 a.m. PST

Nothing wrong with 'alternate' facts, historians run into them all the time…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

Actually, in context, an "alternate fact" was implied to be actual fact that contradicted or clarified an opinion or erroneous conclusion based on selected or incomplete facts, or even claims that were said to be facts, but really weren't.

Let's give a hypothetical example:

Facts given:
The bank was robbed by three robbers.
There was only one getaway vehicle.
The getaway vehicle was a motorcycle.
A motorcycle only holds two people.

Conclusions made:
One robber is still at the bank, or nearby, or disguised among the patrons and employees, or one of the employees! It was an inside job!

The above are conclusions that sound like facts, but are actually speculation.

But then we have an "alternate fact":
The motorcycle had a sidecar.

The fact does not contradict the other facts, but completes them, to potentially contradict the erroneous conclusions, or at least offer an alternative one that is just as valid ("the third robber rode in the sidecar"), if not more so as it is the most logical (but least emotional) conclusion.

A conclusion that is arrived at without complete evidence is not a fact, however it may sound like one, but an opinion.

Also, just because somebody claims something is a fact doesn't mean it's an actual fact. And that applies to anyone blabbing about anything.

Winston Smith06 May 2017 9:44 a.m. PST

"Alternate" facts I can handle.
It's the "alternative" ones that give me tsorris and agita.

Damn hippies, inventing words. No good ever came of that.
Alternate is a perfectly good word. No need to tack an "-ive" on the end.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

I have a different opinion to Parzival's therory. The word alternate means means either every other or substitute. What Parzival puts forward are 'additional' facts which do indeed complete the story. When the term alternative is used it implies there are two sets of facts on the same subject which is about as plausible as an alternative universe. Historians will state therory of events, even though some will claim their therories are facts.

Also, it is my opinion that the use of the term alternative facts is indefensible and comes in as Orwellian double-speak in my book.

Terrement06 May 2017 11:44 a.m. PST

"…an opinion is not fact"

Including yours?

GarrisonMiniatures06 May 2017 11:46 a.m. PST

The correct definition of 'alternate fact' is proaganda:

'information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.'

Toronto4806 May 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

All opinions can be facts and all facts can be opinions It all depends on the "POV" (point off view) of who is deciding.

All of history is full of alternate facts that are used by proponents to support their opinion so that their opinion becomes a fact to all.

A Simple example can be seen by looking at an election where one candidate (Mr A) receives a 60% majority of the votes cast from the 70% of eligible voters who actually voted. So two facts can be stated and both are true First "Mr A has received the support of 60% of the voters ' Second "58% of eligible voters did not choose Mr A"

Both statements are true but the effect and subsequent POV's will be determined by how the results are presented and then understood.Selective facts are then alternate facts

Buff Orpington06 May 2017 12:51 p.m. PST

Alternate is a perfectly good word. No need to tack an "-ive" on the end.

Two nations divided by a common language. In British English they are both good words.They do have different meanings though.
Alternative implies some sort of optional choice as in "Some people think Quorn is an acceptable alternative to meat". Alternate is much less common in the basic form, it is more common to use alternating or alternative.

Don't get me started on your nation's crimes regarding a form of criminal activity though.
If someone breaks into a property to steal something they burgle it, they do not burglarise it. the perpetrator is a burglar, your form would suggest he is a burglariser. The crime is burglary, it is not burglarisation. I blame 24 hour news channels, long, ridiculous word constructs help to fill the bulletins.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 2:06 p.m. PST

Terrement, my opinions are not fact, they are opinions. To state an opinion as fact is just wrong. If I say "20mm figures are terrible" I am stating an opinion as if it were fact and numerous folks out there would tell me I'm wrong. If I were to state "I think 20mm figures are terrible" then no one could tell me I'm wrong: they could disagree but that's fine. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions, no exceptions.

TNE230006 May 2017 6:29 p.m. PST

big bang theory
fact vs opinion

YouTube link

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 7:00 p.m. PST


No, you are incorrect. The correct definition of "alternative fact" is "a fact which supports an alternative conclusion or opinion to the one being presented by those citing another fact as support of their position." Literally, that would be the meaning, both in definition of terms and implication of the original use.
Your attempt to make it a synonym of "propaganda" is linguistically incorrect. Rather, that statement is simply your opinion. It is not fact at all, but rather how you emotionally respond to the term, which is evidenced by your use of the word "propaganda," which is a loaded term full of emotional subtext and negative connotations, despite the fact that not all propaganda is actually negative or stems from negative intent, nor even necessarily misleading ("Buy War Bonds!" "Loose Lips Sink Ships!" "Keep Calm and Carry On" are all examples of propaganda, which I would say are not in any way negative, biased, or misleading).
So, then, rather than trying to convey a factual statement based on logic, you are offering your personal opinion, centered on an emotion-based statement intended not to further discussion, but to cut it off. Unfortunately, that seems to have become the driving nature of our current world climate, with no one willing to hear what anyone else has to say, especially if that person is offering either information or opinion contrary to one's own, or to the accepted conventional wisdom embraced by whichever group currently holds the metaphorical media bullhorn and purveys said views to the crowd (an example, by the way, of propaganda). Thus, rather than reasoned discourse, we are instead subjected to constant retweets of half-baked Twitter rants, shouted slogans which really don't bear on the matter at hand, vague accusations of unclear nefarious deeds or intent, and insult after insult, all offered at full volume in an attempt to drown out anything the other side has to say.
The Western world has apparently turned into whining bands of five year olds yelling "No! You're the poopy-head!" at each other. And then crying that the other side was mean to them.

Ah, well. Keep calm and carry on.

GarrisonMiniatures07 May 2017 12:38 a.m. PST

Of course it's my opinion based on my observed useage of the term in a modern context.

You don't like the facts? Either put put forward something that is untrue but furthers your own agenda and call it an 'alternate' or 'alternative' fact, or simply call the true version the 'alternative' fact with your (untrue) version as the fact.

The nearest historical example I can really find is 'propaganda'. Hence my statement. And note I haven't put a 'good' or 'bad' connotation on it – propaganda can be useful to raise morale, for example.

The point about language is that it isn't fixed – it changes all the time. Further, the changes depend on people – and other than technical language the new uses or changes are (my opinion) mainly based on emotion, not logic. You can come up with a completly logical word that doesn't catch the population's imagination – it dies. Or a totally inaccurate one becomes a meme.

People ARE willing to hear what others are saying. It's just that, being human, they will often choose what to believe and what to ignore. Sometimes what they choose to believe isn't the same as what you (or I) may believe. However, what people believe is a separate issue to what people say!

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 4:57 a.m. PST

In an attempt to steer the thread back to its original intent this is an example to which I was referring:

Fact – The rule book is 280 pages long.

Opinion – I feel the rule book is too long.

Opinion stated as fact – The rule book is too long.

When you state you're opinion as fact and then attempt to defend it as fact, as tends to happen here on TMP with more than a few posters, I feel it makes you out to be the south end of a north bound mule.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 5:15 a.m. PST

One event reported two different ways:

Secret Service agents were involved in another scandal
involving prostitutes while escorting government
officials in a South American country.

Agents of the Presidential protection detail were
involved in another scandal while working in a
South American country.

Same event, slightly different ways of reporting it.
Some would construe one to be an alternative to the
other, but t'ain't so, McGee. The central fact remains
the same in each recounting.

Cacique Caribe07 May 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

And chronology means nothing when people pick out which facts to hold on to.

Just try telling a Brazilian that Cabral didn't discover Brazil. Even if you show him Pinzon beat him him by a few months, they will continue to say it was Cabral.

PS. Then they get into an argument over what "discovery" means. It becomes almost like a Clintonian (what the meaning of the word 'is' is) quagmire.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 9:33 a.m. PST

Garrison, I trust you realize your entire post was opinion, not fact. You made assertions without evidence, conclusions without facts offered in support, and arguments based on interpretation of events, not the examination of the events themselves.

But otherwise, I completely agree that language changes. But when the argument becomes about someone's admittedly clumsy, off the cuff phraseology rather than the intent of the statement and the actual factual matters offered behind it, then the notion that any logical debate is taking place is self-deluding. I think that's a problem. Too much of what passes for debate on any subject is often just attempts to overly parse language to cast a statement into question or negative connotation, when in fact doing so is taking the statement out of context and intent. Indeed this is most often not even attributable to simple misunderstanding, but is instead a deliberate effort to deceive, or at least obscure understanding or misdirect the discussion. What results is not understanding or agreement, but confusion and disarray.

GarrisonMiniatures07 May 2017 10:14 a.m. PST

er… 'Of course it's my opinion based on my observed useage of the term in a modern context. '

So, yes.

GarrisonMiniatures07 May 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

The main reason for not offering the type of evidence that would be needed is simple. The primary source I would use would come under the heading of politics…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

True, true. Best not go any further in that direction, lest we run afoul of the local constabulary. grin

Well, it has been, for me, an enjoyable discussion, which statement is both a fact and an opinion. grin

The Tin Dictator07 May 2017 2:08 p.m. PST

I don't think so.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 6:50 p.m. PST

And that's your opinion.

evil grin

GarrisonMiniatures07 May 2017 9:57 p.m. PST


Streitax08 May 2017 7:51 p.m. PST

Now I remember why I dropped my supporting membership and only scan the page a couple of times a month.

jefritrout09 May 2017 6:03 a.m. PST

In respect to alternate facts…

At my job there was a stabbing over the weekend. The victim was observed by different witnesses arguing with rather heatedly with two different people at different times the day before the attack. If you talk with witness #1, he presents many facts about the case. Witness #2 presents alternate facts. They are both had valid facts, but they lead to very different conclusions about who perpetrated the crime.

Lawyers are very good about "alternate facts". They quite early learn about "alternate facts" in law school and use those words commonly. That term is recognized by lawyers as a perfectly valid term. It is when that term entered the realm of politics by a person with law school training that all of a sudden it is taken with a sinister meaning by those opposed to that politician. If you discuss it with a lawyer and get beyond the politics of the matter, then most will admit as much.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2017 4:24 a.m. PST

By definition there can only be one fact. And is a fact. There can be disagreements as to what that fact is, and that is what the jury is to decide. What witnesses present are not facts, they are presenting versions of what they saw. A fact would be that the victim was seen in some form of communication with a suspect before the crime. What that lead to is not a fact but conjecture or opinion. When lawyers put forward "alternate facts" they themselves will admit that these are not facts but rather what they want the jury to believe to be facts. (any cop or lawyer will tell you that witnesses are the worst form of evidence) A fact is something that can not be refuted. That doesn't mean that an eye witness can't present a fact but because they believe it to be true does not make it a fact. A thumb print of the suspect was found on the murder weapon can be a fact but whether or not the suspect killed the victim is only opinion until a conclusive fact is found. Conclusive facts are rare in legal cases that go to court because they are indisputable. Anything that is subject to dispute is not a fact plan and simple.

I started this thread to complain about people expressing their opinions as facts when discussing wargaming rules, figures, movies, etc. I was referring to statements such as "movie X is boring" which is an opinion stated as fact. I wasn't clear about that and people took the thread to the edge of what is allowed on TMP. I apologize for not being clearer and regret starting this thread.

This is going to lead me to another rant about things that annoy me on TMP so I will just shut off my computer and leave this thread for good.

Bowman08 Jun 2017 5:10 a.m. PST

Private Matter, I found your explanations succinct and to the point. Don't be discouraged about your postings. They are very welcome and needed on TMP.

Hafen von Schlockenberg08 Jun 2017 10:54 a.m. PST

Anyone looking for case studies in the confusion between fact and opinion (I prefer the term "value judgement") here on TMP,can make a visit to the GW board.

I'll be hiding now.

Bowman13 Jun 2017 1:04 p.m. PST

……can make a visit to the GW board.

I thought you were going to say the Science board. (Is there room for me to hide too?)

Hafen von Schlockenberg16 Jun 2017 7:45 p.m. PST

Try under the sofa. No room here.


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