Facts are not opinions. Assertions have to do with what is. Assessments have to do with what is possible. Does CNN present both sides when discussing “two plus two equals four”?
The fact that scientists have not proven an assertion to be incorrect does not warrant the assessment that it (the assertion) is possible/true.
Florida is currently “in the News” because of the Trayvon Martin homicide. Several members of the national media are “searching for the truth.”
I began my search for the truth about 1957. A couple of young-looking Chinese Americans were pictured on the front of Parade Magazine. T. D. Lee and C. N. Yang had been awarded the Nobel Prize for predicting non-conservation of Parity. See http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1957/.
I learned quickly that chemistry was not my path to the truth. In the calculation of pH (a measure of the acidity/alkalinity of a solution), a term of the order of 10**(-14) was ignored in the denominator. The other term was 10**0 (which is 1). It was clear that the social sciences were not my path to the truth.
Pure mathematics was my favorite area but it was divorced from the Real World. My search for the truth (and funding) led me into Physics. Although I was searching for the truth, there was no question about the criterion for truth. It had to be reasonable, self-consistent, and coherent. To be “reasonable,” it had to be consistent with all the facts. In 1957, I did not have any questions about what is a fact. I had no conscious awareness of truth needing any criteria.
About 1970, I bought two paperback books by W. S. Sahakian and M.L. Sahakian. One described 17 theories/conceptions of Truth. Authority, revelation, intuition, correspondence, coherence, and pragmatism are the ones I can recall.
A few years ago, I discovered the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I learned that Realism is controversial. [ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism/] Neophytes should start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism. [As of April 2, 2012, the Wikipedia entry is short, informative, and, probably, accurate. It would be helpful if it addressed whether “common sense” is related to Thomas Reid.]
If Realism is controversial, does that imply that Arithmetic IS an Opinion?
I am involved in a domestic dispute in Florida. The facts can be rather accurately described in numbers. A Motion for Rehearing has been granted. There is reason to believe that Justice will prevail. However, the current Final Judgment of the Court is incredulous to those of us who know the truth.
I, a male who was removed from the State of Florida by concerned relatives, have been Profiled as a Male who left the State, abused his wife, and made Big Bucks at Harris. The case is backwards. My wife engaged in occasional Male Perogative, she was never a stay-at-home wife; she always did whatever she wanted to within the limits imposed upon her by others. She did not get a job appropriate for her. She took the best job she could get and went back to school nights and weekends to get a second Master’s degree. She completed residency requirements in minimal time (making it impossible to be at home). In March of 2007, my wife and I had a difference of opinion about taxes. The State of Florida diverted me into a Domestic Violence Program. The only support for my wife was from a Domestic Violence Victims support group.
My wife’s first master’s degree qualified her to be a Director of Christian Education (DCE) in the United Methodist Church. A skill/talent for recruiting unpaid volunteers is appropriate for that type of work. I began to see my wife as abusing that talent/skill as we moved into the era of Knowledge Worker as an occupation. My former wife got a church member to set up a budget for her and “process” her data for her tax input. She had 11 bank accounts, most of them with Bank of America.
Because my former wife received help from people knowledgeable with Domestic Violence and Florida Family Law, I “have a history of Domestic Violence.” There are no forms identifying the person/persons who helped her prepare her reports. I do not deserve a history of Domestic Violence. My former wife does not have a history of Contempt of Court. She deserves such a history.
In a reasonable world, women would ostracize my former wife for her abuse of the system they worked to establish. In this world, I have to acknowledge that whatever the male says, “May be true.”
Proverbs makes various statements about the value of a reputation. If Arithmetic is an Opinion, how much should one spend on an Appeal?