Friday, April 11, 2008

You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts

In a recent column, Thomas Sowell presents a series of random thoughts - think of it as a "rant from an intellectual". One of those thoughts was this:

Among the many wise things said by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was that you are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. Yet an incredible number of people make up whatever "facts" are needed to support whatever they choose to believe.

Varied opinions are great. I might not agree with your opinions but I do support your right to have them. But in recent years I've noticed a disturbing trend, namely people inventing facts and theories ... that just coincidentally happen to support their [twisted] views.

In recent times, here are some of the more outrageous invented facts I've heard:

  1. 9/11 was a conspiracy of Bush et al and thus the invasion of Afghanistan was unlawful.
  2. No plane flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
  3. Cuba is the most democratic country in the world.
  4. China has a benevolent government and means no harm toward anyone.
  5. Canadian Conservative leader Stephen Harper, if elected, will take away the rights of women to have abortions, even if they're raped.
  6. The WW2 Holocaust is simply an invention of the Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy.
  7. The war in Iraq is still going badly for the Americans.
All of these statements are false. If you believe them then you are one of the people that Patrick Moynihan was warning us about. My advice: Start reading more credible literature.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why not provide a list of this "credible literature" that you say people should be reading?

For example, under what basis do you say that "the war in Iraq is still going badly for the Americans" is false?