Commentary and Philosophy Non-Fiction posted May 23, 2022

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Is there such a thing as truth?

Misinformation or Opinion

by Donna G. (aka Sam Duck)

Opinion Piece Contest Winner 

This is not a political argument, but it might sound like one. I don't know when I got political, or if the world just changed so that my views all fall on one side of the current political spectrum, but I notice that I have chosen a side without really trying. Anyway, this isn't political.

I read an article on social media, written by someone I didn't know. It sounded ludicrous to me, and it had thousands of comments with people arguing one way or the other about it. It said that the words 'disinformation' and 'misinformation' should not exist.That information is just information, and that everyone can decide what to believe for themselves.

That is saying that there is no such thing as true and false. That everything is up for debate. As I thought about it, I thought, well, maybe... If I said the sky is blue and you said it was green, is one or the other fact, or does it depend on your situation, your opinion? You might be wearing coloured glasses, or just see colours differently. To you it might be green. People can listen to your opinion and to my opinion, and make up their own minds about the sky. I think that was the argument the original poster was trying to make; that everything is fluid, neither true or false, only how you see it to be, and we should accept people's alternate facts as being how some other people see things.

My argument though, (I didn't respond to the post, I'm just going to argue the point here), is that there are verifiable truths out there. If I pick up a cup and say "There is poison in this cup", and you say " No, it's milk!" Do we just get to have our own opinions on it? What if you take that cup full of poison, (or milk), out to other people and tell them it's milk. Not misinformation? Just sharing your opinion? You see where I'm going with this, right?

If you doubt that I am telling the truth, verify it! If there are verifiable results that say for certain I am telling the truth, do you get to keep your original opinion and still offer the cup to people as milk? You are now fully aware that it is not milk. Would that not be misinformation, or to be more succinct, a lie? If you wished that what was in the cup was milk and were trying to justify the fact that it was just proved in verified tests to be poison, would it not be disinformation that you were spreading?

Would you try to throw doubt on the verification by saying things like "People who didn't drink from the cup die, too, you can't prove that the person I gave a drink from the cup died from what was in the cup." "Look it up - milk is white, what's in the cup is milk, it must be milk." "I heard from my friend's brother's next door neighbor that he drank what was in the cup and didn't die and he said it tasted like milk." "They just want you to think it's poison because they want all of the milk for themselves!"

Setting aside my example above, what kind of a world would we live in if there was no such thing as truth? As lies? If I went to the store and told my husband I didn't, is that a lie, or just my opinion of events? Nobody could trust anyone. You could not depend on anything in life.

No. I refute the whole idea as claptrap. No one's opinion trumps facts. Nor does it equal the opinion of someone who is educated in the field I am verifying. There is such a thing as misinformation, disinformation and propaganda, even when (especially when) I have to admit that sometimes I fall for it.

But that's just my opinion.

Writing Prompt
Share an opinion on something that is happening in your world. Here is your soapbox, argue your case. Back it up with examples, scenarios and/or facts. Poem or prose, fiction or nonfiction, author's choice.

Opinion Piece
Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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© Copyright 2022. Donna G. (aka Sam Duck) All rights reserved.
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