Saturday, July 07, 2007

Facts and Opinions

I recently ran across a clever quote attributed to a lady named Bethania McKenstry: "I'm not sure I want popular opinion on my side. I've noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts."

As you, regular reader, might suspect, that's a quote that resonates with me.

Particularly nowadays, when so many seemingly intractable problems face us, it's more important than ever to be well-informed so that we form our opinions on critical issues on the basis of the best information available. Unfortunately, for many people "facts" are malleable things which can be adjusted to suit the requirements of political correctness, party orthodoxy, or rigid religious belief. Popular opinion tends to be warped by these insidious opponents of clear and unbiased thinking.

As I admit in my profile for this blog, I have an opinion on just about everything. And I certainly don't claim to be immune to the stresses placed on facts when forming those opinions. But I like to think that I think things through a little better than many others, and thus form somewhat more clear-headed opinions...even though these may be at odds with prevailing popular opinion.

The message: don't view facts as inconvenient things to be twisted or ignored when they don't fit your previously-conceived notions. Rather, view them as springboards to vigorous and independent thought that leads you to make the best-informed decisions you can on the issues that face us today.

I have three and 8/9 grandchildren whose futures depend on your ability to make intelligent and clear-headed choices about serious issues. Don't let them down.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


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