Fact vs. Belief

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Nursing ・MLA ・2 Sources

Facts are correct things that can be verified or related to the experience. They differ from beliefs, preferences, tastes and opinions because their ability to be tested. For example, saying that 1809 is the year when Lincoln was born is a fact because there are records about his birth that can confirm such an assertion, On the contrary, when one says peas taste better than beans, it is just a preference that cannot be checked. In their turn, alternative facts can be defined as weak or shaky efforts to uphold or support what might be an individual’s truth as an actual fact. In this paper, the distinction between a fact and an alternative fact is made by referring to a verifiable reality and finding an objective proof or confirmation.

Facts are usually understood as information used to make an exact sentence true or things that a true sentence refers to. Individuals usually make decisions based on their discernments of which information pieces are facts. This is due to the considerations that conclusions based on non-factual or inaccurate data generate undesirable outcomes (Sagan 217). Therefore, it is important to consider and give sufficient weight to every relevant fact to prevent unconstructive results.  Facts are known to be true through the use of standard reference works. Specifically, scientific facts are confirmed by careful measurements or observations that are repeatable through means like experiments.

Legally, alternative facts are defined as unreliable sets of facts that the same party puts forth and gives believable or conceivable evidence that can support the alternatives. According to Trivers (114), people have a tendency of lying to themselves through active falsification of reality to the conscious mind, and this is through the application of alternative facts. People self-deceive themselves using the alternative facts and try to maintain what seems true to them as facts through unfounded evidences due to research impatience, constriction of hope, and superstitions thereby fueling alternative facts (Sagan 207). Researching on alternative facts can determine the information that is true and what continues to be an alternative fact.

People are at liberty to express their opinions without any ridicule, because these opinions can be the bases of scientific research upon which facts are derived. Therefore, the only means of telling whether a fact is true is by testing it. At the same time, a fact is only arrived at after disproving all the related alternative facts.

Works Cited

Sagan, Carl. The demon-haunted world: Science as a candle in the dark. Random House Digital, Inc., 1997.

Trivers, Robert. "The Elements of a Scientific Theory of Self‐Deception." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 907, no.1, 2000, pp. 114-131

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