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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fact or Opinion?

Now that there's been a bit of time for thought and discussion on the question below, I'll say why I posted it. I remember when I was in elementary school, and they used to quiz us on the difference between fact and opinion. "The sweater is green... Fact." "The sweater is pretty... Opinion."

For that matter, "The sweater is good."

If I state that the sweater is good, or pretty, it's an opinion. My value judgments may or may not be reliable, but before any value judgment of mine can be considered empirical, I'd have to have perfect judgment and perfect values. Unfortunately, I do not. So when I say that something is good, it's an opinion. It may be a valid one or it may be a silly one; but either way, others may disagree with me.

God, on the other hand, is perfect. His judgment is perfect, and in fact anything that he deems to have value by definition has value. His perfection defines good. We, on the other hand, can only be good to the extent that we reflect Him.

So, I may be of the opinion that X is a good idea, God knows empirically that X is a good or bad idea. Because His "opinion" defines truth, it is no longer opinion, but fact.

It saddens me to see how far our society has come from this basic reality. Many people, and even institutions, hold the illogical view that my opinion can be right and at the same time someone else's contradictory opinion can also be right. Further, merely by stating such assertions, we elevate them to the level of truth (fact) rather than opinion. The only way we can be wrong, by this logic, is if we assert that it is possible to be wrong.

But we can't change certain truths. If we do not believe that God exists, we do not make Him cease to exist. If we do not believe that God made man in His own image, we may tarnish that image but it does not change the fact of our creation. And if we do not believe that the creation of man is very good it does not change the fact that God gave His opinion on the subject already... and His opinion is fact.

I don't know all of His opinions, and I probably disagree with quite a few because I do not yet know His ways; but where my opinions differ from Gods, there is one thing of which I can be certain. I am wrong, and God is right.