I would like to start a forum reference to the difference between fact and belief. I have heard several arguments wherein a fact is subject to interpretation. Would anyone care to elaborate? I think this is key when discussing deities as the origin of life.


My contention is that facts are facts, these are facts that we apply to our observations as constants. Such as in Newtonian physics, it is a fact that if a person drops a ball one million times, it will hit the floor a million times. Without variables of course. This is a fact. How could this be subject to interpretation rendering this a belief, or opinion? I contend it is not, but I would love to hear any insight as to this subject.


Thank You



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Philosophy is far from extinct either in the philosophy departments or in the hands of people (like cosmologists, political scientists, psychologists) who are doing it whether they call it that or not.

No one in any other field is going to be worse at what they do for having a few philosophy and logic courses under their belt.

"whether they call it that or not"

Beautiful. Thank you.

Indeed.  I'll go with Unseen on this one.

You will often find philosophers "arguing" for hours when what what is really happening is one is trying to ensure they actually understand what the other one is saying.  It's a lengthy process because they deal in abstractions a lot.

Por supuesto que si, mija, por supuesto que si, como siempre.

Two guys are standing in a lab. One turns to the other and says, "Did you see that?"

Second guy says, "Yep."

First guy says, "Good, It's a fact."

There's a funnier way to put it, but I have my serious hat on. Basically, if people see it with a minimal amount of information, and with only perfunctory explanations of parts they don't understand, then it's a fact.

If you first have to convince them that it's real, then you have to dodge the more difficult questions that your model doesn't explain but should, or you have to speak in metaphors in order to trick people into thinking they understand it, then it's a belief.

I say facts are facts, regardless of whether or not we observe them, but when we observe them we may describe them/remember them differently.  To get our facts straight, the event purported to be fact should be repeatable and upon repeated observation should render extremely similar descriptions.

Beliefs can be just about any idea in your head, from actual facts to random superstitions.  Well justified beliefs - those based on facts and well formulated interpretation of those facts - are what I call 'knowledge'. 

Facts are impervious to our opinions and affect our logical mindset.  Beliefs are steeped in our opinions and affect our emotional mindset.  You can have your own beliefs.  You cannot have your own facts.

Facts are what is the case. A belief is basically no more than attitude or opinion about somthing which may or may not be the case.

Can you explain what you mean by "is the case"?

I think you're creating another false dichotomy, @Strega.

In which group does a scientific theory fall, for you?  Fact, or belief?

Facts are often affected by our mindset, because our mindset determines what observations we choose to make, and the weight we give to each observation.  Beliefs are often affected by what we have observed and had experience with, which are "facts" of our personal history.

Fact: what it is.

belief: what i think it is. 


"Fact: what it is.

belief: what i think it is."

Simple and to the point...I like that.


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