I started Carla’s Facts To Consider because I wanted to inform and educate people based on facts, and facts alone. I wanted a platform to speak out about important issues that left out my personal opinions on the subject.
Opinions can be right. Informed. Educated.
They can also be misinformed, uneducated, biased and completely wrong.
Facts, on the other hand, can’t really be disputed (although I’m always amazed at how many people try). They can be manipulated to support someone’s agenda – it’s hard to do, as you often have to omit information and carefully select what you want to mention – but it is possible to do. (However, I wouldn’t really call these ‘facts’. If you’re not giving someone the correct information, it’s not factual.)
However, the facts I choose are carefully selected (and not for the reason above).
I do not post about anything I’m not certain of. I don’t post about anything I’m even a little unsure of. (It’s why some of my Carla’s Facts focus on Australia only – because while I may have decent information about other countries, I literally won’t post something that’s an opinion in my fact posts. My opinions, thoughts, assumptions, ideas, doubts can go in other articles.)
Every single post in Carla’s Facts To Consider is heavily researched. Every single post comes from years of study and education.
Continous study (teachers have to, like you expect most professionals, have to do a certain amount of PD each year).
For example, when I discussed the death penalty, that argument was developed years ago when I had to complete a research essay in law. As legal assignments are rather large, and require an excessive amount of research, it took me six months to complete it (the usual time frame for law-based research assignments).
When I picked the death penalty to research, I entered it with the point of view that some people deserved to die for their crimes.
However, after weeks of research, my opinion changed.
Because of the facts.
Not someone’s opinion.
The fact was innocent people were executed all the time, and still are.
The fact was that, despite many people’s claims, it costs more to execute a man than it does to incarcerate him for life.
The fact was that people of colour were more likely to be sentenced to death than white people, and nothing has changed.
The fact was that justice wasn’t blind, or fair, or equal – and it’s still the same: just look at the Brock Turner case. He’s white, rich, privileged. (If he was black, I’m sure the judge’s reaction would be very different).
The fact was, despite the claims of “humane” executions, executions are botched all the time.
The fact was that even executions aren’t botched, it doesn’t make them any more humane.
The fact was that capital punishment has never served as a deterrent, and never will.
Facts changed my mind. It wasn’t about what I believed was right or wrong, it was about what the truth was.
While I listed a variety of references for everyone else in my death penalty post, I did so to make it clear it wasn’t a biased opinion.
What I presented were facts, and facts alone (however, I don’t expect everyone to have researched the death penalty for six months to present a legal argument while studying law. I expected people to have diverse opinions, based on facts that they had been presented with, the experiences that they’d had, and perhaps even where they lived).
You can believe certain people still deserve the death penalty, for whatever reason you want, and that’s your right.
It’s okay to have that opinion.
But, at the end of the day, whether you are for or against the death penalty, the facts don’t change.
That’s the purpose of facts.
As John Oliver once said (and I’m paraphrasing here, but you can argue endlessly that something is a fact. It doesn’t make it one, however. And please watch the video – John Oliver is both hilarious and amazing. You can argue endlessly that something is true or false, but that doesn’t make it so. Facts, on the other hand, are important.)
It doesn’t mean you’re right.
Hats exist. They cannot be disputed.
Neither can facts.
Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.
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John Oliver’s video: Feelings Are Not Facts