It’s Friday night and I have nothing better to do than listen to Cat Stevens.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
There are poor kids in this world who have nothing better to do than hang out with their mates on Friday nights.
There are rich kids who have nothing better to do than to do sit alone in their room on Friday nights.
There are kids with goatees who have nothing better to do than write poetry on Friday nights.
And then there are people like me, who have nothing better to do than listen to Cat Stevens belt out the lyrics to Bitter Blue at 11:31 PM on Friday nights.
Saying that we have nothing better to do, though, may be a fallacy. We always have something better to do. I could get up off my bum and run through the streets naked asides from the green gelatin all over my body. The poor kid could compose a symphony. The rich kid could go for a jog. The kid with the goatee could paint a portrait. What I mean to say is that we choose to do what we do, and, because we choose to do what we do, there’s nothing better for us to do.
I may not be making myself clear…
Looks like it’s time for an ice cream metaphor.
Say, for instance, you’re at an ice cream parlour and you order vanilla, while your neighbour orders chocolate, which one has chosen the best flavour of ice cream? Obviously, you would answer vanilla, while your neighbour would answer chocolate. So which one of you is right?
Surprisingly, neither of you. Or, more correctly, both of you. Chocolate and vanilla are both the best flavour of ice cream.
Now, you’re probably giving me a strange look. How can both of us be right? That doesn’t sound right at all…Well, you’re right. But so am I. Do you know why? Because what is right for me is not right for you.
There are no universal truths, only individual truths. Objectivity is just a river in Utah. Subjectivity is not. Or, more correctly, objectivity is subjective.
What I’m trying to say here is that, because you and your neighbour are different people, and thus have different values, it’s only natural that one of you prefers chocolate over vanilla, doubting over conviction, left over right, hanging with friends over writing poetry, and that, because it’s natural, it’s not wrong. It’s right. Or, more correctly, equally wrong.
What I’m not trying to say here is that it’s impossible to be wrong. When it comes to who the sixteen president of the United States was, where Perrier is bottled, or what colour Nightrider was, there is some sort of objectivity. While the sixteenth president could have been Satan himself, most people believe the sixteenth president was Lincoln, so you might as well humour them. The fact that Lincoln was sixteenth president is not stone solid, but is indeed fact, as people all agree on it.
On the other hand, though, the fact that Quentin Tarantino is a nutjob is not solid stone, and is not even fact, because practically no one can agree on it.
So, you see, both these examples are subjective, but one is just more subjective than the other, and because one is more subjective than the other, the most subjective fact cannot be considered fact but instead opinion. Contrariwise, the least subjective opinion cannot be considered opinion, but instead fact.
This can all boiled down to the statement that fact is just majority opinion.
You could also argue, however, that opinion is just minority fact with your neighbour, but you’d still both be right.