Week 5 – My Opinion?

What Exactly is an Opinion?

Here's how the dictionary defines opinion:

a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
the formal expression of a professional judgment: (to ask for a second medical opinion.)
Law. the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.
a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.: (to forfeit someone's good opinion.)
a favorable estimate; esteem: (I haven't much of an opinion of him.)

toy looking at dictionary

Dictionary is my friend

What Is a Fact?


Fax, Facts, Factoids

Here's what the dictionary says.

something that actually exists; reality; truth:
something known to exist or to have happened:
a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true:
something said to be true or supposed to have happened: (The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.)

On What Can I Make Authoritative Statements?

After graduating from the USAF Academy in 1965, I was an Air Force officer for 26 years, a pilot, instructor, staff officer, and Professor of Aerospace studies at San Jose State University. So, according to the third bullet for fact, I can speak about life in the USAF and the various commissioning programs.

USAFA Chapel

I worked seven years for MetLife and was a Certified Life Underwriter or CLU. So I can speak with authority about Life insurance and that industry. I also was licensed for Property and Casualty Insurance, so I can speak about Auto and Home insurance (including Flood Insurance).

I am a software engineer, having developed computer based training for the USAF logistics systems. 

I am also a world class authority on what I like and don't like. So, while I can't tell you whether a movie, book, TV show or restaurant are "good" or "bad", I can tell you if I like them or not.

I am also a student of life, an observer, and am qualified to make those observations known if someone asks me. I read good books, including THE Good Book, and can say when asked my opinion, "The Bible says...". I enjoy reading Emerson this week (Essay on Compensation), where he says essentially the same thing that Jesus said many years ago.

Emerson: A man cannot speak but he judges himself. ...You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong. ... The thief steals from himself. The swindler swindles himself.

Jesus, according to the Bible: Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you....For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Emerson: Love, and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much as the two sides of an algebraic equation.

Jesus: But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Now, What Is Your Opinion?

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