Opinion vs fact

Itsme

Active Member
"Immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally are a very big problem for the country today." has a similar issue. "A very big problem" is deemed an opinion phrasing, but this is a statement of fact. The "opinion" here, is that the results of immigrants is a problem, not that immigrants contribute to what was deemed a problem. For instance if overpopulation is a problem, and immigrants lead to overpopulation, then immigration leading to a problem is a factual statement. The end result, "the problem" being a problem, is an opinion. This double meaning likely trips people up.
Notice how during your reasoning the term that is discussed shifts from 'very big problem' to 'a problem' to 'contribute to a problem' and back to 'leading to a problem'. First making the statement small enough so that one cannot disagree (contribute to a problem) and from that feeling of agreement the statement is made bigger again (lead to a problem). This is a dangerous rhetorical tactic that you may have used unconsciously.

Everybody contributes to most of the problems in society, including overpopulation. But that is different from 'leading to a problem' and completely different from 'being a very big problem'.

Illegal immigrants contribute to the problem of overpopulation. But their contribution to the total population is small, so they do not 'lead to overpopulation'. And because of this small contribution, their presence certainly is not a 'big problem' in the context of overpopulation. So 'Illegal immigrants lead to overpopulation' is not a factual statement.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Illegal immigrants contribute to the problem of overpopulation.
Is there even a "problem" with overpopulation in the US?

Would "barring access to abortions contributes to the problem of overpopulation" be a true starement?

Would it reflect the actual main causes of overpopulation, i.e. a high birth rate and legal immigration, presumably?

For your edification, USA vs. Germany:
population-growth-rate-with-and-without-migration-1.png
population-growth-rate-with-and-without-migration.png

I am very sensitive to unsupported cries of overpopulation, because "Volk ohne Raum" (a people without space) was a German populist propaganda slogan in the 1930s that led to nothing good.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
US: 330 million people on 9.834 million km²
EU: 450 million people on 4.233 million km²
so probably not..
True, but the distribution is extreme. Six states (including some very large ones) have a population under a million, and eight more have a population under two million. There's a full list here:

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_population


This is a list of United States of America states by population as of 2019. The list was made using the 2019 Census estimates taken by the United States Census Bureau. The total population of the United Stateswas 330,150,668 at the December 2019 Census.

These numbers include all people other than people just visiting: These include citizens, non-citizen permanent residents and non-citizen long-term visitors. People in the military who are working in other countriesand their families are counted in their home state.[1] The United States of America is the third most populous country in the world, behind China and India.
Content from External Source
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
migrants and illegals don't live on the icefields of Alaska, in the desert, the Badlands or in the millions of acres of forest. So this general overpopulation discussion makes no sense.
 

obiwanbenobi

Active Member
5/5, i didn't know the facts and couldn't answer as if i knew so i guessed without looking things up. i probably entirely missed the point of the quiz and don't have the brain right now to dig into it further. will keep this in mind for further thought some evening. :)
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
You can prove this by showing maps of ISIS territory at the start and at the end of 2017. It's a fact.
Sure, but the key word there was "significant." At what point did the territory loss become "significant?" At 10%? 20% Or would siginifcance not really be measured in how many square miles/kilometers -- would the loss of a whole lot of empty dessert, say, be more or less significant than the loss of a city with lots of population, manufacturing, a refinery maybe, but very few square miles/kilometers? What does the word "significant" mean -- is it capable of a factual definition, or is it a matter of opinion?
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Sure, but the key word there was "significant." At what point did the territory loss become "significant?" At 10%? 20% Or would siginifcance not really be measured in how many square miles/kilometers -- would the loss of a whole lot of empty dessert, say, be more or less significant than the loss of a city with lots of population, manufacturing, a refinery maybe, but very few square miles/kilometers? What does the word "significant" mean -- is it capable of a factual definition, or is it a matter of opinion?

An important point. Is the use of the word "significant", given the context, a subjective opinion or an objective fact? If a fact, is it rather a qualitative fact under certain military criteria rather than a quantifiable fact by percentage of area lost by ISIS.

If the loss of ISIS territory caused operational constraints on ISIS to such extent as to change the course of war, then it was objectively a significant loss of territory from a military perspective. But not because of some fixed percentage figure arbitrarily defined as a threshold value for "significant" loss of territory in every conflict.
 

captancourgette

Active Member
Yes words like significant are a 'large' reason why lawyers 'earn' their money. Arguing over interpretations and what law X really means

Whats that old 'fact' something like you can fit the whole worlds population with a moderate sized apartment each into the grand canyon.
OK I couldnt find it, just something like you can easily fit 7.2 billion ppl into the grand canyon
I done some rough equations
4.17 trillion cubic meters / 8 billion ppl = ~521 m^3, so yeah you could give everyone on earth a > 150m^2 apartment each inside the grandcanyon
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
An important point. Is the use of the word "significant", given the context, a subjective opinion or an objective fact? If a fact, is it rather a qualitative fact under certain military criteria rather than a quantifiable fact by percentage of area lost by ISIS.

If the loss of ISIS territory caused operational constraints on ISIS to such extent as to change the course of war, then it was objectively a significant loss of territory from a military perspective. But not because of some fixed percentage figure arbitrarily defined as a threshold value for "significant" loss of territory in every conflict.
A question that forces you to guess what property has now qualitatively changed is still a bad question in this context. Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect would say that a scout being temporarily blinded by glare because a tree on the horizon has been trimmed by approaching antagonists could "change the course of the war", so even your self-evidently "significant" example criteria isn't objectively decidable. The question writers could easily have substituted "majority" or even "most" for "significant" in that question, and the problem would have gone away. Hindsight's 20/20, it's a shame when such things are overlooked when they clearly did put so much effort into study design.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect would say that a scout being temporarily blinded by glare because a tree on the horizon has been trimmed by approaching antagonists could "change the course of the war", so even your self-evidently "significant" example criteria isn't objectively decidable.

At least not objectively decidable by the lay person answering such questions. Militarily victory is usually objectively decidable if your logistics lines (no ammo, no food, no fuel) are disrupted, troops isolated and command & control structures (and staff) destroyed which is effectively what happened. Such losses can be objectively defined as 'significant' for deciding the course of war. The loss of territory in some strategically important locations contributed to the foregoing, which had nothing to do with a 'significant' percantage of territorial loss which the unnecessarily ambivalent question seemed to imply.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Yes words like significant are a 'large' reason why lawyers 'earn' their money. Arguing over interpretations and what law X really means

Whats that old 'fact' something like you can fit the whole worlds population with a moderate sized apartment each into the grand canyon.
OK I couldnt find it, just something like you can easily fit 7.2 billion ppl into the grand canyon
I done some rough equations
4.17 trillion cubic meters / 8 billion ppl = ~521 m^3, so yeah you could give everyone on earth a > 150m^2 apartment each inside the grandcanyon
Hopefully Arizona Governor Doug Ducey isn't reading this...could see him trying to do it.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Sure, but the key word there was "significant." At what point did the territory loss become "significant?" At 10%? 20%
At what point does night become day? How light exactly does the sky need to be?

There's a gray area that delimits "night", yet there are many times when you can unequivocally say "it's night" and state a fact.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
At what point does night become day? How light exactly does the sky need to be?

There's a gray area that delimits "night", yet there are many times when you can unequivocally say "it's night" and state a fact.

There's more than one grey area!
 
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