The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Opinions are facts.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/1/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,541 times Debate No: 55870
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (27)
Votes (1)




Good day to anyone who is reading this. I am WilliamsP, a member of this great site, I am here to debate a very serious matter: I believe that opinions are facts.

I would like to establish common ground. If an individual accepts this debate, he or she will need to use the same definition I am using of "fact". That definition is provided by Merriam-Webster. That definition is, "something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence." We will use the following definition of "opinion", also provided by Merriam-Webster: "a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing."

I intend to have a highly serious, logical, enlightening debate. That is why I have put restrictions on who can accept this. I want the votes to be serious as well, which is why I have put Elo restrictions on who can vote.

Whoever accepts this debate will need to acknowledge and abide by all the rules. The will be no forfeiture at all. Please do not accept this debate if you cannot committ. Forfeiture, regardless of the reason, will result in the loss of conduct points. Sources, no matter how small or large, will be cited in a logical format. Proper spelling and grammar will be used. Do not accept this debate if you cannot follow these very simple rules.

This debate will have 5 rounds. Each debater will have 72 hours to respond with a maximum argument length of 10,000 characters. This debate will follow a specific and sophisticated structure. The first round will be simply acceptance and acknowledging the rules. The second round will be for main arguments. The third will be for final arguments and first rebuttals. The fourth round will be for counter-rebuttals. The fifth round will be strictly for conclusions, analyses, and summaries.

I must repeat, do not accept this debate if you cannot committ and/or are not intending to make this debate serious and logical. Do not accept this if you cannot abide by the rules. If you are considering accepting this, please think about it before you do it.

Thank you. I look forward to this.

Works Cited


Thanks for the interesting topic, Pro. I gladly accept. I acknowledge the complete validity of your proposed definitions of fact and opinion. I look forward to your main arguments in the next round.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, which I believe to be very interesting. He has accepted my rules and definitions. He agrees to make this debate highly serious, without any trolling, forfeitures, or otherwise unnecessary acts. I now allow this debate to commence.

On the quantum level, everything you think and believe is a fact. They exist. That corresponds with the definition of "fact" I provided. Honestly, the debate could end right here. However, I will argue not only the logical answer. I will also argue about how the brain functions.

The Logical Answer
Most individuals believe that a fact is something that is provable. This is somewhat true. You can "prove" an opinion by sharing your observations. However, "fact" and "proven" are not 100% synonyms, even though they are very similar in meaning. Merriam-Webster provides the following definition for "proven": "to show the existence, truth, or correctness of (something) by using evidence, logic, etc." [1]

According to a Vsauce video [2], "Plato famously said that the things we know are things that are true, that we believe, and that we have justification for believing. Those justifications might be irrationalor they might be rational. They might be based on proof, but don't get too confident because proven is not a synonym for true. Locally there are things that we can knowwithout needing proof without needing to even leave the house. Things that we can know as true by reason alone these are things that we know."

An opinion may not be accurate, but it is still fact. I have now made the logical answer. Now I will argue about the brain itself.

How the Brain Functions
The brain is a very complex and sophisticated organ. Not only does it keep you alive and control your body, but it also houses memories and knowledge. That brings me to another point: What is the definition of "knowledge"? Merriam-Webster provides the following: "awareness of something : the state of being aware of something." [3] Unless you are brain dead, you are surely aware of your own opinions. We use our senses to gather information about something or someone. This is common knowledge. However, we will need to explore the human brain a little further. I will use National Geographic as my source here.

Whether we hear a evidence being presented in a science class or we forge an opinion of a movie while we watch it, the process in the brain is essentially the same. "The brain and the rest of the nervous system are composed of many different types of cells, but the primary functional unit is a cell called the neuron. All sensations, movements, thoughts, memories, and feelings are the result of signals that pass through neurons." [4] Everything that you feel, know, or do is a result of neurons interacting and the brain working.

I have made two arguments supporting the notion that opinions are facts. First of all, there is the logical argument: opinions and thoughts exist, so therefore are facts. Then there is the scientific argument: the brain recognizes many things through the same process. You may hear a "fact" being presented in a class or you may produce an opinion as a result of your senses providing you information, but the process is essentially the same. I now look forward to my opponent's arguments.

Works Cited


As I begin debating this topic, I am compelled to first clarify to potential voters that this is by necessity a deductive argument from definition. To claim that placing the main contention of this debate on a semantic issue would by any means reduce the impact of the debate is incorrect. This debate is by necessity a semantic one. That being established, I move on to my argument.

P1: Existence Is Not Synonymous With Factuality

One would be hard-pressed to claim that existence guarantees fact. Existence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the fact or state of existing; actual possession of being. This debate is, however, not about whether opinions exist or are real. This debate is whether opinions are facts. There is a necessary fact of existence pertaining to opinions, but not necessarily a fact of factuality. So the main fallacy in my opponent"s case is that he claims that existence guarantees factuality. This is not the case. If we look further into my opponent"s definitions, we see key terms that contradict his inference of opinions being fact. His definition claims that facts must both truly exist and that they must have actual existence. This being established, we move to my second premise.

P2: Opinions Are Not Always True

Opinions may exist subjectively, but are not absolutes and are not true in an objective sense of the word. Beliefs, judgments, and ultimately opinions undeniably exist in the abstract sense of the word, but are neither ultimately true or actual. They are subjective, generally false, and exist only to the point that they are real. Beyond that, opinions are not true or actual, and as such are not facts.

C: Truth Negates Opinions As Not All Opinions Can Be True, So Opinions Are Not Facts.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his arguments. However, I will not accept that this debate is a semantic one, as my opponent claims. I wrote the following in the first round: "I would like to establish common ground. If an individual accepts this debate, he or she will need to use the same definition I am using of 'fact'." Therefore, my opponent must accept my definition of "fact."

As a reminder, this is not a semantic debate. We must use the same definition of "fact." In fact, a huge portion of my opponent's argument is true, but it uses another definition of "fact."

Rebuttal One: "Existence Is Not Synonymous With Factuality"
He begins to argue that existence is not synonymous with factuality. According to the definition I provided, it is actually. "One would be hard-pressed to claim that existence guarantees fact. Existence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the fact or state of existing; actual possession of being. This debate is, however, not about whether opinions exist or are real. This debate is whether opinions are facts." I believe my opponent somewhat misunderstood this debate. This debate is not about the truth of opinions. It is about the existence of these opinions and how the brain functions. It is about how the world works. It is about how humans gather information from our environments and forge opinions. It is about the processes in the brain. As I said in my arguments, the process of forging an opinion and being taught a "fact" is essentially the same, when it comes to the quantum level.

"His definition claims that facts must both truly exist and that they must have actual existence." That is one of the definitions of "fact", the one I am using. My opponent needs to realize that there are many definitions of "fact". Most words have more than one definition. Facts, according to one definition, are true pieces of information. Another is that they exist and are real. That is the definition I am using and the one this debate requires my opponent to use.

Rebuttal Two: "Opinions Are Not Always True"
I would like to define "true" now as well. In fact, Merriam-Webster offers three definitions. I will list two of them.

"agreeing with the facts : not false"


"real or genuine"

I will indeed use the second definition, the one this debate intends to use. My opponent uses the other, while greatly misinterpreting this debate. When my opponent uses the other definition, there is a major paradox. In my arguments, I showed that "fact" and "proven" are not 100% synonyms.

The human brain uses very complex processes in order to forge memories and knowledge. Whether something is a "fact" - a paradox, I presume - or an "opinion", the process is essentially the same: neuron connections are forged, the brain obtains information through the senses, and we forge perceptions of something or someone based on those observations.

This is clearly not a semantic debate. I believe this should be evident if you have read my opening statements in the first round. My opponent's arguments are mainly true, but, again, they use the other definition of "fact" the one this debate does not intend to use.
I believe the main disagreement between my argument and my opponent's is definitions. But, as I have said before, this is not a semantic debate. I hope this is clear. If there is any confusion - from the viewers, voters, and my opponent - please make me know. I want to be as clear as I possibly can. I believe everything should have been evident after having read the first round, but that does not seem to be the case.
I look forward to my opponent's rebuttals. I hope he realizes this is not a semantic debate.

Works Cited



My opponent seems to miss the point of my original contention. If this debate were simply "Opinion=Existence, Existence=Fact, Opinion=Fact" it would not be a debate at all. I did in fact accept my opponents definitions provided in round one, but I never agreed to accept his interpretations of those definitions. So, I will briefly re-summarize my previously stated argument in a way that hopefully sheds more clarity on where I am coming from.

1. Opponent's View: A=B, B=C, therefore A=C

2. My Contradiction: A=B, B=C+Truth(or objective reality),therefore A=/=C necessarily

This debate becomes a semantic one not because I disagree with my opponents definitions, but because he overlooks key terms in said definitions. "Actual existence". "Truly exists". This implies that there are things that exist in a technical abstract sense of the word, but do not actually and truly exist. That is where my contention of objective reality or "truth" comes in as the necessary variable between opinion and fact. Were this debate labeled "Opinions exist" my duty here today would be much more burdensome. However, I have shown that there is additional necessary criteria for a technically existing opinion to become a truly existing fact.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent makes great arguments, I must admit. However, these arguments contradict the rules I have implemented in this debate. They go against my definitions. They are accurate, yes, but they follow a different route than mine.

My view of this matter, as my opponent pointed out correctly, is "A=B, B=C, therefore A=C." Well, in this particular case, that statement is true. It corresponds with the definitions I provided. It corresponds with the evidence I have presented.

My opponent tries to contradict my statements by claiming "A=B, B=C + Truth, so therefore A=/=C." This is semi-true, taken into consideration the definitions and the circumstances,

I see my opponent's case. I really do. However, it does not follow the definitions I made evident. Really, this debate has both sides. Both sides, as a matter of fact, are correct. However, depending on the exact definitions provided, one of these two sides will be more correct. In this debate, given the provided definitions, I am more correct.

Perhaps my opponent has interpreted this debate as a semantic one. I believe the interpretation to be wrong, but that is my view. Given the definitions, provided the circumstances, I believe I am correct.

Also, I would like to ask, why has my opponent not utilized sources? Of course, his arguments are logical and they work, but a source or two would strengthen his arguments.

I am a 14-year old, and I am not really experienced with semantic debates - if this debate is truly semantic, as my opponent claims. However, I am still confident that my stance is the correct one.


I will once again reiterate my contention in the hopes that it will be directly addressed in this final round. To begin, I will address my opponent's question as to why I have failed to provide sources. As my only contention with my opponents proposition is his interpretation of the definitions that we have agreed upon, I can offer no material evidence. As I said, my only contention is a semantic one. I will state for a final time my main contention with my opponent's interpretation.

Existence and Fact are not intrinsically synonymous. Our duty, then, is to determine why that is. In our mutually agreed upon definition, we see that a fact is defined as something that truly exists and has actual existence. Why must the dictionary quantify facts this way? Surely the dictionary is not using more words then necessary simply for the purpose of redundancy. It is because the difference between abstract existence and tangible fact is the actuality or "trueness" of the subject in question. That being qualified, not all opinions are facts although all opinions exist, and my opponent's conclusion does not stand.
Debate Round No. 4


I somewhat enjoyed this debate. Yet, I feel that my opponent has misinterpreted some things. First of all, this debate was never intended to be semantic. Secondly, my opponent has not provided direct rebuttals to my arguments. Thirdly, the main misinterstanding in this debate is definitions. My opponent could not accept my definitions, while I accepted his. Fourth, I made two arguments: logical and scientific. I argued about the definitions and then I argued about how the brain functions, which is undeniable. On the quantum level, everything is a fact. The brain's interpretation of "facts" and "opinions" and the processes associated with these are essentially identical.

I understand my opponent's case. I really do. I simply have an issue with his interpretation of this debate and the general structure of his arguments. This is strictly my opinion, which, depending on the definitions, is fact, which I am arguing in this debate. Opinions are facts because they exist within the brain. Opinions are facts, not because they are necessarily true, but because they are real processes within the brain. I argued two things, even though my opponent focused on only one.

My opponent has made a good case against the notion that opinions are facts, but I believe that my case was stronger. Please do not take away the conduct points simply because of these statements. This is my honest opinion, which I have a right to express. In conclusion, this debate was interesting, but it did have a few misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Thank you, and shall the better debater win! I wish my opponent good luck. If he wins, I accept defeat. If he loses, I will not be too proud and arrogant. I now close this entry to this debate.


Thank you for the very interesting debate, Pro. I will conclude with a few points of summation that also address my opponent's conclusion.

1. Whether this debate was intended to be semantic or not has little meaning when considering what made contesting this resolution possible. To have attacked it on other grounds would have virtually been debating a truism.

2. There is no need to directly offer rebuttal to specific arguments that rely solely on misinterpreted definitions. If one confuses capitalism and communism, I will not attack their evidence on political systems- rather their definition of said political systems.

3. I have been quite cautious in assuring that I do not stray from citing the direct wording of my opponents proposed definitions. Nevertheless, the portion about true existence vs. existence in general went uncontested.

Best of luck on your future endeavors, Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by WilliamsP 7 years ago
Gabe1e, you broke nearly every rule I incorporated. You ignored my opening statements. That is childish of you.
Posted by Gabe1e 7 years ago
You're right I didn't, you are wrong.
Posted by WilliamsP 7 years ago
@Gabe1e, I had this debate restart because you did not follow the rules. That round was for acceptance ONLY, while you simply went ahead and made your arguments. Also, you misinterpreted the debate. I also doubt that you even read my opening statements.
Posted by Gabe1e 7 years ago
Excuse me. What the heck is your problem? I am just stating facts that opinions are not facts. It's obvious.
Posted by Derpitygrin 7 years ago
...It is my opinion that you are wrong in that statement, and your statement is that opinions are facts, therefore my opinion about you being wrong is a fact, and opinions are indeed not facts, which means my opinion that you are wrong is not entirely factual, except it is, because I totally think you're wrong, so it's a fact that it's not a fact that it is a fact.

Posted by nicraM 7 years ago
I am obviously knew to this and feeling a bit stupid at the moment.

He mentions that we have to use the exact definition of fact and since an opinion is an event, it happens, ergo it is considered a fact under the guise of said rules.

But, can't I rebuttal him with the definition of opinion which has at least two points of contradiction?

Does the full burden of proof lay with me to prove him 100% in error?

Forgive me, I am still learning this whole debate structure.
Posted by Jonbonbon 7 years ago
@Jammccartney, he doesn't deny that it's a fact. He's saying it's unfair to start a debate that's a truism, meaning that it's impossible to debate that the Titanic wasn't sunk by an iceberg, since we know it sunk because an iceberg tore open the side of it.

As with this debate, it's impossible for the contender to win.

P1: Opinions actually exist.
P2: Something that has actual existence is fact.
C: Opinions are facts.

By accepting this debate, you automatically concede point 1 and point 2. The conclusion follows.

The debate isn't about whether the theories formulated by opinions are facts, otherwise that would be specified. Therefore, this debate is unfair. No one should accept this.
Posted by Mike_10-4 7 years ago
My Opinion is, all opinions are not facts.
Posted by jamccartney 7 years ago
Good, the debate has been restarted.

The titanic was actually sunk by an iceberg. Why do you keep denying that? or are you just making a joke?
Posted by Defro 7 years ago
Yeah WilliamsP instigates a lot of fixed debates where it's a free loss for anyone who accepts. 2 months ago he instigated a debate claiming the titanic was sunk by an iceberg.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was arguing against the seemingly impossible-to-win against truism, of course, and thus his slight different definitions of the words made sense. His angle of view of the argument was in such a way that he managed to contradict any of pro's logical arguments, and eventually proved them to be false--mere existence does not prove something to be true.... However pro had sources.

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