Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Facts are Clear: That's My Opinion!

What I propose to examine here is how we so easily criticize things which we don't like but tend to be less critical of things which agree with our own beliefs.

The idea for this article came after I had seen the accompanying photo on Facebook and re-posted it.

After a couple of comments were made on my posting, I decided to follow up and find the original webpage where this photo appeared and found that the article basically was opposing the US government's ban on marijuana.

I decided to look around that website to see what else they were publishing.  I found an article in which they are soliciting signatures for a petition to ban certain food dyes in foods sold in the US.

Now, it's OK in my view to campaign to support any cause anyone wants but when you compare these two web pages there is one stark contradiction that popped out at me.

The first article is critical of US laws that were formulated on opinions rather than proven health claims, and the second article cites laws in the UK prohibiting food colours as grounds to ban them in the US.  The second article does not examine the basis on which the UK laws were formulated, but the name of the website suggests that it has a built-in bias in favour of natural foods.

I haven't examined the basis on which the laws in the UK were passed, but far too often, even when there are scientific evidence backing up claims they may be Bad Science, which is gathered to support a previous bias of the people who are proposing the law in question.

In summary, I'm not passing judgement on either of these pages, just pointing out how this illustrates how easily we will use evidence without question when it supports something we believe in and yet criticize the same kind of evidence when we see something that doesn't support our beliefs.  

If we really want to be objective, we should be examining all evidence with the same degree of vigour.

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