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- Are personal beliefs or points of view which cannot be proven
- Are subjective
- A valid opinion is one where respected authorities on the subject agree with the opinion taken by the writer
The following statements illustrate the difference between a fact and an opinion:
- Durban is in KwaZulu-Natal.
- Durban is the most beautiful city in that Province.
The first example is a fact because it can be verified by checking an atlas. The second statement, however, is an opinion as the writer is giving a personal point of view that is debatable.
- Are concrete information
- Are verifiable in encyclopaedias, atlases, official government publications, reference books, etc.
- Are expressed in precise numbers and quantities or weights and measures, etc.
- Are generally not disputed as they are considered the truth
There are two kinds of facts:
- A defined fact which is created by consensus and is absolute, e.g. 5 + 1 = 6.
- An empirical fact which has been discovered as a result of investigation and is now proven to be the truth, e.g. the earth orbits the sun.