One of my habits I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to curtail is when I talk about, say, a movie I like in a way that sounds as if I’m representing everyone.
“That was a great movie!”
A lot of the time, people agree. But there is the odd person who’s just not that into it.
What I’m really saying is “I liked that movie heaps!” – if people don’t agree, well, they must be out of touch with reality and need to get real (I’m being facetious).
I guess if I added at the start of the sentence, the words “To me…” that might help clear it up – it’s my opiniong.
But this isn’t a legitimate practice with facts.
Consider how strange these sound:
“To me, Paris is the capital of France”
“To me, 2 + 2 = 4”
These are facts, not opinions.
What about this one:
“To me, a foetus isn’t a human, it’s a blob or something”
Well, sticking “To me” on the start is a category error (a ‘fact’ statement masquerading as opinion). A foetus is whatever it is – no-one just gets to ‘decide’ what it is.
Let me segue into a related topic. Whether the person stating the fact is an ‘expert’.
Sure, if I get conflicting statements on my car – one from my mechanic and one from my grandma, I’m probably going to trust my mechanic. But that doesn’t mean I can automatically rule out my grandma on the basis of her not being a mechanic (hey, she might actually be right about the car!).
Heck, I could meet a talking pie who tells me the Earth orbits the Sun – the pie wouldn’t be a liar just because it’s a pie.
In the same vein, a man stating facts about foetuses being members of the human family isn’t automatically wrong – facts are facts, right?