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flo's avatar

What does "alternative facts" mean?

Asked by flo (13313points) September 17th, 2020

As asked.

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29 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

It means lies.

SergeantQueen's avatar

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Tropical_Willie's avatar

Lame excuses !

With a lot of words !

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Similar to the bs that obe wan kanobi that he shoveled to Luke Skywalker about who killed his father.
A certain point of view.

Kardamom's avatar

It is a euphemism for incorrect, non-factual information, or lies.

One of Donald Trump’s employees, I think it was Kellyanne Conway came up with the term, when someone questioned her about a piece of information that was wrong, it was a lie, but she didn’t want to admit that it was a lie, as if what she said was merely a matter of opinion, which it wasn’t. It was a lie. Now the term is used when someone is jokingly referring to something that is known to be a lie.

Jeruba's avatar

^^ Exactly. And yes, it was Conway.

Here’s the original instance, on January 22, 2017, two days after Trump’s inauguration:

She’s a snake.

Response moderated (Spam)
Pandora's avatar

No such thing. Facts are facts. If I am looking at the sky and see the sun, it is a fact. That is the sun and no amount of trying to change that will happen. It is a fact that the sun exists. You can call it a million other names but it will always be the sun. An alternative to a fact would be fiction, or a lie so it cannot be called a fact. Facts are something concrete and can be proven. Fiction cannot be proven so is not a fact. The moment you prove something fictional then it becomes a fact and not an alternative fact. Just a plain ole fact. So it’s just a fancy way of saying I’m going to lie to you and you will accept it as if it were fact.

LostInParadise's avatar

Alternative facts are statements that may be true in an alternative Universe, but not in this one.

Glambarber's avatar

There is no such thing as alternative facts.

flo's avatar

So, if someone says ” It’s a fact that cigarettes are good for you.”
and you say “I have an alternative fact for you. Cigarettes are harmful to you.”

flo's avatar

… Maybe that’s not a good example. You’re not supposed to say “I have an alternative fact for you…..since that would be undermining your fact that “cigarettes are harmful to you”.

Jeruba's avatar

One of those statements is wrong and one is right. Two contradictory statements, one true and one false, are not alternative facts. That’s the point.

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

YARNLADY's avatar

Not necessarily a lie, example – the sky is blue….alternatively, the sky is black. Two people in the same room at the same time – “It’s cold in here ” “It’s hot in here”, alternative facts. or “I love snow, it’s so pretty” “I hate snow, it’s cold and it hurts my nose”

flo's avatar

@YARNLADY Good point.

LostInParadise's avatar

@flo and @YARNLADY , Take a look at @Jeruba ‘s Moynihan quote.

flo's avatar

@LostInParadise I looked at it. It doesn’t change that @YARNLADY‘s point is a good one.

janbb's avatar

I would suggest that Yarnlady’s examples are opinions rather than facts.

flo's avatar

It’s a fact that they feel that way. re. the snow, and the temperature. I missed the one about the sky the first time. @YARNLADY please elaborate re. the sky, although I don’t think I’ll change my mind about it.

LostInParadise's avatar

Let’s take the temperature example. The actual temperature is a fact. How people sense the temperature are also facts. There are no alternative facts.

flo's avatar

I’m thinking….

YARNLADY's avatar

A fact can be relative. Everyone knows the sky is blue, except at night, when it is black, or for that matter, except when it is pink or Grey or multicolored.

Think about a table. It is a hard surface, except it isn’t, really. It is a group of tiny atoms in constant motion.

flo's avatar

That’s is what I thought you were thinking re. the sky. But a regular table is a hard surface o though, even whatever the atoms are doing. Everything is made of atoms hard or soft or liquid or gas isn’t it?

LostInParadise's avatar

@YARNLADY , Things change with time. Nobody says that the facts about something are eternal. A person is a child at one time and later becomes an adult.

janbb's avatar

The term “alternative facts” cannot be understood in an intellectual or academic way as it is currently being used by politicians to discredit actual facts such as that a pandemic is occurring in the world. Saying that it is considered a hoax is by some considered an “alternative fact” doesn’t make it true; it is a lie.

There may be various true facts about an object such as that a table’s surface is hard and also that it is made of moving atoms. Those are both facts but one does not negate the other.

flo's avatar

“A table is made of moving atoms” and “It’s hard surface”, are both facts but they are not alternative to each other.

flo's avatar

How about “If I’ve always thought I’m brown eyed (even though I’m not at all) and I calim to be brown eyed, then everyone should describe me as brown eyed.”

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