Story Time: Get Your Facts Right

Senior year of high school I took Sociology as a filler class. The teacher played baseball at Vanderbilt to become a baseball coach, hence why he taught high school sociology. The class consisted mostly of watching sports movies and discussing the group dynamics. And by discussing I mean, him reading canned lectures in his best monotone voice.

I tell you this to bore you. Success.

The only interesting assignment in the class was a debate between groups. He picked the groups and we drew straws for what topics we would be arguing in favor of. After two weeks spent in a computer lab “researching” we were ready (to not care). My group’s topic was pro-euthanasia having to argue against an anti-euthanasia group. (Here’s the wiki link to Euthanasia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia) Neither group really had an opinion about the topic so it turned into free time. The debate consisted of both groups reading extremists views found on websites posted in the late 90s. Research in its purist form. At one point during the debate the other group gave this statistic.

“75% of people euthanized regret the decision afterwards.”

And then the debate went on for a few more moments until I called a timeout. I repeated the stat just to make sure I heard it correctly. It made no sense. How do dead people regret something? Where did they get this data from? Is there some sort of SurveyMonkey link you get after you see the white light? Did they not take a second to think about what they were saying? The debate quickly ended after that. I’m not sure who technically won but the sheer fact that I remember this story makes me think my group won.

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