Witnessing on Goodpoint is the use of one’s own senses to determine a fact. For example, it is seeing or hearing something but also includes the reliance on instruments, like a microscope, hearing device, or camera.

I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers.

—Isaac Asimov

What does "obtaining factual information" mean?

Factual information on Goodpoint simply means statements that are true. Obtaining it simply refers to when a person becomes aware of it. And firsthand simply means that it was perceived directly through their senses. Therefore, obtaining factual information refers to when a person becomes aware of something that they directly sensed.

Because people routinely use instruments to detect information they might not otherwise become aware of (e.g., a thermometer to measure temperature or a camera to record events when they are not present), obtaining factual information includes when a person uses such a device.

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.

-Marilyn vos Savant

What does "senses" refer to?

Senses on Goodpoint simply refers to the ways that a person can perceive reality. In other words, seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting.

When is witnessing faulty?

Witnessing is faulty when the conclusion a person makes is false. A person can mistakenly interpret what they sense or the instrument they're using can make an error or be manipulated. Like many tools, witnessing is not flawless but can still be valuable.

Chance favors only the prepared mind. Knowledge comes from noticing resemblances and recurrences in the events that happen around us.

—Louis Pasteur