A few months back I wrote a post https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2022/02/10/contextually-speaking/. The comments from this post made me think of the following:

Is there such a thing as “truth” or are there only statements that can proven or disproven? Does truth really exist?

I went to our friends at merriam-webster.com for their definition of truth:

  1. the body of real things, events, and facts
  2. the state of being the case
  3. a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
  4. the property of being in accord with fact or reality
  5. fidelity to an original or to a standard
  6. sincerity in action, character, and utterance

What do you think of when you hear the word truth? Is there always going to be another side to the story, no matter what the story is? Does each individual own their own truth?

I had a conversation with someone the other day-

Person A- But you need to tell B that they are wrong

Me- I don’t tell adults what to think

Person A- But you should tell them statement 33

Me- I don’t tell adults what to think

Person A- did you tell them statement 35?

(this went on for a few minutes with different statement numbers entering the argument)

Me- Back in 1999, when you were stockpiling supplies and food and hiding money in the house because Y2K was going to be the end of the civilized world (no joke- Person A just finished those supplies like two years ago) did you listen to anyone who said you were crazy?

Person A- well, ahhh, ummm,

If someone believes something strong enough, does it become their truth? Will someone find their own facts and proof in order to back up how they think about something? Does truth exist?

Here are some talking points for today:

  1. How do you define truth?
  2. Is there something you believe in even though others do not?
  3. Do you think truth is individual or universal?
  4. Is there such a thing as truth?

65 thoughts on “The Truth

  1. I believe truth has many perspectives.

    There’s the one of having the real facts about smth. This one can’t be disputed no matter what. It’s like how water would turn to ice when you freeze it or how a video evidence shows someone stealing.
    You can’t possible dispute since it has been proven.

    Then there’s the aspect of believe where something that’s true to me isn’t to someone else. I think this is a messy scenario because it doesn’t become universal anymore, but rather it’s based on the individual. Kinda like how one event can mean different things to different people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the way you phrased that. Though I worry about the use of video as evidence…much depends on the angle…that could pose problems in itself

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. Every medium [human and non-human] still is limited to their perspective of the truth.

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  2. This topic is sooooo relevant for me. The truth is what people want to believe, choose to believe. Sometimes it is even conjured up to fit a situation. The truth unfortunately has nothing to do with right or wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think our truth varies with our perception of a situation. If the air conditioner is set at 70 degrees that will be just perfect for some—but too cold or too hot for others.

    Growing up in XYZ religion or going to ABC church could be great for some, harmful for others, especially depending on how your parents carry out and apply what they believe that religion stands for. I think the problem comes when those who have a great experience discount the stories of those who do not.

    I’ll never like sardines or asparagus–that is my truth–and you will never convince me otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. At one time I used to read a lot of marriage blogs and books. Many were convinced that their advice was the “truth”—-there were no shades of gray in a situation. I believe kindness should be a truth in marriage–but many other things will vary from couple to couple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always thought that about child rearing books…no one book was perfect, because kids have all different personality traits…I always found that most books had one thing that I could apply, and the rest was bunk

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  5. Fact versus truth. Fact can be proven without question, like Dubem’s example: water will freeze at a specific temp. However the concept of truth- I think that word has evolved to take on a personal meaning and level. Just look at all the variance from Merriam Webster. Truth is relative.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If we want to overthink it, water freezes at 0 or 32, depending on what value you use… it I agree…truth is relative…

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  6. Pontius Pilate: What is truth? Jesus: Crucified for speaking truth. Truth is what God says is truth. But go deeper. What is reality? Because that is where we are now. We are post-truth. People are now so lost they don’t think anything is real.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. PK I’m sorry you think that truth is gone. Some people may seem lost, but isn’t that open to personal interpretation too? I know plenty of good people. Since the beginning of time history has shown us the good, the bad and the ugly. Not everyone is lost. And Peace tends to come in cycles. In a technologically sophisticated world it may be easier to be aware of world situations. But, life has never been easy. Even varying faiths disagree on their interpretations of what is truth. So I think we will have to agree to disagree on this topic for centuries to come..
      As early as Aristotle and Socrates, philosophers complained about the younger generation and how difficult it was for people to be kind. People aren’t any different now than they were thousands of years ago. Mankind may be more Leery these days but even with our advancements, it boils down to being kind. I believe as Anne Frank did, “In spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart”.
      And so I think most folks speak their truth.
      But then again, I also believe in the words of John Lennon, “You May say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will be as one.”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Here’s an example of how a truth becomes fact when there’s evidence to back it up. Himself was convinced I’d bought a new pair of sunglasses yesterday. I confirmed they were new, but that I’d bought them a while back & had discussed their purchase with him a few weeks ago when I first wore them. He was adamant he’d not seen them, nor taken part in the detailed conversation I was describing. Realising that repeating said conversation without independent witnesses meant I was wasting my time – I referred him to a photo of us from an event we attended together a few weeks ago, and where I’m wearing the new sunglasses. That photo made it a proven fact, so what type of truth it was became a moot point.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Is anything real? Does anything actually exist outside of consciousness? There is no way to test this hypothesis so that might be true… I trust science to tell us the closest thing we know about objective reality however. Even though it is constantly disproving itself. To me – admitting we don’t know what the truth is – that’s the greatest truth there is. Great post LA

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  9. This really made me think. I grew up being taught that some things had an absolute truth no matter what. That there were only a few of the things that were considered absolute truth, but then the teaching strongly implied that there were actually many more things that if you didn’t think we’re true, you were wrong. Now I believe that truth is probably a lot more fluid than we realize. Solely because we are all so unique and view things so differently. How can 2 people view things exactly the same? Two people can have the exact same experience and view it from very different perspectives. All I know is that I’m ok trusting my intuition on what feels true for me and being ok with others feeling differently.

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  10. “The truth will set you free.” Hmmm… what is truth? It’s accuracy, certainty, authenticity etc. In math or science truth is simply factual data. Until new data proves otherwise.
    That truth is accurate.
    Human beings seem to be able to bend the truth to fit their own perceptions. After an auto accident the police will interview witnesses. Every statement will be slightly different because the angle of what they witnessed may be slightly varied. Everyone states the truth. But some people are more observant, have a better sense of recall, some perhaps weren’t paying attention etc. so the actual truth can bend slightly. In fact in a surveillance tape different angles of an action can be perceived differently.
    So, the truth is what really happened, however sometimes that’s open for interpretation.
    Therefore, whatever can be scientifically proven, or factually proven is more likely to be the real truth.
    If your child breaks his arm, and an X-ray shows it’s a fracture then it’s truly broken. HOW it got broken may be open to interpretation.

    I think visual images, factual information help give us true data.
    I’ve seen people lie and they believe their own lies. So their truths may not support the actual facts.
    That’s why in any work situation they advise you to cover your behind and save data. And why as a teacher I had parents’ signatures for everything! And when they would say at a parent/teacher conference, “ I never knew my child had a report due on such and such a date”, I could pull out their signatures on a form they had to sign for class reports and/ or projects. Because people forget or they remember false truths. Lol
    Growing up, my grandma would say in a thick Yiddish accent “Lesila, da truth is da truth!”
    And I’d often think to myself that her concept of the truth was VERY different from mine!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But as things evolve…anything can change. Einstein had a theory that held for years. Then it was proven wrong. Recently I believe it was proven right again…

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  11. Then there is currently that celebrity courtroom drama going on right not where everyone is certain of who is abusive and who is not. Sounds like one or both of them had significant drug and alcohol issues so I wonder if either of them can accurately remember everything that happened between them.

    My sister has had struggles with alcohol on and off for almost 20 years. It makes discussing certain issues with her really difficult because I don’t think she remembers certain things that happened. For a while she was my mom’s paid caregiver before my mom went into a nursing home. She likes to present that time as herself working hard 24/7 for nothing but that is in no way the truth. In the end the situation between her and my mother ended very badly but she won’t acknowledge her role in the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think truth can be relative and dependent on a person’s perceptions, but I think there are some things that stand independently as truth. Those are the things that are unalterable–God, fidelity, kindness, etc. Your point about substance abuse brings up another issue. Someone with dementia or another mental illness can live in what we might call a different reality. Truth may not be the same for them as for others. The effect can be innocuous or extremely dangerous as in the recent killings.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s always my point…it’s the science up to this minute. Look at how many drugs we later find out are bag? Hey..back in the 70s we switched to plastic bags because we were saving trees and helping the environment…

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    2. EA, science data changes as research scientists learn new information . When I taught school and students applied the scientific method to a problem, it was based on the input info they had or that was given to them. THEN, I would give them even MORE components to their experiments and the results would slightly change thus, causing them to rework either their hypothesis or come to a different conclusion . That is what science is. Results based on information and data people have at the time of their experiment.. As more data becomes available, scientists refine their work and get better results.. As the input Data changes and updates, scientists explore and learn new facts or new “truths”, allowing new results to occur. That is factual. In the two years I’ve been battling ovarian cancer new treatments have been invented. One truth I know to be fact is that I’m still alive and treating a disease that five years earlier would have been a death sentence. I’m loving those scientists!

      Those wonderful truths were always there, scientists just hadn’t uncovered them yet. We know that science evolves and changes as the technology to discover information becomes more sophisticated. So it’s over generalizing to say science is the only way to determine truth. Because scientific data is continually changing. But it’s a good representation of what is factual at the specific time of the study or experiment. Whew! My brain is about to explode! Lol
      Shakespeare wrote, “Truth is truth to the end of reckoning.” And he also said, “ To thine thine own self be true, and as the night, the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
      I tend to like The Bard’s version of truth.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks. Congratulations on your cancer treatment working so effectively. That’s exactly what I meant about the science changing. What was a truth at one point changes due to new discoveries.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I think there is truth, and there is absolute truth.

    Absolute truth is always valid, regardless of other parameters or contexts. It is irrefutable. The sun will rise tomorrow. That is absolute truth. (Unless it explodes overnight, but that’s getting into the weeds.)

    Other truths are open to interpretation.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I think many interchange truth with subjective beliefs. Universal truth is something that is constant and applies universally to everyone, everywhere. I believe most every sane person would agree it’s not right to kill innocent people. That would be a universal truth unless you are mentally unstable. I agree people tend to bend the “truth” many times to fit their narratives and support their personal, subjective perceptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, When you describe universal truths you made me think about Jane Austen’s famous quote from Pride and Prejudice,
      “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
      THAT particular truth is now outdated. But it was indeed a brilliantly witty and very applicable truth during Ms. Austen’s time. (Just one of the reasons Jane is still my favorite author).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Please don’t think that I thought you were copying the play! I just meant that it was a good source for the kind of issues that you raised. Rarely have I seen a play that made me think quite so much.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. The thing is what is true for one person can be completely wrong to another. Butter knives are a good example. But honestly (pun intended), what about the dignity of all people (then you have Hitler), or the right to work (is taking care of your kids considered work), or equality, access to medical care and common goods. This topic requires a lengthy amount of time and wine, but that might not be true for everyone. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My faith defines truth as God’s Word. But even those who believe in God disagree on issues in the Bible. Truth for one person may not be truth for another. This leads me to think that truth is individual. Truth in itself is defined differently for everyone. My truth may not be your truth.

    Another thing about truth is that it can change even within ourselves. A truth I believed at 18 may not be truth to me now. I guess I see truth as fluid and individualistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is tough. Sometimes, we say “truth” when we mean belief. A truth has facts and things for support. (But I guess a belief could, too). To answer your question, I think we look for things to confirm what we think is the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Seems like the variety of ways in which truth is defined or described at the start of this post tie-in nicely with most of the comments i.e. it can be factual or it can be based on perspective. Who knew?

    Liked by 1 person

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