Truth vs. Fact: Crystal Clear

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Difference between Truth and Fact

Truth and fact have been the subjects of many debates in philosophical circles. Experts have formulated various theories which show how the two concepts were interpreted over the centuries. Some agree that truth and fact are related, while others see them as two opposed notions of possibility and actual reality.

In short, truth and fact seem related but there are elements on which they do not accord. Each person is encouraged to use their judgment to interpret the intrinsic meaning of these two concepts. Let’s take a closer look.

Truth
Fact

Objectivity

A fact is a verifiable state of an existing element of reality as we know it. Its condition can be acknowledged through the senses. For instance, it is a fact that gravity keeps us on the ground. The concept is scientifically proven and therefore objective.

Truth means being in agreement with reality. It can be of objective nature when it has a correspondent in reality or it can be subjective when an individual tries to convey a misinformed view of reality as being the truth. For instance, an objective truth is that all men are created equal. A subjective truth is that many people believe they are superior to others and must therefore dominate others, impose their will over others and/or prove their superior worth in some fashion.

Permanence

A fact has the same value at all times. For instance, it is a fact that planets revolve around the sun. This has not changed since the beginning of time. Historically, we have learned that many figures in the religious community disagreed because the truth for them was that Earth was the center of the Universe and therefore the central point of the planets’ rotational movement.

Truth can be altered so as to serve the purposes of a person or group of people.

Law

When a person is asked to testifies in a lawsuit, it is expected that a person will tell the truth about the circumstances which are tied to the case. In many cases, testimonies do not match the facts.

Here’s an example. A fact in law is an evidence of a certain course of action. As it has turned out in so many cases, elements have been planted to incriminate an innocent person. Truthful testimonies, however, have surfaced and the necessary evidence had worked to uncover such misleading testimonies and circumstances.

The thin line between fact and truth begs to be handled carefully, using professional judgment to determine the actual course of events, etc.

Similarities and Differences

  • A fact is more objective than the truth. The truth can be objective, but also subjective and serve the purposes of a person or group.
  • A fact is permanent, while truth can have variable values which people attribute to things to match their view on reality.
  • In a lawsuit, professional judgment must be used to determine the reliability of facts and testimonies.

Which one is easier to determine?
  • Truth
  • Fact
 
 

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • Okala abanogu wrote on November 2010

Fact is an accurate technically presented (oral or written) statement, whereas truth is a larger and holistic statement. Therefore, truth is not just factually accurate, but also utterly honest.

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