Truth and Facts and Real Facts

When I was a kid, truth meant something. Facts were truth and truth were facts.

Somewhere, maybe thanks to the ’90s, facts became obsolete and truth became whatever the beholder deemed it to be.

Today you can have a conversation with someone and present facts, but they’ll argue that those aren’t facts. They have their own truths by which they stand. But their truths aren’t facts, not real facts. And, how is it I can even write a sentence that contains the words real facts? How have we entered into an existence where facts can be argued? I’m not talking about the meaning of the facts, but the facts themselves.

How can we begin to have intelligent conversations if facts are not accepted truths?

And this entire line of thought was because I saw someone’s sole byline on twitter was: “I stand for truth.” My reaction was: you stand for your own truth.

If truth is no longer the same as facts and if we each currently have our own truth, does standing for truth even mean anything anymore?


10 thoughts on “Truth and Facts and Real Facts

  1. this is a tough one. Truth would seem to be self evident but you are right to say truth and facts are not the same thing. Truth is in the eye of the beholder. Facts exists out in the open. Unless of course the facts have been given to us as “fake” news.

  2. Facts and evidence have a physicality, in terms of testing for validity. Truth, well, that’s another matter altogether, and usually discussed by philsophers/isers.

    It’s a bit like saying justice and the legal system are on equal footing – whereas justice in the legal system is more likely to be considered an oxymoron …

    Legalities have a physicality, in terms of laws written for perusal and conformity; justice is … probably another thing for the philosophers/isers.

    1. The first thing I noticed when I read this was that your first line sounds like it could be the beginning of a poem. 🙂

      I did check definitions before I began writing and according to the dictionary truth and fact are the same. But that seems to be no longer the case. And taking it farther, facts seem to be not always facts in the eyes of the beholder. We exist in a time when facts can be argued. Scientists can tell us the age of the world while creationists will argue that they’re wrong.

      I like the analogy of justice and the legal system. It’s amazing sometimes that justice cannot be obtained through the law.

  3. Sad to say, I don’t think all the things we were told as “facts” were actually true in the old days. The winners write the history books, etc. I do think it’s worse now though, since there is no source with any credibility.

    1. You are exactly right. I was going to add in something that I was taught in school and provided a lot of reason for, which is being disputed today. But I’m not altogether sure I believe the disputes. I know historians, personally, who question these “new” teachings while I read that these “new” teachings call things I learned as facts to now be myths. I guess unless you’ve lived it, you can’t be sure of truth…and even then… 🙂

      1. I think that can come under perception:
        Discourse creates and shapes perception – what a person believes is what they choose to believe as ‘fact’ or ‘truth’ – and may be different to the person who stands beside him.
        Two witnesses to the same event will see things differently, which is how cops know when people are ‘setting it up’ – a story that matches too closely is a story hatched …

      2. This may not be true in Australia, perhaps people have managed to stay on an even keel, but here people argue facts. It’s very strange. Take climate change. Numbers show the story but somehow those numbers aren’t facts for some people. (Although maybe that subject isn’t the best example.) Maybe there have always been people who argued about facts but maybe we were unaware of them because there was no internet. 🙂 haha

  4. There is so much information in the world today, produced by people with bias and/or agenda (and face it, we all like to think we are choosing the right thing to believe…) that it is hard to find something that we know is true. Maybe it’s not so much the facts that are disputed, but the conclusions we draw from them. We never just stop at facts. BTW what are those little raindrop things that keep falling from your website sky?

    1. Yes, discussing “facts” anymore can become a danger zone. My daily job is as a tech writer and I work with scientists. Scientists deal in facts so this is what I’ve become used to, plain speaking directness. Sigh. There is no place for alternative facts, which to me speaks of an artist’s brush of creativity, illusions, lies. The raindrops are part of a plug-in I downloaded for fun. I thought we could use some fun. 🙂

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