For today’s strange thing, I will be talking about truth.
Truth is strange in a number of different ways. There’s the “truth is stranger than fiction” saying that is born out quite often. There’s also the methods by which we define truth. And then there’s the various ways that the truth is used and conceptualized.
We’ll start with the most fun one. Truth is stranger than fiction.
There are a lot of stories out there about real life things that happened to real life people that are so bizarre you couldn’t make them up if you tried. I didn’t have time to go look any up, but I’m sure you’ve come across some strange happenings in your own life (or heard about them from friends and family). As an author, I find it incredible how often the part of the story that readers find most unbelievable is the part that is most closely based on a true story.
How do we define truth?
When you really get down to it, truth is a construction of the human mind. Truth and fact are not synonymous. A truth isn’t necessarily something you can prove the way a scientific fact or theory can be. Truth can be very individual. What is the truth to me about a given event may not be the same truth to someone else who experienced that event with me. Truth is subjective. This makes it a very strange thing to discuss because there can be shades of truth. Defining truth is one of the big things that philosophers do. If this is something you’re interested in, I highly recommend checking out the Crash Course Philosophy series on YouTube.
How do we use and conceptualize truth?
Most people think that their truth is everyone’s truth. This isn’t the case. It can be shared, but it can also be at odds with itself and other truths. Faith is based on religious truth, but those truths vary from religion to religion and between religions they may be very incongruous. Through cognitive dissonance, human beings are even capable of fully accepting and believing two truths that are fundamentally opposed to one another. People use truths to support their arguments. But what happens when the people they are trying to argue with don’t accept their truths? It can get muddled very quickly.
So truth is a very strange concept and has a lot more gray areas than most people usually think it does.
How do you conceptualize truth in your everyday life? Do you conceptualize truth differently for work, religion, or relationships?