Truth Vs. Fact

By: Kanta

“Fact,” and, “Truth,” are two concepts with a lot in common, but it can be important to remember the differences between them. By definition, a fact is, “A price of information presented as having actual reality.” The truth is, “The body of real things: Actuality.” (Thanks to https://www.merriam-webster.com. )

Several parts of these definitions stand out. A fact is a piece of information, whereas truth is a body. (Something similar is suggested even by their articles; “A fact,” is common, but, “A truth,” less so.) A fact is merely presented as actual, while the truth is Actuality itself. It would seem that denotatively at least, truth is the sum of all possible facts that reflect reality.

The antonym of fact is opinion. The antonym of truth is falsehood. Opinions, like facts, can be true or not. The difference there is that facts are objective and measurable; not all truth is. Facts are often data points, discrete and finite, but the truth is the whole picture of what is.

Facts can be chosen to suit a narrative, whether that narrative is true or not. In many contentious topics, there is a ready supply of true facts to support either side, which can be carefully chosen from to present that narrative as true and the other as false, regardless of what the whole truth is. In these cases, what onebelieves to be true often informs which facts one cares to focus on, which convinces one further of that narrative in a feedback loop. In this way, even true facts, when devoid of greater context and other relevant information, can be deceiving and lead one to falsehood.

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