Wednesday, June 29, 2022

What is Truth?

The concept of truth is practically not used in natural sciences. Natural science operates with facts  or general truths, they have no moral connotation and therefore the concept of truth is superfluous. However, it turns out to be useful in the field of social sciences. Forecasts made by sociologists and stories written by historians about past events could be called true rather factual. Often here we are not talking about the truth in the sense of objective, adequate representation of reality. Moreover, the theoretical construction of a sociologist or a historian’s narrative may even contradict with some known facts, but, nevertheless, be considered as true one. 

For example, in describing people’s behavior or the sequence of events, we can conceptualize them in different ways. For example, one historian can describe the events of October 25, 1917 in Petrograd as “the Bolshevik riot” and another one as the “Great October Socialist Revolution.” We don’t mention facts here, from the factual side both descriptions may coincide, but we consider one description to be truthful, and another one not.  

 Types of truth, based on the philosophical beliefs: 

  • Impartial truth
    Its content is an unbiased reality; knowledge that reflects reality as it is. Truth which is impartial in content, but personal in its form – as the result of the process of human thinking.
  • Relative truth
    It reflects the subject not entirely, but in historically determined boundaries which, first of all, depend on the level of development of the consciousness of society, which, in turn, is determined by the degree of development of the consciousness of people. 
  • Absolute truth
    It entirely exhausts the subject of knowledge and certain qualities of reality. Every relative truth contains an element of absolute knowledge, and absolute truth consists of the sum of relative truths, as a concept which becomes more precise through its development. 
  • Certain truth
    It reveals the specific aspects of the concept of an object, taking into account certain criteria for its development (there are no abstract facts, the truth is always concrete). 
  • Outdated truth
    When something is true for some period of time; the authenticity of which is lost with the development of events. 

 Is truth always needed? 

Have you ever wondered what the truth is for? How is it used? And how people react to it? In this article I would like to share my thoughts on this topic.

The truth is information about real events, the state of affairs, the behavior of a particular person, people or society as a whole. But, unlike the fact, the truth is not neutral.
Human truth almost always reflects a personal opinion, point of view through the prism of its own values ​​and attitudes. It is an assessment of an event or behavior in a specific context based on personal worldview, status and understanding of the situation from the inside or outside. No wonder they say: “Everyone has their own truth!” But is this truth always relevant to another person? It turns out that not always… 

 What is the truth for? 

In my opinion, the truth is the category of communication. On the one hand, it is a reconciliation of views and positions; on the other hand it is an impact on reality or a person with a specific purpose. Which means that truth does not exist by itself as a fact of reality, it can be modified depending on the situation, the object of application of the truth and specific goals: it can be proclaimed publicly or hidden forever or until a certain moment. 

The truth is a powerful tool of influence. That is why the truth is often used in order to manipulate (for example, as a means of blackmail, conviction or relief) or to influence a person’s emotional state. Truth can be used for good reasons, it is a control already. What is the difference between manipulation and control? In my understanding: the result of manipulation is only personal gain to the detriment of others, and in managing it all parties are the winners. 

 How is truth perceived and what is the reaction to it? 

 It depends on how you “presenting” the truth …
For example, famous expressions come to mind: “Speak the plain truth!”, “Kill a mosquito with a hammer on the interlocutor’s forehead” … What do you want to achieve with this? To “kill” a person with the truth (to shock him, to put in a hyperemotional state, to cause harm) or do you want to give him the necessary and useful information?  Remember, from a categorical and thoughtless presentation of the truth, a person can become depressed, sick or even die from a heart attack! 

“Truth hurts” as if by truth we mean something negative, the option is possible: “You’re a fool!” – “You are a fool too!” This presentation of the truth can cause irritation, anger, guilt; it will lead to the situation when, at best, the person will no longer talk with you, and at worst, he will attack you in the same way.
“The truth cannot be destroyed “,” You will not get away from the truth.” In this case, it is important to understand that this is your truth, which, as we have said, may not always be true to another person.
“Truth filters through stone”, “All secret becomes clear.” The presentation of the truth should be adequate and timely, it should not be “accumulated” until the moment when neither the situation nor the emotions are controlled. 

 In my approaches and ways of presenting the truth, I strive to be guided by the principles of creation, development and the possibility of improvement. Important questions to ask yourself:
• What is the purpose of the conversation? What will be the result? Will anything change after that?
• What are the possible consequences? Will there be a change in the desired course? Will there be an opposition or will the problems appear which will be difficult to handle?
• Is the time and place for conversation right?
• What is the interlocutor’s state: is he healthy, is he ready for perception, does he know this question, can he respond adequately, and does he have an opportunity to solve this problem?
• Can you yourself obey the “ecology of speech and behavior” and have a meeting so that after it your interlocutor is able to achieve a positive result? 

 I am deeply convinced that the truth is a fact of reality, present in our head and life, and, of course, motivating us to act one way or another. In this article, I was happy to share my thoughts on this topic, which I hope will help you think and draw your own conclusions. 

 Mirra Radiy, Life Coach

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