The Meaning of Truth – Is it Really Opinion-Based?

the meaning of truth on truthful society
A simple cover photo that took me 5 minutes to create. You can understand what it means [I hope].

How can I call this website ‘Truthful Society’ if I don’t write about the meaning of truth?

That would be like trying to eat cereal without milk. It can’t happen.

Okay, but why should you sit here and read this post? What’s the point in knowing the meaning of truth besides a boring philosophical reason? The point in knowing is simple once you understand it:

Differentiating something as true and something else as false dictates how you run your life, regardless of whether or not you do it consciously.

As complex as this phrase sounds, it is true because that right there is the basis of human psychology in terms of decision making.

Knowing this, you probably now understand why this is an important topic to cover. This post will outline the different types of truth and how they all play a role in your life.

With this post, you’ll want to read to the end because it might just change how you view your life and decisions.

You might also like: How to Find Your Purpose of Life: A Simple Guide

There Are Different Types of Truths

While this heading sounds counterintuitive [because the truth is thought of as being one definitive answer compared to many others], multiple truths exist.

For example, there are some ‘truths’ out there that might just be true for a specific individual [such as an opinion].

On the other hand, there are bold and harsh truths that cannot be changed.

Here are the 4 commonly organized truths [and my simplified explanation]:

  • Objective truths – essentially applies to everyone regardless of who they are and their individual self

  • Subjective truths – based off of a person’s individuality, feelings, or opinions

  • Normative truths – less common but usually refers to how something should be [according to a culture or general idea], such as telling children to eat vegetables

  • Complex truths – claims that the three other truths above are all true, all the time and emphasizes focusing on the one that is most useful at a certain time

An example of normative truths would be in this post by Don’t Lose Hope, in which the author goes through 3 important truths to live by in life.

The post helped me understand normative truths a little better and it might help you too.

Where Truths Cause Conflict

Surprising enough, it is actually the idea of complex truths that people end up suffering from. The thing is, just because all the other truths are true does not mean that they cannot be falsified. Rather it means that there is a certain time and place for each of them.

Even though these types of truths sound boring, they are extremely essential to know. Why is that?

Because a lot of people’s life problems come from mixing these different meanings of truth up and using that to make decisions.

As corny as this quote sounds, it’s true.

Think about it, if you treat an objective truth that should apply to everyone as an individualized [subjective] truth, you could have major consequences for you or others. Not everyone might prefer what you like, and therefore in that scenario, you would have to consider that a subjective truth.

Yet again, there are certain ‘rules’ that apply to everyone no matter how much people might wish that they don’t.

For example, a bold and harsh truth that applies to everyone would be that life will get difficult for everyone at some point.

This type of truth cannot be treated as an individualized truth because by thinking that the world is targetting you, you could end up with mental health problems like depression.

By treating it as the wrong type of truth and making decisions off of that, you could potentially cause issues in your life.

Remember, Don’t Overthink It

Just because this idea applies to everything in your life does not mean that you need to overthink it and try to label everything as a certain truth. Rather, focus on recognizing the objective truths so that the subjective ones fall in like a puzzle piece.

One of the tips that worked best for me was to consider my decisions’ effects on myself AND others. I didn’t overthink it, but I considered how others might be impacted.

That alone has probably saved me from countless long-term problems.

I’ll give you an example of one of those times.

My Freshman Year Issues

Many times, I like to use my freshman year of high school as an example because I view it as the most difficult time for me. Regardless, it’s not like those hardships just disappeared.

Coming right out of middle school, I was very unconfident and almost relied on people’s validation. In order for me to truly like myself, I needed people to think I was cool or funny.

That right there was a dangerous mindset that caused me tons of trouble.

Along with that, I had the wrong priorities.

I was essentially looking for girls and their validation as well, considering that this was early into my teenage years.

You might also enjoy: It’s All About Getting into a Relationship…Right?

I Mixed Up My Meaning of Truth

One of the biggest rules to never break in life is to rely on external factors for happiness. Yes, this right here is an objective truth that applies to everyone.

Coincidentally enough, because I did not recognize it as a truth that applied to everyone in my earlier years, I ended up running into mental health problems throughout that year.

I relied on other people for my happiness, and I essentially felt that I had no purpose whatsoever. When someone feels this feeling of emptiness, they will lose a lot of hope.

That’s exactly what happened to me.

I was experiencing daily issues within my life, and because I did not recognize that as objective truth, I thought the world was ‘targeting’ me. This type of entitlement is what led to my issues.

I stopped caring about school, friends, my life, and I genuinely felt like living was no longer worth it.

The problem was that the world was not targeting me

The world was always objectively like this for everyone.

Recognizing the Difference…And Applying It

The thing is, I did not recognize that until later on in high school and when I did, my hardships did not disappear but my dealing with them and benefiting from them got much better.

Rather than saying that I could have prevented what I felt in freshman year, I can say that I am glad it happened because it taught me what I know about my life, decisions, and the meaning of truth.

By recognizing this as objective truth, I am no longer hung up on my issues and actually look for ways to solve them when they come up.

Basically, this is similar to the idea of benefitting from failure.

You might also like: Failure or Success? — Why Failure is an Option

The Whole Idea

The main idea that I hoped would be recognized from all this is that mixing up the meaning of truth [and opinion] is the root of a lot of problems. Even worse than that, people don’t realize it.

I already mentioned this earlier, but I feel that the best approach to all of this is to find the truths that apply to everyone and not mix them up.

The others will fall into place with it.

Doing that will probably change the perspective you have on your life and decisions for the better, as it did for me.

Have you ever had any experiences like mine with the meaning of truth? Let me know below.

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