An integral part of the human experience and the intellectual foundation of human society is the search for ‘truth’. This constant search is universal across the human species – all human societies have developed their own ‘truth’s, in some form of philosophy and understanding of existence. ‘Truth’ is our perception of what is ‘correct’ about existence. That is, ‘truths’ allow us to believe that we have accurately perceived and described existence. Indeed, holding truths and searching for them doing so is integral to living and experiencing life; without a ‘truth’ off of which to base one’s life, life would be meaningless, without direction, and without context. Only through discovering, developing, and understanding ‘truth’ can we hope to explain our surroundings and our life, and by doing so be equipped to provide meaning and value to them. As such, the search for ‘truth’, and ‘truth’ itself, is vitally important to the human experience, and should be studied in order to more fully understand and explain that experience.
What is ‘truth’? ‘Truth’ provides an explanation to the function and reality of existence. It seeks to definitely and accurately describe existence and provide a reason for why it operates as it does. In describing reality, ‘truth’ justifies opinions about and actions in response to that reality. Before we describe ‘truth’ further, we must first discuss the nature of ‘existence’. We know for certain that some sort of reality really does exist, by virtue of the fact that we live within it and can describe and discuss it. We further know that this reality is the same for all people; it is a singular ‘entity’ in which we all experience life. We can describe this reality as ‘absolute’, because as it is the same for all of us and as we all similarly experience it, it must be the same reality that we are all inhabitants of. Furthermore, if we consider this reality to be a single ‘entity’, we can deduce that there is some singular ‘truth’ behind it which enables and dictates the way it functions. We can rule out the existence of multiple ‘truths’ behind reality or multiple ‘realities’ experienced across humanity because reality operates the same across time and space, and can be observed as such. We will discuss this later. Human truths attempt to describe and explain this ‘absolute reality’, but ultimately fail. As humans, we are biologically limited in our capacity to perceive, and thus understand, the universe. We are further limited in our intellectual capabilities, and thus can only develop explanations and understandings of the universe to the greatest degree that our intellect permits.
There is an ‘absolute reality’ and a singular ‘truth’ behind existence, yet humanity has produced a vast and widely varying amount of explanations and conclusions about it, many of which are diametrically opposed. How could this be? This is the result of the fact that there are different ‘types’ of human ‘truths’: ‘subjective truths’ and ‘objective truths’. Both of these are derived from unique cultural circumstances which are manifest in the certain perspectives, opinions, and beliefs. These in turn produce the differing perspectives on the same reality. The difference in these human ‘truths’ is their approach in attempting to explain the world. ‘Subjective truths’ are unquantifiable; they cannot be measured or detailed in an empirical manner. Without this empirical basis, which produces an universal explanation that describes reality in equal accuracy across time and space, these ‘truths’ thus do not explain the world in a manner that transcends the cultural circumstances in which they were produced. These ‘truths’ thus, unsurprisingly, are unique to the culture which produced them. As a result of their inability to be empirically proven, these ‘truths’ cannot be disproven. It is these ‘truths’ which often form the basis behind social philosophy, religion, government, and other explanations for human-constructed systems which cannot be quantifiably described. The other type of ‘truth’ is ‘objective truth’, which can be quantified, is thus empirical, and thus can be disproven. As it is quantifiable and empirical, these ‘objective truths’ transcend culture, space, and time; they describe reality in equal accuracy no matter the context, time, or place. ‘Objective truths’ include scientific explanations for reality, which can be universally accepted and described across cultures and also disproven and replaced with a new, more accurate understanding of reality.
The existence of ‘subjective truths’ explains how so many differing and opposed descriptions and explanations for reality exist for the same ‘absolute reality’ in which we live. ‘Objective truths’ are the truths which contribute to a greater human knowledge on existence which is, as it transcends culture, the domain of all humanity. By better understanding how these truths operate, what produces them, and how they are formulated, we can better understand how people explain existence and perhaps begin to develop better systems to accurately describe and understand reality. The quest for ‘truth’ will last so long as humanity is curious about the world around it and its own existence and nature. Developing an explanation for reality will require a combination of universal ‘objective truths’, which are necessary to accurately and empirically understand our universe, and ‘subjective truths’, which provide us as the individual with a direction and meaning for existence which coincides with our own cultural norms, standards, and beliefs.