Truth Vs Fact

I recently watched the movie Talwar and it raised an important question. Sometimes seemingly similar words are not interchangeable. We often confuse between Truth & Fact and mix the two terms up. I asked people about the fine distinction between the two and got responses like:

“Truth is a personal fact and fact is a universal truth”

“Fact is a subset of Truth”

“Fire is hot is a fact, but god is present is a truth (not a fact)”

“Essentially fact is objective, permanent, based on reality and is verifiable. Truth on the other hand is a commonly accepted state of any event or phenomenon. Some truth can be proven and is called fact.”

So essentially it appears that fact has a more stringent criteria than the truth. Being a scientific & rational man, I would argue that truth is often open to interpretation while facts are not.

Now the question is sometimes we don’t have the complete picture. Remember the six blind men and an elephant story. All of them had verifiable facts, but no one had the truth. In everyday life, we often give higher importance to facts that validate our hypothesis and confirm our notions. No wonder, the thin layer of subjectivity that is present in truth enables us to make a judgment on the data that is presented.

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