Is there a difference between truth and fact? I've gotten the feeling that truth is more subjective, but then there are true or false things in the world. The dictionary definitions I've seen so far have been circular. What is your opinion on this and why?

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I can only offer my opinion and the way I use these two terms in my writing.

 

I consider a fact to be an event that has transpired.  Whether or not I can logically prove that an event has transpired has no influence on the nature of it as being a fact.  Typically we identify facts through observation.  That acceleration is equal to force divided by mass is a fact (observable event).  That you bought a cup of coffee yesterday may be a fact, but whether or not it is a fact is independent of my ability to prove it.

 

Truth, on the other hand, is a bit more ethereal to me and may even be proven without observation.  The truth of an assertion is typically evaluated by critical analysis of the argument for it rather than direct observation of facts (events that have transpired).  If all humans are primates and you are a human then you are a primate.  That statement is logically true independent of observation - there are no transpired events to observe, therefore no facts - just assertions and evaluation.

 

I'm not sure if this helps at all or only further confuses the issue but I thought I would take a stab at it.

I like that explanation a lot. I'm interested to see what others have to say as well:)

I tend to look at these terms in a specific to global relation: thruth refers to a more large portion of reality. "The earth is round". When I'm,  talking about facts I'm refering to all correct, real statements that are contained inside that truth and that MAY lead us to said truth, as in "If you run in a straight direction you'll end up in the same place".

 

Of course, and as Heather stated, facts can be directly observed and measured with more or less degree of error, contrary to  truths, which are actually objective (there's only one reality), but how you perceive the truth based on the facts is subjective and caused by the imperfection of our intellect and measurements.

All well and good, but if you don't mind I'll still observe the fact that I'm wearing my parachute before I jump out of an airplane.
When someone (John) claims that he believes (or believes in) something he is making a subjective statement that shows us his current state of mind on a particular proposition. For the sake of argument and because it is what we do here, lets assume John’s proposition is “God exists” and that he claims to believe this. All that has happened is that John has indicated to us that he has given his psychological assent to the truth of this proposition. However it does not mean it is therefore truthful in the sense that it is a fact.

For it to become a fact it need to be justifiable. Saying “I believe it” to be the truth is not justification. It can only pass this process of justification by having evidence for it evaluated. If the evidence is studied and the premise of the proposition can be verified by repetition then it can be accepted as Knowledge and be deemed to be a fact.

I would suggest that the main qualifier as to whether the proposition is a Fact is that it can exist independently outside of the subjective thoughts of the John’s brain or any knowledge claim that he might make about it.

So whether or not John has a very strong belief in the Proposition or if he asserts that he has no doubt as to its validity is meaningless to others. His perceptions may be his Truth and therefore appear factual to him. For John’s views to earn my respect he must make them objective with justifiable reasons that I can evaluate the merits of.

Having Faith in something does not make it the Truth and that’s a Fact.

A fact is a fact. It's something which is the case. Truth is a quality applying to statements or assertion of fact. One is a state of being, the other a statement ABOUT being.

 

So, there is a huge difference.

 

 

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