The Truth in Reality

Mathematically speaking, the truth is easy to define: things are given a “truth value” in math if they are shown to be true using proofs. Therefore, the truth is substantial and absolute. Reality, however, is a trickier term to define. While truth is definite, reality is rooted in perception and in environment. While there is one absolute truth, there are many valid realities.

It would seem that in defining truth this way, some truths are simply unreachable; if everybody possesses their own independent reality, how can one find the objective truth?

Take a fry cook for instance. To impress his new boss, he decides to flip only the juiciest, most mouth-watering burgers. He goes to serve the burger — satisfied with his culinary masterpiece — to a grumpy customer, who takes one bite, spits it out, and calls it the worst abomination he has ever eaten.

Was it a good burger?

That is a question without a truthful answer — but it has a very real one, depending on who you ask. Two different people have two very different answers to that question, both of which depend on a variety of factors. The cook wanted the burger to taste good, and to the best of his ability, attempted to make it so. The customer, regardless of the chef’s intentions, was not appealed by the burger.

This analogy is helpful for explaining today’s news media, which often tries to portray either that the burger was objectively good or bad. One source might indicate that it was an excellent burger — just look at the quality of ingredients and the expertise put into the burger’s conception! Another would attempt to prove it was a bad burger — the customer was revolted by the horrible burger and promptly spat it out! Nobody could call that burger a good burger!

This may be oversimplified, but it relays the point quite effectively: society is often deceived by news sources which are too quick in calling their reality the ultimate truth.

So what is an absolute truth? It is one without contradiction or bias. Truth is the picture of the world a camera would take; the picture is always out there — somewhere. The challenge lies in knowing where to look.

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