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Getting on to the Truth of Any Topic

Updated on April 1, 2019
Mary Merriment profile image

I have learned a great deal about cognitive therapy techniques as a way to make changes in my own life.


Have you ever read, listened to or watched something and thought “Hmmm, I wonder just how much of that is true?” or “That seems interesting. I’d like to know the whole truth about that.”

Or, have you ever had a discussion with someone about a specific topic that you found yourself thinking "That's kind of interesting. I have not heard of that before." or even "This person knows nothing about this topic. They don't know what they are talking about."? Have you ever considered searching into the valid or invalid nature of their views?

Everyone has their own opinion about what is true, based on what they have learned throughout their life. What they learn forms their personal biases. Therefore, what is "truth" to some is simply based on their own personal perspectives and beliefs. Even writers, teachers, scientists, corporate and political leaders or other professionals have a tendency to be personally biased on any given topic.

If you really want to get to the core truth about any topic, whether the information came from the news; politicians; conspiracy views; spiritual or cultural views; medical institutions; products; information passed on through emails or social media; or even information that came from your friends or family, you can weed out fact from fiction and find the truths that await beneath the surface.

"The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing." - Socrates

When you decide to seek out the truth on any topic, it is important that you keep an open mind to any and all perspectives about it. This is especially important if the information conflicts with your current perceptions and beliefs. If we already knew the truth about everything, then what would be the point of learning anything more in the first place?

With your chosen topic in mind, consider how you will do your research and what resources will you use to further expand your knowledge about it. Consider reliable resources from the internet, the library, books, films, news articles and other materials that hold information on the topic. Also, consider having conversations with others who have differing views on the topic as part of your research.

The goal here is to think beyond your original set of beliefs in order to gain other insights about the topic. Even if the different information you come across is somewhat uncomfortable, gain as many resources and differing perspectives on the topic as you possibly can. If you only seek information based on what you already believe, or to back up what you want to believe, you won't gain to expand your knowledge on the topic.

How often do you question and seek further into information that you hear?

See results

“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” -James A. Garfield

Be patient when collecting your resources and the data for your research. As you look into one resource, you may come across key information that leads you to dig deeper into the topic or even into subtopics. Myself, I often find this process to be quite fun. There is usually so much that I was not aware of before, and the new facts that I find can be quite surprising as I sift through and sort out the data!

From all the different information that you come across, you will find many differences, but you will also find some commonalities. It is these commonalities that I consider to be the core or common facts that all other information has stemmed from. These core facts signal that you’re getting to the base truth of the topic.

For me, there have been times when these core facts have completely altered everything that I thought I knew or was taught to believe. It can be a difficult reality to realize that what you knew may have been some very misconstrued information. But then again, it's helpful to understand that most of us simply adopt the information that we've been given throughout our lives... especially when we were young. Until we find out anything different about the topic, it's really all we know and tend to trust as the only truth.

30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life
30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life
I found this book provides daily strategies that help master specific, easy-to-learn critical thinking techniques for asking better questions, gaining better insight, and make smarter choices in every area of life.

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” -Socrates

With your core facts compiled from your research, you are now better equipped to see a wider view of the whole truth about the topic. Now you can more objectively judge this information about the topic for yourself and have a better understanding on the different perceptions of others on the topic.

Those who have different perceptions from ours may possess other truths that we have not yet come to understand. Search more into what they share with you as many truths on a topic can be obtained when we are open to broaden our own views and put ourselves in the viewpoint of others. Never pass up an opportunity to learn more.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Mary Roark


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