My answers to your questions:
Question 1: Would it be accurate to use the word “truth” to refer to
the absolute answer to a given question?
1. Sometimes we use the term 'absolute answer'. But I don't agree with the usage 'absolute answer' because in most cases we can analyze that answer further and find out another cause/answer. Then the first answer won't be the absolute answer. But for convenience we should consider it as accurate; even though it is not the absolute.
Just for an example, take these two questions--1.Who invented TV? 2.What caused the First World War?
After you got the answers to these questions ask these questions--1."Did he make all the parts and the materials for the parts by himself?" 2."Was that the only cause?"
Would they be the absolute answers even though you didn't ask these questions?
If the question is from the earth and the answer is from another distant galaxy some present events will be taken as past events. In this case also the absolute answer changes. But we should ignore such possibilities and should consider them as accurate.
Question 2: Is it really useful for us to know the truth? If yes,
where do we focus our search? Do we focus on the practical, the
spiritual, or something else? Should I be able to quantify truth?
2. If this question is about conventional truth, it is not always useful. But it depends on your character, aim of life etc.
How would you feel if you could see people in their 'real form' -- as an embodiment of organisms, blood, feces, urine etc.?
Truth realization will change your character and will feel as if a new person were born again (without physical death). If you are not ready to change your character even a little and if you don't wish to 'know' your real nature, it won't be useful. But if you ask "Really useful?" I would say, "Yes".
[If I am asked again--"Really?", I would keep mum because the Ultimate Reality is beyond usefulness and uselessness. Since this answer (the last one) is useful to a few people only, a truth-seeker must ignore this. Refer this quote (given in the following link)--“There is neither creation nor destruction, neither destiny nor free will, neither path nor achievement.This is the final truth.”]
If you are not 'mature' (used in another sense) to face the truth, that will create problems. That was why I said so--'not always'.
You will get an idea about where to focus from these words of Ramana Maharshi.
Truth cannot be quantified. But we can 'view' truth from different levels; with reference to another (relatively).[i.e.,considering another one is true.]
Many people these days do not seem to have an interest in the truth.
Even thieves show interest in truth; but in very low-level truths (or facts) only. Can't we treat the browsing on the Internet as another aspect of people's interest in the Truth. These low-level truths are only 'twigs of truth'. Some people try to find its 'branches'. Scientists try to find its 'trunk' and philosophers its 'roots'. If your statement is about the interest in living an honest life, one can find so many low-level reasons for it. (Eg: Science puts forward many alternatives to overcome the problems they face in their life. So, the development of science and the people's faith in its findings lost many people's interest in the truth.)
The vasanas and milieus compel them to stay away from the truth. (It is easy to live in a dishonest way than in an honest way.) Most people don't know that this human life is precious. If they have a great vision or a great goal in their life, they will certainly pursue it. Though people have different beliefs about posthumous life, even some people who strongly believe in it are interested in some activities only. But what they think as good activities as a part of their beliefs may not be so when viewing from another point. I mean, this beliefs are not enough for making interest in the Truth. Even heaven and hell are also bound by time, space, and causality. But when they try to know themselves and are aware of the cycle of birth and death they will never lose interest in the Truth.
Conventional truths sometimes create bondages, but the Ultimate Truth doesn't.
You may get good examples from your life-experience (for the first part).
Actually the reverse statement is more correct--'He who realized the Ultimate Truth is liberated from all bondages including the endless cycle of birth and death.'
Question 3: Is truth impractical to acquire?
3. To acquire something means that what you are trying to acquire is not with you now. If you say 'I am acquiring truth', implies that the truth is something that excludes you. What would be the case when each and every person considers others in the same way...? This implies that 'that truth' is incomplete and so what you are trying to acquire is not the Truth. Only because of this reason, my answer to this question is 'Yes'. But it can be realized.
If you are not stern, many things will take you away from your aim while you are trying to make it practical. Actually, this is something more than practical. Refer these quotes--1.“Realization is not acquisition of anything new nor is it a new faculty. It is only removal of all camouflage.” 2.“All that is required to realize the Self is to “Be Still.”
What is the actual value of truth in the modern society?
Like love, patience, solidarity, peace etc, truth is essential in modern society. If we ignore truth we will have to face more problems. Like chain reaction, these problems will multiply and will create a great disparity in the society.
[The decay of Dharma causes problems in the world ... shows the Mahabharata. The Gita says (18.47): "It is better to do one’s own dharma, even though imperfectly. than to do another’s dharma, even though perfectly." So, when dealing dharma, even some lies become a part of dharma.]
"what is the application of knowing the truth [in your living, nothing
very mythical] in your life"
If you know the Truth you won't run after anything. Everything comes to you as the fragrance of the flower attracts many creatures. If you are going behind anything after you realized the Truth, it would be for the welfare of the society and so for the whole world. Refer this quote--“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”