Truth Pt II

Morality is a decision making framework used for the pursuit of one’s values. Since the framework has definite goals, it is possible to assess how well any particular principle is able to satisfy those goals. The process of assessment requires reason – that is: one must use logic and empirical evidence to prove or disprove one’s assumptions. Without logic and without evidence one cannot know if any moral principle brings one closer to fulfilling one’s values. In other words: does this principle conform to my values (logic), and does its implementation bring me the desired result (evidence)? It follows that the pursuit of truth is an essential prerequisite to the pursuit of morality, for without truth one will have no way of judging a moral framework in either theory or practice, and consequently one could have no morality at all since any principle would be as good as any other.

In this way, while irrationality can be one’s value, it cannot be pursued by means of a moral framework simply because the very act of pursuing irrationality destroys the ways of assessing one’s progress towards it, and in turn, the foundations of morality itself. Consequently, truth is a necessity to morality, and thus, reason, logic and evidence are the essential parts of its pursuit. A moral framework must be rational if it is to be a moral framework at all. This says nothing about man’s other values, which do not, and need not, come from reason, only that truth is an essential component in the pursuit of morality, and in turn, of any other value.

Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

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