“The most irreducibly bad thing about lies is that they contrive to interfere with, and to impair our natural effort to apprehend the real state of affairs. They are designed to prevent us from being in touch with what is really going on. […] Lies are designed to damage our grasp of reality. […] In telling his lie, the liar tries to mislead us into believing that the facts are other than they actually are. He tries to impose his will on us. He aims at inducing us to accept his fabrication as an accurate account of how the world truly is” (H.G. Frankfurt, On truth)
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Our wellbeing is not dependant on convenient lies, but on the acceptance of true facts.
Truth alone can provide us with an accurate account of the real world, to which we must adapt our actions in order to survive.
The lack of accurate information arrests human progress: it restrains us from researching and acquiring knowledge, it prevents us from discovering what went wrong with our actions and from making good what our ignorance has wrecked.