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The Truth and the Good

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Doc Tiessen

The Truth and the Good

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The Separability of Truth from the GoodUp until nowadays, the legacy of Plato's philosophical Idealism has deeply influenced European thinking. Plato's inseparable trinity of truth, good and beauty is deeply rooted in our occidental culture. In the American Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson included the sentence:"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among of these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness".This sentence is the cardinal premise of America's civil religion. It is evident, that in the above assertion, the concept of "Truth" is used to validate and justify an ethical statement. The term "self-evidence" is used to justify the "good" of human equality. But is it really necessary to use science or knowledge to give more power to our ethics? Would our ethics loose too much of their authority, if we accepted that moral laws are just a human invention and not part of any universal law? I believe that in the real world, in which we live, we have to separate the concepts of what is true, good or beautiful. If we return to the Jefferson statement: the fact (truth) is that all men are unequal. The self-evidence is that all men are different. Consider alone colour, height or weight. Even twins, who are genetically identical, have a different character and different opinions. However, regardless of the truth, our ethics should be independent. It is good that all men are declared as being equal and have the same rights. Can we all agree on this consensus? Don't we have the choice between good and evil, independent of what is true or not?The Truth is that all Men are different.The Good is that all Men are equal.And the Beauty is that Men are diverse. Edited by: Doc Tiessen at: 11/13/04 12:24 am
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