Truth or Consequences

Truth has environmental importance. The linguistic use of falsehoods is harmful to the environment that all people share. It affects how they feel, how they perform, how safe they are. It affects whether or not humanity can survive. Hiding truth undermines the natural economic value of learning.

A ship’s captain who disregards reefs and icebergs is incompetent, exposing the ship, its passengers, and its mission to perilous harm. Institutional leaders steer their ships into unnavigable waters with lies. There may be moral reasons not to lie, but this is not that. Lies cause real measurable environmental harm. “Loose lips sink ships.” That includes institutional ships.

Lies that happen purposely are often used as a weapon for the express purpose of inflicting harm. Other times they are used ignorantly or superstitiously. They are still harmful. Recognizing a lie, without exposing it as a lie, is a counterfeit affirmation of its validity. It creates the appearance of agreement. Lies perpetuated by majorities gain false credence, but truth is true whether anybody believes it or not. Truth is not a popularity contest. Often people would rather believe lies, and they often do. 

Lies come with an economic environmental consequence, levied on everyone for this and subsequent generations. The cost can, and must be measured. Remaining ignorant about the value of truth to the wellbeing of humanity is extremely harmful. Truth lies in a particular direction. Willful ignorance lies in the opposite direction. Pursuing truth is how people improve the environment they occupy and pass to coming generations.

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