Truth Is Good Analysis

Superior Essays
Truth is Good? One of the four key aspects of truth outlined in Michael P. Lynch’s book True to Life is that truth is good. I consider this statement to be slightly at fault and will try to explain my reasonings in this paper. First I will discuss Lynch’s sections in his book concerning truth being good. After that I will present ideas that contradict Lynch’s statement and discuss them. Some of the ideas that I will talk about are lies, pragmatism, importance, and the definition of good.Truth is applicable to many concepts, but does not have a definite quality as either good nor bad, contrary to Lynch’s belief that truth is cognitively good in his book True To Life.
The first argument for truth as a cognitive good appears in Lynch’s chapter
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Other virtues, such as morality, are sometimes more important than the truth. To explain these instances Lynch breaks down good into two basic ways something can be considered good, good all things considered, and prima facie good (Lynch 46). Prima facie good is good when all things are equal, this is the category that truth falls under according to Lynch. An example of prima facie good, is the belief that all truths should be pursued, this belief is normally good unless it would require the death of millions or other moral issues. In this case morality trumps the pursuit of truth. Lynch files truth under prima facie good, because he still believes that truth is good in itself, but some virtues should take precedence over truth.
After describing the difference between cognitive good and moral good, Lynch focuses of context and significance in good beliefs. After examining that some truths and beliefs are not good to pursue Lynch uses significance to filter out the truths not good to have. Significant truth is truth that we actively want to pursue, after accounting for our preferences (Lynch 52). This narrows down the number of truths down to ones that you feel that should be pursued. Lynch also says that significant truth also depends on the good of believing the truth
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Lynch begins by defining lying, “To lie, rather, is to assert something you believe to be false with the intention of misleading or deceiving”(Lynch 148). Lynch then defines deceiving as the aim to pass oneself as believing what one does not believe and to keep this intention from the listener. Lynch uses this definition to refute the automatic judgement that deceiving someone is absolutely wrong. After defining lying, Lynch puts it in a category called prima facie bad. In this Lynch states that lying is bad and truth is preferred over falsity, but there are instances where those roles can become reversed. To identify those instances, Lynch references the ideas of Sissela Bok who states that a ‘good’ lie is a justifiable lie. For if a lie is revealed and justified then it was for a good reason. The only comment Lynch has is that this method is not foolproof, and that it merely indicates those instances where a lie can be considered good. The problem for the stance that lying is prima facie bad is that it would only work for a society. Lying itself is not bad in a personal sense, because it is a deceiving others. Lynch’s use of the relation between truth and lies does not work for the personal realm merely the social one. Therefore Lynch cannot completely use lies for his argument that truth as a cognitive good. Cognitive good is good in thought and thought is only in the personal realm, to become part of

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