Sunday, June 24, 2007

The search for truth be placed high on the ethics agenda

Is there a right to be wrong? June 23rd, 2007 (posted by ray harris)
This questions arises out of my previous post, but I think it deserves a seperate thread. Is there an ethical principle that says a person or group has a right to believe something that is demonstrably wrong? Which is the higher principle, the right to faith or the search for truth?
One of the ways religious freedom distorts ethics is that it actually places the right to faith above the search for truth. And in some notably perverse examples egregious faith in ridiculous things is valued well above the search for truth. There is a conspiracy in many societies not to mention the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Much of this is achieved through basic intimidation. We know that in the past that people who believe ridiculous things will fight and kill to assert their faith in the ridiculous. Christopher Hitchens asserts that many editors he knew did not publish the Danish cartoons because of a respect for Islam, but out of a fear of the potential backlash. We see the same bullying and intimidation at work again over the knighting of Salman Rushdie.
I look forward to the time when the search for truth is placed high on the ethics agenda and that we have worked out that there is no ‘right to be wrong’. Posted in Ray's Integral Blog, Ethics & Morality 1 Comment » show comment » One Response to “Is there a right to be wrong?”
ray harris Says: June 23rd, 2007 at 10:49 pm I should add that there is a right to be undecided. What is ironic about this is that most ethical systems based on religious belief have an injunction about truth telling. The Judeo-Christian version is in the Ten Commandments - thou shalt not bare false witness. Applied rigorously this ought to demand that all Judeo-Christians take meticulous care not to lie or misrepresent. Pity that fundamentalists rush to break this commandment and use convoluted reasoning to justify their lies. The problem is that the Judeo-Christians did not develop a method to determine what was false and true.

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