Monday, October 10, 2005

Should We Stick To Lies?

Imagine for a moment you had a friend. Let's call her Cassandra, because I like tragic seers.

Cassandra worships Tubbylicious, the Chief God of the Nomoreinexistence tribe. At dawn and sunset she performs meditations, and every thirteenth day she fasts. She enters states of ecstasy and claims to receive visions and advice regularly from her patron. After all the turmoil in her life, Tubbylicious has given her meaning, stability and joy.

But after studying the Nomoreinexistence tribe, you find out that they were, in fact, an ancient spacefaring civilisation who snorted magic mushrooms and were all atheist. In fact, Tubbylicious never existed.

i) Should you tell Cassandra?

ii) How important is it for a person's worship to be 'truthful' as opposed to simply beneficial for them?

iii) To make it more abstract: even if lies are more beneficial to us, is truth somehow always 'better'?

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