The will to truth

“The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not laid before us! What strange, perplexing, questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves? WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this “Will to Truth” in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will—until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us…” — Friedrich Nietzsche – Beyond Good & Evil

No one is unbiased. Organisms are valuing power hungry machines.

Many will claim to have a bias toward truth, but this is only true when truth grants them power. This is only true to a point.

For example, Christians reveal their bias against truth when they say things like “If my theism is correct you (the atheist) face eternal damnation, and if you are right then death is the end and I have nothing to lose by believing.”

This clearly demonstrates that they prefer a comfortable lie over cold hard facts.

The phrase “I have nothing to lose by believing” reveals that ultimately truth is at least secondary to them and not an end in itself. That they value truth less than something else as it is only a means to something else.

Believers will often resort to arguing that “Without God there is no objective morality, therefore God”.

Which is really just arguing “I don’t wanna live in a world without X, therefore God”. An appeal to consequence fallacy.

Matthew Ray, a now former Christian apologist wrote in the the forward of my book that; “God could very well want me to suffer if it meant his glory be shown. See Romans 9). I then realized that this god was only after his best interest (his interest not mine). These thoughts deeply disturbed me but I fought them. I played them off like it was Satan trying to deceive me but then I remembered, Satan cannot do what God doesn’t allow him to do. So no matter how you look at it, God is allowing Satan to do this for his glory.”(his power interest not mine)

That is he became open to the possibility that God didn’t exist after realizing that if he did, he wouldn’t derive benefit from it.

Most believers (in whatever) won’t even question their belief until it will grant them (power) by doing so.

I have met many believers who believe (at least in part) because they derive power by being apart of a religious in-group. That is, they derive comfort in their beliefs, they may even have a social safety net because of it etc.

I have watched unbelieving woman suddenly ‘find Jesus,’ after dating a Christian man. (Often times he is wealthy)

It has been said “If you want to know what someone thinks about you, look at what they are willing to believe about you”.

Is this not at least generally true?

People are more likely to believe negative accusations about those they hate or have no emotional attachment to, but will often fervently defend those who are of power importance to them no matter how guilty the accused person is likely to be.

Look, for example what conspiracy theories democrats are willing to believe about a republican politician. Why do they buy into such theories about their opponents? Because if true, they stand to benefit, and often even if false they stand to benefit.

Please do not misunderstand me here, I am not saying “they believe because of motive X, therefore their belief is false.”

That would be an appeal to motive fallacy.

I’m not claiming that they always make such decision consciously. In fact I think it is mostly subconscious.

Every healthy organism consciously and unconsciously seeks power, sometimes truth is power, other times it isn’t.

One thing is always true, power is always power.

People will accept power UnAllied to truth, but never truth UnAllied to power just as they will accept power UnAllied to (purported) ‘moral goodness” but never “moral goodness” UnAllied to power.

“The world is will to power….. you are will to power and nothing besides!” — Nietzsche

Much of what people believe is due to subconscious power considerations. Natural selection selects for truth insofar as it is successful in the propagation of DNA.

Or as the philosopher Peter Sjöstedt-H put it in his book Neo-Nihilism: The philosophy of power;  “Even perception itself is a form of valuation: one perceives what can be beneficial vis-à-vis power. We do not directly perceive radio waves as these were not beneficial in our evolutionary past. One values what is in one’s power interest. Those with more power will value things that increase their power, such as valour, an enemy to test oneself against, courage, fortitude, intellect, influence. Those with less strength will value things such as humility, civility, servitude, submission, an eternal afterlife of peace, etc. Master morality and slave morality are different valuations conditioned by different typologies. Often one is conditioned to value things that are not in one’s interest (but the Church or state’s interest)”

Often times a belief in falsity binds an in group together thus leading to greater in group cooperation, and thus an aid to genetic proliferation and individual survival.

Hence religion and dogma.

“The will to truth” is ultimately merely one of the many guises

of the will to power.

Perhaps you can think of some ways in which people derive power/benefit from believing in something false.

If so, leave it in the chat box below.

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