Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Soloviev on Truthfulness

The word is the instrument of reason for expressing that which is, that which may be, and that which ought to be, i.e., for expressing the actual, the formal, and the ideal truth. The possession of such an instrument is part of the higher nature of man, and therefore when he misuses it, giving expression to untruth for the sake of lower material ends, he does something contrary to human dignity, something shameful.

At the same time the word is the expression of human solidarity, the most important means of communication between men. But this applies only to true words. Therefore when an individual person uses speech to express untruth for his own selfish ends (not only individually selfish, but collectively selfish also, e.g., in the interests of his family, his class, his party, etc.) he violates the rights of others and injures the community.

[Vladimir Soloviev, The Justification of the Good, von Peters, ed. Catholic Resources (Chattanooga, TN: 2015), pp. 127-128.]

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