“The Ninth Commandment”
November 13, 2022
Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service
The Reading of the Word
We continue this morning through the Ten Commandments in the book of Deuteronomy, as we come now to the ninth commandment. Our text will be Deuteronomy 5:6 & 20.
Please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.
The Lord said to his people:
6 “‘I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
20 “‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’”
This is the word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.)
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]
Let’s pray …
Prayer of Illumination
Lord, like the psalmist,
we ask you to work now through this, your word to your servants,
the very word in which you have helped us to place our hope.
For our comfort in the afflictions we face in this world
is that your promises in your word give us life.
Though the world may deride us,
we do not turn from this your revelation to us.
Teach us from it now, we ask, in Jesus’s name. Amen.
[Based on Psalm 119:49-51]
Our text this morning is about bearing false witness. The scene evoked in the commandment itself is the courtroom [Wright, 83] – but Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount made it clear that this verse had implications for all of life. [Matthew 5:37] Fundamentally, this commandment is about how we relate to the truth: in what we say, in what we affirm, and in what we believe.
And so this morning I want to ask:
- First, what is our culture’s relationship to the truth like?
- Second, how does the Bible explain our relationship to the truth?
- And third, how should we relate to the truth going forward?
What Is Our Culture’s Relationship to the Truth Like?
So first, what is our culture’s relationship to the truth like?
And the answer … if we reflect on it … is that our culture’s relationship to the truth is deeply broken. Our culture’s relationship to the truth is actually deeply incoherent and contradictory.
At the same time in our culture … we care deeply about the truth … we struggle to explain why the truth matters … and we are often quite careless with the truth.
And if you’re thinking “Well that combination doesn’t really make sense …” then you’re exactly right. Something is broken.
Think about this a little bit with me.
First of all, our culture cares deeply about the truth. And we see this at all sorts of levels of society. Most obvious is the larger, more public levels of our society. Our national discourse, whether in the mainstream media or on social media, is largely composed of three different kinds of conversation. One is two groups yelling at each other over what is true. The other is groups talking amongst themselves about how stupid or evil another group is for failing to see what is true. And a third is people wringing their hands in distress over why other people don’t see what is so obviously true. Across the political spectrum, left, right, and center, across various topics whether it’s crime, the environment, the economy, or various social issues, everywhere people are talking passionately about the truth. They are arguing with those who disagree with them over the truth. They are encouraging those who agree with them. And they are fretting over those who don’t seem to see what they see.
And that’s not just happening at a big and abstract level, but we see it in our personal relationships as well. Over the past few years, people of all sorts of cultural and political stripes have ended relationships with friends or even family over disputes about the truth – even when those disputes have little to do with the relationship … even when they are, for example, disputes about the epidemiological truths of a virus … or disputes about the public health truths of a vaccine … or disputes about the validity of an election. Though it could be completely possible for friends or family members to disagree on those issues and maintain their relationships …. over and over again, relationships that had gone on for years or even decades have ruptured over disputes about what is true on these sorts of issues.
Of course, those are only a few of the more recent disputes about truth in our culture. We could go on with long lists of social, political, cultural, economic, or other issues with which people have become deeply passionate. And across these issues, more and more, people have found themselves so passionate about the truth on these issues that they struggle or fail to maintain relationships with people who see things differently from them.
As a culture, we seem to care deeply about the truth.
But then, second, along with that, at the very same time, as a culture, we struggle to explain why the truth matters.
Sometimes that reality is a practical one. It’s not really clear why two siblings need to have the same perspective on the 2020 election in order to have a close relationship. It’s not really clear why that is relevant. And yet so many struggle if their views of the truths diverge – even on something quite distant from their relationship to one another. So sometimes the struggle to explain why the truth matters is practical.
But more significantly, and more often, that struggle is metaphysical. More often people in our culture find themselves deeply committed to promoting what they believe is the truth … but then, if pressed … they are unable to explain why the truth ultimately matters.
One example I think of often is Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and part of the New Atheists movement. Dawkins cares deeply about other people accepting the truth as he sees it. He has dedicated much of his life to proclaiming the truth as he sees it, with a strong desire that others should embrace it, and a frustration when they don’t.
What’s not clear is why it should matter to him what other people believe. If the world is just an accident … if there is nothing beyond the material world … if human life ends at death … then what does it matter if human beings believe all that or not? Why does Dawkins care about whether or not other people believe the truth?
It’s not quite clear.
In a 2008 debate, John Lennox pressed Dawkins on something close to that question. And Dawkins’s reply was interesting. He expressed how he thought it was important that people acknowledge the truth (the truth as he sees it) in order to live life to the full. Dawkins said: “I think there’s something wonderful about standing up and facing up to a universe where we are increasing our understanding,” and we throw away childish ideas about God. He said: “I think when we grow up we need to cast that aside and stand up, tall in the universe, and … it’s cold, and we’re not going to last forever – we’re going to die – and we face up to that … and I think that’s a nobler way of getting through life than to pin your hopes on childhood illusions.” [Dawkins, 40:59-44:00]
Now, there is so much we could say about this, but I want to focus on just one thing. Dawkins’s comment may sound noble and profound … but within his own worldview there’s no real reason why believing the truth about the universe would have any real value. If Dawkins is right about the universe … if we are just material beings that came about through time and chance, the product of chemical reactions and electrical impulses that happen to spawn consciousness as an evolutionary side-effect … if we are merely physical beings who will cease to exist when we die … if Dawkins is right about that … then of all the things we could do with our time, why should we bother with truth? Why should any of us care about truth – whether the ultimate truths of the universe, or the basic truths of our existence, or, for that matter, even truths about other people? Who cares?
If Dawkins were correct, then truth would not have any inherent value. All that would matter is whatever makes life more livable for us – whatever we prefer and whatever seems useful. Dawkins may make profound-sounding statements about how it’s noble to face up to the truth about the objective meaninglessness of life … but even that is just a statement of his own preferences. He prefers to do that. But if other people feel different – if other people prefer to believe nonsense about the world and to share that nonsense with others, if that is what helps them cope with the futility of existence … then what argument could Dawkins really make against that?
In other words, Richard Dawkins cares deeply about truth … but in his own worldview, there doesn’t seem to be a solid case to make about why truth matters in any of our lives: in what we say, in what we affirm, or in what we personally believe.
But Dawkins is not alone in being stuck in that contradiction.
We see this in all sorts of values that dominate our culture.
For some people, life is not cold and meaningless as it is for Dawkins, but rather life has meaning in self-expression. We each find meaning as we live out our true selves, as we understand ourselves in our hearts.
But here again, from this framework of expressive individualism, we come into contradictions. On the one hand, such a view of meaning undermines any sense of shared or objective truth. We each may find something different in our hearts, and what I find in my heart might be incompatible with what you find in your heart. There is no outside objective arbitrator between our personal truths in a view that roots meaning in individual expression.
And yet few find that livable. Most people have a deep sense that the truth they find in themselves and then try to live out needs not only to be allowed by the world they live in, but affirmed by the world they live in. At the end of the day, we don’t want it just to be our truth, but we want others to tell us that it is true truth – that it is objective truth … even when our worldview has no such categories.
For others life is not meaningless or about personal expression, but it is about achievement and competition: competition for power or for money or for prestige or for other valued things. Sometimes that competition is individualistic: a war of all against all. Other times it is tribal: we identify with a specific demographic or subculture, and then our demographic competes with other demographics. But within such a view of the world, what’s useful is what matters most, not what’s true. Whatever claims or beliefs or actions can help us win are what is valuable, and any truth that doesn’t help us in that competition is a liability that should be jettisoned. And yet that, once again, becomes unlivable. After all, competition and achievement are nothing without an objective arbitrator. And those who live this way, though their view of the world tells them to bend or jettison the truth in order to get ahead, will simultaneously feel a profound need for an objectively truthful reckoning of their success. Their view of the world devalues the truth even as it depends on it.
Many, in our culture, take a view of the world that R. R. Reno has called non-judgmentalism. We believe that we should refrain from judging others – from imposing our truths on them, and that others should refrain from judging us. Judgments are merely preferences – not truths – and we should not impose our preferences on others or take theirs onto ourselves.
But once again, this approach to life becomes unlivable. When we think someone else has done something wrong … if they declare something racist, or they misuse someone else, or they hurt us or someone we love … we’re not satisfied to just think “Well … I prefer it when people don’t do those kinds of things.” We think “That was wrong. That was bad.” Our hearts pull us to the category of truth, not preference.
The same is true when it comes to how others evaluate us. When you learn that someone else has said something critical or hurtful about you, how did you respond in your own heart? My guess is you didn’t say “Well … I prefer to think of myself as good rather than how they described me, so that’s what I’ll do.” My guess is that your internal thoughts inevitably go to the topic of truth. Some insist “It’s not true! I’m not like that!” Others find themselves wondering: “Is it true? Am I like that?” Still others voice protests, but the questions of doubt rise in their secret thoughts as they lie awake at night. Either way, though we may deny the category in theory, in practice we cannot avoid wrestling with questions of truth.
And yet … again and again we see that so many of the dominant ways of viewing life and the world in our secular culture today, if pressed, undermine the very idea of truth … even as we cannot escape it.
So, first, as a culture, we care deeply about the truth. Second, and at the very same time, as a culture, we struggle to explain why truth matters. But then third, even as we engage in this back and forth over truth at one moment, in other moments we are quite careless and indifferent about the truth.
Some people will be ready to end a long friendship over the truth one moment … and then the next they will tell an outright lie to avoid an inconvenience. We can switch from such passion for the truth one moment to such indifference that it’s jarring.
And it’s maybe not even the outright lies that are most shocking as it is the more casual indifference to the truth. Have you seen this in your own life? Maybe it’s not an outright premeditated lie … but it’s that moment where you find yourself saying something to someone … and you realize that you’re not sure that what you’re saying is really true … I mean, it’s useful to get you where you’re trying to go with this person you’re dealing with … but you’re not sure it’s really true. And then maybe you assure yourself that you don’t know for sure that it’s not true … and so it’s not really a lie … and it could be true … maybe it’s probably true, now that you think of it … and even if it’s not, it’s not really that big of a deal.
We can sometimes find ourselves speaking not with commitment or antagonism to the truth … but with indifference to it … speaking words that will get us what we want, without much concern as to whether they are true or not. [See Frankfurt for more on this, along with Lear and Leithart below]
Or maybe it’s not so much what you say but what you’re willing to affirm. You hear someone say something that you know is not true … but you’re with people who seem quite supportive of it … and so being careful not to stand out or ruffle any feathers, you find yourself saying or doing things to indicate agreement … when you know you don’t really agree. It’s not that you believe a lie … you’re just kind of willing to affirm it to avoid awkwardness.
Or other times our indifference to the truth is not about external expressions but internal acceptance.
While in some areas you may be so careful in evaluating the facts before you believe something is true … in other areas of life you find yourself eager to accept certain claims because they simply feel true. You find yourself quick to believe statements that flatter you … and also pretty quick to believe negative reports about people you don’t like. And then, at the same time, you find it quite easy to dismiss statements that make you uncomfortable … even if they have the traits of being factual. Psychologists call this “confirmation bias.” Really, it’s just a somewhat careless and prejudicial attitude towards the truth which evaluates different claims not primarily on the evidence for them, but on which ones we’d like to be true. This same tendency might show up at other times as overconfidence, when we find ourselves speaking to an issue with a zeal and a confidence that we know, deep down, doesn’t actually match the sturdiness of the facts or of our own knowledge base. This too is a way of being casual with the truth.
Do you see areas in life where you do that? Where you are careless or indifferent to the truth?
These three tendencies – caring deeply about the truth one moment, being unable to explain why it matters the next, and then being careless with the truth the third – these three tendencies are incompatible with each other … and yet I think we each can see some form of them in our lives. Do you see these competing ways of relating to the truth in your own life?
On the one hand, do you see your own passion for the truth – how deeply you care about being on the side of truth, and urging others to join you there, in all sorts of areas of life? On the other hand, do you see times where … if pressed … it’s hard for you to explain why you care so much about the truth in one area of life or another? And then, even as this deeper conflict goes on, do you see other times where you thoughtlessly or carelessly act with indifference to the truth: whether in what you say, or in what you affirm, or in how you treat the claims of others – either accepting them too readily or resisting them too stubbornly?
Do you see these tendencies in your own life? Do you see it in the people around you?
And if so, what explains this broken and somewhat incoherent relationship to the truth that we have in our lives and in our culture?
How Does the Bible Explain Our Relationship to the Truth?
That brings us to our second question: How does the Bible explain our somewhat odd relationship to the truth?
The Bible actually tells us that we should not be surprised to have a complicated relationship to the truth. And to begin to understand why our relationship to the truth is so complex, we need to start with the fact that the ultimate truth about the universe we live in is not a “what” but a “Who.”
And this makes some sense, doesn’t it? Because we don’t often have complicated relationships with things. But we quite frequently have complicated relationships with people. And so to hear that the foundational Truth of the universe is indeed a person – actually three persons – goes a long way to explaining why our relationship to that Truth is so complicated.
Many ways of viewing the world see the impersonal as being foundational, and then see persons as being things that are created out of impersonal matter and forces. But the Christian Scriptures teach that actually, the personal is the foundation. Before any “things” existed, there was a person – or, more accurately, one God who existed as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And that Triune God is the fundamental reality of the universe. The Bible tells us that God himself is Truth [Isaiah 65:16], that the Son of God is Truth [John 14:6], and that the Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth [John 14:17] [Rayburn, 170]
This God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the ultimate Truth of all that is. He is the foundational Truth of the universe. He was Truth before any other truth existed, and all that is true derives its truth from him. All that exists was made by him, is held together through him, and exists for him. He is the foundational Truth of the universe.
This God, who is Truth, made the universe – all things visible and invisible. And he made humanity in his image, to live in community with him – in communion with the God who is Truth.
But then humanity rejected him. We rejected the One who is Truth. Humanity chose instead to embrace a lie. Our First Parents were presented with a lie that God was not really Good or True. And first they chose to believe that lie. And then they repeated that lie to one another. They bore false witness against God. They rejected the Ultimate Truth.
And from there, humanity descended into lies and falsehood. We chose to sever ourselves from the One who is ultimate Truth, and lies and confusion have ensued ever since.
We came to believe and to repeat lies about God – about who is and what he is like. We came to believe and to repeat lies about others – about their value and their worth. We came to believe and to repeat lies about this world – about where it came from and what it is for. We came to believe and to repeat lies about ourselves – about who we are, whose image we bear, and whether or not we are sinners. We came to suppress the truth in so many ways.
But at the very same time, the God who is Truth refused to be suppressed. And so we could not shake our need for the Truth no matter how hard we tried. He continued to bear witness about himself in what has been made [Romans 1:18-32]. He continued to bear witness about himself through our hearts that bear his image [Romans 2:14-16]. He continued to bear witness about himself by acting and speaking into human history [Luke 16:29-31]. And then he bore ultimate witness about himself when he came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. In Jesus, true Truth walked among us. Then he died on the cross for our sake, and he rose from the dead, and proclaimed that all who placed their trust in him – all who embraced him and the truth of the gospel – could be made right with God, and thus live once again in harmony with the God who is the ultimate Truth of this world.
The goal of our salvation is to know the One who is Truth – to know the God who is the ultimate foundational Truth of the universe, both now and for all eternity.
But if we reject him – if we continue to suppress his Truth – then in the end, he will give us what we ask for. He will cut us off from the Truth – from himself. If we don’t want the Truth, then he will sever us from the Truth. But to be cut loose from the Ultimate Truth of the universe is not to be set free, but to fall into an abyss.
On the other hand, to know the One who is Truth is life and peace. And it is when we know the One who is capital-t Truth, that our relationship to all other truth can begin to fall properly into place. And so it is when we are rooted in the One who is capital-t truth that we can truly begin to fulfill the calling of the ninth commandment.
How Should We Now Relate to the Truth?
That leads us to our third and final question: If you have embraced Christ who is the capital-t Truth, how then should you now relate to truth in general in this life? What will it look like for the restoration of our relationship to the One who is Truth to begin to correct our relationship to every other truth in this world?
And here we need to say a few things.
First, and foundationally, it means that we will be committed to knowing and proclaiming the truth about God. That will mean a commitment to the truth about God as he has revealed himself in the Scriptures, along with a healthy suspicion of our own tendency to project onto God our preferences onto him. God, as he exists, may often be different than we prefer him to be. God may call us to things that we would not prefer to do. In every Christian life, the truth of who God is and what he wants from us is a call to sacrifice – to deny ourselves, and to take up our cross daily and to follow Christ. [Luke 9:23] We need to be willing to make sacrifices for the truth of who God really is. And we need to be willing to do that even if those sacrifices are quite costly. The history of God’s people is a reminder that our refusal to bear false witness against him our God may cost us dearly in this sad and fallen world. As one author puts it: “With the Ninth [Commandment], Jesus calls us to martyrdom.” [Leithart, 110]
When it comes to God, the truth of who he is must outrank our preferences and utilities. Because there is nothing more important than how we will relate to the God who is capital-t Truth. This is why the Scriptures are so important. They are God’s self-revelation. They are where he tells us who he is. We may struggle with what we find there. But what we find there is the truth about God. To reject it, or to ignore it, is not to just choose a different spiritual option among many in life. It is to bear false witness against God himself.
Second, we must be committed to the truth about ourselves. And this too means listening to what the Scriptures say about us, rather than what we want to think about ourselves. On the one hand, it means that we will accept that the Bible says we are sinful even if our natural tendency is to think we are fantastic. And on the other hand, it means that we will accept that the Bible says that we bear the image of God, even if our natural tendency is to believe that we are worthless. The Bible says a lot about who we are – a lot about what it means to be human. And to reject what it has to say is not just to choose a different source of information among several options, but it is to bear false witness against ourselves.
Third, we must resist a careless attitude toward the truth about the world that God has made. This means that whether it’s a matter of science or history or culture or something else, we will exercise humility when it comes to what we know. We can have full confidence with everything God tells us himself in the Bible. But the more our knowledge depends on us – whether on our human investigation or on our human interpretation – then the more humility we need to have about what we know. Don’t get me wrong, we really can know things about this world – that is a wonderful gift about how God has made us. But we also are frequently wrong. And with everything we believe we must consider both what we believe is true, and how confident we should be in that belief. We each are called to seek to understand the world we live in – the facts of science, and history, and politics, and culture, and human life, and our own lives. But the level of confidence warranted in each thing we think we know will vary. God has made us limited. When we ignore that fact, we bear false witness about how God has made us. And since God has made this world, and he presides over its history, when we speak with certainty about something we should speak of with more humility, then we may bear false witness against the world God has made and the history he has ordained.
Again – I’m not speaking here about when we make honest errors due to our natural limitations – and that is not the problem I’m talking about. The problem I’m talking about is when we speak with an unwarranted certainty about some things in a way that functionally denies our God-given limitations. Where do you tend to do this? How might you need to be more humble in how you hold and how you speak of your knowledge of this world?
Fourth, we must resist falsehood when we speak about other people. And once again, this is rooted in our relationship to God. God made other people. They belong to him. Whether they are Christians or non-Christians, whether they are our friends, or our enemies, or our co-workers, or public figures in our culture, they belong to God. When we bear false witness against them: when we slander them ourselves, or we repeat slander we have heard from others, or we accept slander that we should question, then we bear false witness against a person who belongs to God. And as Christians committed to the truth, we must resist that tendency. Where are you prone to speaking or repeating or accepting slander? How might you need to repent of bearing false witness against one of God’s creatures in this way?
Fifth, we must resist the misuse of the truth. God is Truth. And he has given us truth. But look how God has used truth in our lives: He has used it for our good. He may, at times, have to wound us with the truth. But like a skilled surgeon, he wounds us in order to heal us. So we too, as Christians, must use the truth properly. That means speaking it when it needs to be spoken either in the interest of an offender who needs to be called to repentance, or a victim who needs to be protected, or public justice that needs to be maintained. But it also means refusing to use painful truths about others as a weapon … or as gossip … or as entertainment. All truth is God’s truth. And we are therefore called to use it for God’s purposes.
All of this means that as Christians – as those who have come to know the One who is Truth – we must have a deep sense of humility. We must be aware of our sinful tendency to suppress the truth: whether it’s inconvenient truths about God, unpleasant truths about ourselves, undesired truths about the world we live in, negative truths about people we like, or positive truths about people we don’t like. We must be suspicious of our sinful tendencies toward what we want to believe and what we don’t want to believe.
And then, as we seek to live in light of all truth, we must look to God for help. First, we must rely heavily on his Word to us in the Scriptures. And second, we must look to his Holy Spirit. Because once again, as we strive to live in light of the truth, God has not left us to ourselves. Jesus promised to give his Holy Spirit to all who trusted in him. And he promised us that the Holy Spirit would guide us in all truth. [John 16:13]
As human beings, we have a complicated history, and a complicated relationship with truth. We were created to live in communion with the One who is Truth. We have been broken and twisted by our First Parents’ embrace of an earth-shattering lie. We have been saved by Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. Our lives as Christians have now been firmly planted in the truth of God. But every day – sometimes it feels like every moment – we find ourselves beckoned to return to lies. We’re tempted to forsake the truth all over again. We’re tempted to bear false witness against our neighbors … against ourselves … and even against God.
The ninth commandment is a call to persist in the truth. It will not always be easy. It will not always make us popular. It may upset our enemies, but it may also upset our friends. But when we see such costs, we need to remember that ultimately, this is not about principle. Ultimately this is not about abstract ideas. Ultimately it is about the God who is Truth. At root, he is the one we cling to. And as we do, he has promised to be with us, and to guide us in all truth.
And if he himself is the Truth, then why would we ever want to live apart from him?
And so instead, let us seek to obey the ninth commandment in full reliance on him.
This sermon draws on material from:
Barker, Paul. Introduction and notes to Deuteronomy in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
Block, Daniel I. The NIV Application Commentary: Deuteronomy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012.
Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Translated by Ford Lewis Battles. Edited by John T. McNeill. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1960.
Dawkins, Richard and John Lennox. “Has Science Buried God” Debate at Oxford Museum of Natural History. October 2008. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVEuQg_Mglw
Frame, John. The Doctrine of the Christian Life. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008.
Frankfurt, Harry G. On Bull****. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.
Lear, Jonathan. “Whatever.” A Review of On Bull**** by Harry G. Frankfurt. The New Republic. March 20, 2005. https://newrepublic.com/article/68113/whatever
Leithart, Peter J. The Ten Commandments: A Guide to the Perfect Law of Liberty. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020.
Leithart, Peter J. “Bulls***” March 19, 2005. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/leithart/2005/03/bulls/
Rayburn, Robert S. The Truth in Both Extremes: Paradox in Biblical Revelation. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2021.
Wright, Christopher. Deuteronomy. NIBC. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996.
 Dawkins has made the argument that what is true and what us useful (what “works best” for survival and reproduction) are synonymous: That rightly perceiving what is true (what is accurate about the world around us) will be the most useful thing for living our lives [Dawkins, 14:25-15:45]. But actually, Dawkins’s view is a bit dated here, because more recent work by cognitive scientists like Donald Hoffman, based on computer modeling of evolutionary processes, has contradicted this claim. Such work has actually argued that an accurate perception of the world – “truth” in other words – is not always what is most useful for an organism to survive and to reproduce. [See the work of Donald Hoffman, e.g.: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/ ] For a philosophical argument that ultimately makes the same point, see Thomas Nagel’s chapter 4 “Cognition” in Mind and Cosmos. Interestingly, where Hoffman makes his arguments based on the assumptions of the neo-Darwinian materialism, Nagel makes the same point as an argument against the assumptions of neo-Darwinian materialism. All of this is to say, from a purely materialistic view of the world, one can’t assume that what is true (what accurately represents the world we live in) and what is most useful for a good life, are actually the same thing.
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