*also see Part I: Leap of Faith
I am decidedly persuaded that truth matters. I am decidedly convinced that a property of truth is that it adheres fully only to true things, which is to say that truth does not adhere to things that are false. The more truth we know, the more truth we are prepared to receive. The more true things we perceive, the more likely it is that we are alert to the presence of error in our judgment.
Conversely, the more error we hold in our judgment, the more catastrophic are the results in the execution of our judgment. In the calculus of the human mind, even if we cannot know the truth of everything, the truer our hold on some things, the better our hold on other things. The better hold of first things—the better possible hold on all things. In short, truth leads to truth. Falsehood leads to falsehood. This is because truth only adheres to truth and falsehood adheres only to falsehood.
Now, falsehood sometimes seems to adhere to truth, but he, if I may anthropomorphize, holds falsely to the truth, because of incoherence or by deceptive design. Truth however, cannot adhere falsely to the false, because truth must and can only be true. Falsehood, on the other hand, is self-deceptive and, ultimately, deceived. Falsehood deceives himself and others into occasional adherence to truth, sometimes malevolently, but more often, and tragically, because of the noetic effects of sin-nature, which hates truth and all His alliances. This is why certain persons seem so consistently right about so many things. They know much of true things because they are companion to the verities. They know the character of truth, having the sensibility of wisdom, and therefore, it is hard for a falsehood to reside too long in their midst.
And yet, also, this is why other persons are so uniformly wrong about things. Their judgment is clouded by a disposition to prefer falsehood. They have made up their minds so that falsehood is welcome if it disturbs not the accommodations of the house they have built. At first, it may be that they admitted a falsehood into their company and befriend things they ought not to have, perhaps out of innocent failures to perceive. But when time comes to judge whether they have erred in judgment, an insidious erosion of care, the accretions of indifference to matters of coherence and identity, disguise the lie and take shelter as a companion in the sanctity of their hearts. For this reason, more and more falsehood enters into their company. Even while their intentions are good, they have long ago lost power to perceive these intruders, such that the household and furniture of their minds come into the possession of delusions that must, in the unchecked course of things, seize title of the whole man. For falsehood must expels all truth or it must flee because truth is a light that reveals falsehood. And so the light of things as they really are is the enemy of the world as it is constructed in the corruption of lies and self-deceit.
To the darkened mind, all the lights of truth must be extinguished. And that mind, whether it understands itself or not, must make war on all lights that reveal falsehoods for what they are. Falsehood attaches to falsehood until, finally, the mind is utterly closed to the light of understand. In short, such persons become fools.
It is for these reasons that I am decidedly persuaded that the great divide in human events, is not political. It is not economic. It is not environmental or biological. The great divide that separates mankind into warring camps is not even moral or philosophical. The great divide is between wisdom and folly. It is, on one hand, the disposition of mind and will to submit to true things, and on the other, a disposition of mind and will to make war on the order of things it does not approve. In this difference is the silent awe we feel in our assent to true things, and the loud wild rage we feel in things we do not like. It is a colliding front between the assent to truth we take notice of, between the faith in the truth we know— and the assertion of a perverse mind and will in its power to make its own desires into an image of truth.
The great divide is between those who genuflect to the truth, having no power to create it or make it, and those who, by the invisible passions of their will set up to fashion truth in their own image, to rear an idol to a lie, and demand the entire universe of thought and action to worship before an abomination.
(See continuing essay in Part III.)