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The secret ingredient
The secret ingredient of rationality is morality.
Some people believe morality doesn’t matter, or doesn’t exist, or that they can be rational without being moral — but they’re wrong.
The error here, is ignoring the role of the will in rationality — which we’ve talked about ad nauseam in this newsletter. Willingness to believe an idea is required in order to understand it.
Immoral behavior makes us fear truth, lest it indict us. It makes us fear punishment, justice, discovery of our guilt — even if only unconsciously. It makes us less willing to understand things.
In psycho-economic terms, immoral behavior makes truth more costly. This is the opposite direction from the one we want to go in!
Respect for morality keeps us unafraid of truth, and thus able to be truly rational and objective.
Building up confidence that truth will only help us, and never harm us, is essential for rationality. And such confidence requires morality.
There seems to be no rationality without morality.
In the next few days, we’ll explore how:
Moral laws are unbreakable, like physical laws
Morality is technology
You can prove moral laws exist