This I Believe

Bradley - Westmont, Illinois
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in absolutes

I believe in absolutes. I suppose it may be true that every faculty of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell we have may be lying to us, that perhaps, as Descartes mused, that all that is, is simply a dream. However, even if we grant that assumption, the logical axioms as well as moral truths would still exist. The fact that there cannot be one both all red and all green leaf still remains, regardless of whether any leaves or colors actually exist in the physical universe. The moral truths would also remain, even if everything was an illusion, though I suppose that if you were to know that everyone that appears to be an actual conscious being is, in fact, only an illusion, than I suppose that you would be no more guilty in not at all constraining your actions. If you were to know that to be true, than you would be no more guilty in anything you did than a movie producer would in making a scary movie. However, I believe that the reader of this paper does, in fact, exist, and not simply as an illusion, and I do not think that you, assuming you do exist, would be unreasonable in believing that I, the author of this paper, exist as well. However, the laws of logic would persist, even if there were no objects for them to act on. I believe in the truth of logical and ethical axioms more than I believe in the actual existence of anything my senses tell me.

As to the content of ethical axioms, I do admit that such are difficult to formulate, and there may be many objects of absolute value, such as happiness and autonomy. However, I think that to seriously believe that there exist absolutely no real rights or wrongs is to hold an incorrect belief. I believe it would be wrong to locate a value or disvalue where there is no consciousness, and I believe there is a different element of value when one deals with rational beings.