The Judgement of Intent

The Judgement of Intent

The incompleteness of our internal truth is hidden even to us, but the effect of its actions are simple logic

The subjective nature of good and bad is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. What one person or culture considers good or moral can be seen as bad or immoral by another. This is because our notions of good and bad are shaped by a complex web of internal referents - our personal experiences, cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, and individual value systems. There is no objective, external measure that can definitively validate whether something is inherently good or bad.

However, this does not mean that the intent behind an action cannot be logically assessed for consistency and validity. Even if someone believes their "truth" justifies their actions, if that supposed truth contradicts known facts and reality, then logical analysis will reveal the inconsistencies. The discrepancies between their internal narrative and the real world serve as red flags that something is amiss in their reasoning.

This brings to mind Gödel's incompleteness theorems in mathematics. They show that in any consistent formal system containing basic arithmetic, there will always be statements that are true but cannot be proven within the system itself. Any system that tries to encapsulate all truths will either be incomplete or inconsistent. Analogously, an individual's subjective belief system, no matter how comprehensive it seems to them, will inevitably have blind spots and inconsistencies when held up against the light of objective reality and logical scrutiny.

The takeaway is that information and knowledge are vital for maintaining a logically consistent and valid worldview. Willful ignorance allows contradictions to go unchecked and falsehoods to masquerade as truths. Only by continually seeking out new information and integrating it can we update our mental models and align them with reality. Refusing to acknowledge inconvenient truths is a direct path to delusion.

History is rife with examples of clashing notions of good and bad between nations, cultures, and individuals. One group's righteous crusade is another's unforgivable atrocity. Mathematical and scientific proofs show us the importance of logical consistency, as a single contradiction can bring down an entire theorem or theory. The scientific method itself is a testament to the power of relentlessly seeking new information to expand our understanding, even if it upends long-held beliefs. Conversely, there are countless examples of the confusion, conflict and catastrophe that can result when people or groups stubbornly cling to erroneous beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence.

Good and bad are constructs, not objective or absolute. Our intent and actions can still be judged by the consistency of the internal logic we use to justify them. Only by rigorously seeking truth and rooting out contradictions can we hope to act in accordance with reality instead of delusion. Information and logical analysis are the key tools in this never-ending process of calibrating our subjective experience with the objective world.