The Value Of Truth

by Zoe Pollock

Bill Vallicella takes a closer look at the philosophy of Hitch:

What would Hitch lose by believing?  Of course, he can't bring himself to believe, it is not a Jamesian live option, but suppose he could.  Would he lose 'the truth'?  But nobody knows what the truth is about death and the hereafter.  People only think they do. Well, suppose 'the truth' is that we are nothing but complex physical systems slated for annihilation.  Why would knowing this 'truth' be a value?  Even if one is facing reality by believing that death is the utter end of the self, what is the good of facing reality in a situation in which one is but a material system? 

If materialism is true, then I think Nietzsche is right: truth is not a value; life-enhancing illusions are to be preferred.  If truth is out of all relation to human flourishing, why should we value it?