“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
- Exodus 20:16
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
- I Cor. 13:6
“Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another. Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord. Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him.”
- Leviticus 19:11-13
“Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights…”
- Leviticus 19:35-36
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
- James 1:5
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7 (New King James Version)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
- Matthew 7:7
“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”
- Psalm 51:6
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
- Psalm 139:23-24
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”
- Matthew 7:16-18
Truthfulness and trustworthiness are foundational to all human relationships. (If you doubt this, think about the last time someone lied to you, and how much your relationship with that person was damaged as a result.) Our entire modern system of contract law, which is vital to many areas of our economy (including not only individual business transactions, but also the safeguarding of our rights to physical and intellectual property) is an attempt to codify, systematize, and fairly apply the idea that we must keep our promises to one another (or in other words, that we must not say one thing, and then do another.)
As noted earlier (in the part of this First Principles section on the Rule of Law), providing truthful testimony in court is also vital to the preservation of our lives, liberties, and reputations, in addition to our property. When the moral imperative of truthfulness, and/or the rule of law, break down in a society, the safety of all these other things tends to be eroded as well.
On a more positive note, the Bible also teaches that if we persevere in seeking truth we will find it, and indeed that we must distinguish between good and bad ideas (based on their observable consequences or “fruit”), in order to judge wisely in situations that are not explicitly covered in the scriptures.
The Bible teaches that this process of discernment (or the seeking of truth) works best when we submit ourselves to the leadership of God’s spirit. However, since the pursuit of truth does not explicitly require a spiritual context, it provides a common ground in which the sacred and the secular can meet. That is the basis for the founding fathers’ idea of “natural law,” and it is also the basis for much of what is written throughout this site. In other words, although the discussion on this site does have a spiritual context, the ideas advocated on this site are also intended to be ones that can be demonstrated to be wise by objective evidence from history, and from the social and physical sciences.