We all recognize the value in knowing things that are true. That’s why we go to school, ask questions, read the newspapers, and investigate things we don’t understand. It is clear that knowledge is valuable.
But suppose we think we know something bu we are wrong? How often do we believe things that aren’t true? While we are frequently concerned about what we don’t know, we may forget to be concerned about things we think we know that are actually false. How serious can it be when people believe things that aren’t really true?
Consider World War II. The Nazis believed they were a superior race that was entitled to rule the world. They were wrong. If they had not had this wrong belief, they would not have caused the deaths of huge numbers of people, both in battle and in death camps. No doubt some who supported the Nazis were simply malicious individuals. But the great majority undoubtedly believed that their cause was just. Without the support of these “good” people - people raising families, people working for a living, but people who believed something terribly false - the Nazis would never have risen to power. One of the ugliest periods of human history would simply not have happened. People believing something that wasn’t true had a terrible price.