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Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being:
Part 2, Chapter 15.

    Let us now examine the true and the false, which indicate to us the fourth, and last, consequence of true belief. Now, in order to do this, we shall first state the definitions of Truth and Falsity. Truth is an affirmation (or a denial) made about a certain thing, which agrees with that same thing; and Falsity is an affirmation (or a denial) about a thing, which does not agree with the thing itself. But this being so, it may appear that there is no difference between the false and the true Idea, or, since the [affirmation or] denial of this or that are mere [N1] modes of thought, and [the true and the false Idea] differ in no other way [N2] except that the one agrees with the thing, and the other does not, that they are therefore, not really, but only logically [N3] different; and if this should be so, one may justly ask, what advantage has the one from his Truth, and what harm does the other incur through his falsity? and how shall the one know that his conception or Idea agrees with the thing more than the other does? lastly, whence does it come that the one errs, and the other does not?
[Note N1]: Literally "true," but the translator probably mistook merus for verus.

[Note N2]: In B this sentence begins as follows: "But since the affirmation or denial of this or that are mere [N1 above] modes of thought, there seems to be no difference between the true and the false idea except that," &c.

[Note N3]: door reeden [through reason.]

    To this it may, in the first place, serve as an answer that the clearest things of all make known both themselves and also what is false, in such a manner that it would be a great folly to ask how we are to become aware of them: for, since they are said to be the clearest of all, there can never be any other clearness through which they might be made clear; it follows, therefore, that truth at once reveals itself and also what is false, because truth is made clear through truth, that is through itself, and through it also is falsity made clear; but falsity is never revealed and made manifest through itself. So that any one who is in possession of the truth cannot doubt that he possesses it, while one who is sunk in falsity or in error can well suppose that he has got at the truth; just as some one who is dreaming can well think that he is awake, but one who is actually awake can never think that he is dreaming.

    These remarks also explain to some extent what we said about God being the Truth, or that the Truth is God himself.

    Now the reason why the one is more conscious of his truth than the other is, is because the Idea of [his] affirmation (or denial) entirely agrees with the nature of the thing, and consequently has more essence. [N1] It may help some to grasp this better if it be observed that Understanding (although the word does not sound like it) is a mere or pure passivity; that is, that our soul is changed in such a way that it receives other modes of thought, which it did not have before. Now when some one, in consequence of the whole object having acted upon him, receives corresponding forms or modes of thought, then it is clear that he receives a totally different feeling of the form or character of the object than does another who has not had so many causes [acting upon him], and is therefore moved to make an affirmation or denial about that thing by a different and slighter action (because he becomes aware of it only through a few, or the less important, of its attributes).[N2] From this, then, we see the perfection of one who takes his stand upon Truth, as contrasted with one who does not take his stand upon it. Since the one changes easily, while the other does not change easily, it follows therefrom that the one has more stability and essence than the other has: likewise, since the modes of thought which agree with the thing have had more causes [to produce them] they have also more stability and essence in them: and, since they entirely agree with the thing, it is impossible that they should after a time be made different or undergo some change, *all the less so* because we have already seen before that the essence of a thing is unchangeable. Such is not the case with falsity. And with these remarks all the above questions will be sufficiently answered.
[Note N1]: B: . . . because in the former case the Idea of the affirmation (or denial) which entirely agrees with the nature of the thing has so much more essence.

[Note N2]: Text imperfect. See Commentary.

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