“Fear of truth” is opposite courage

Ever since writing TSVOTEP I have had the sense that “fear” is not the opposite of courage. Fear is a survival reflex. Therefore, my new perspective is that fear is sometimes a good thing. That makes it different from the five other vices of ignorance, intellectual incompetence, weak character, pride and selfishness; none of which are ever good things. (Regarding the last one, selfishness is not a vice if a person’s basic needs for food, shelter and belonging have not been met.)

So, what is the opposite of courage? Everyone is fearful of things that can harm them, and they should be. Is there something that never should be feared? And would fearing that something be a vice that emerges from weak character? The opposite of courage is not the general feeling of fear, but the specific “fear of truth.”

An example is an addict’s denial. Until denial (fear of truth) becomes acceptance, treatment can’t be successful because denial blocks the courage needed to overcome addiction.

Continue reading →