Do we always search out the truth and then conform our reasoning to it later? Or do we find a position attractive, have an intuition as to its truth, and then follow the path of arguments so we arrive at that which we desired to begin with? I’d be a fool to insist on the first and deny the last. It is a combination of both. I think we do have an intuition that a particular conclusion is true, and find it beautiful and desirable. But I also think we legitimately can follow out the reasoning, examine the arguments, and submit the case to logical analysis. And if we still come out on the other end knowing it is true, our initial desire for it does not falsify the truth of it. If something is true, it is true no matter what road I took to get to it. If my pathway to it fails reason’s strictures, I may not be able to demonstrate that it is true, and that would be a great loss. But it would still be true nonetheless.
Furthermore, truth by its nature is beautiful and desirable. Of course we will be attracted to it and our reason will want to struggle and scrape its way toward it. Reason will crawl on hands and knees, following this dead end trail, doubling back, slicing its hands on this jagged contradiction, will hang with sharply in-drawn breath over that abyss of non-sequitor, doggedly continuing on, even through darkness and paradox, until it at last comes to that which it has desired, that for which it has longed, that which gives it meaning and life. And once reason arrives at truth, once the desire for the good and the beautiful has been fulfilled, it will not cease being true, nor falsify reason’s path.