Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in Business

From Plato to Today

Thousands of years ago, Plato wrote about truth goodness and beauty as being the transcendentals—absolutes from outside of creation, which are nevertheless embedded within creation, and recognized by humans as participants in that creation. Man’s responsibility was to live in harmony with this cosmic order. To do otherwise was to invite discord and chaos.

This view of the world dominated western civilization for millennia.

Today, however, modern man has largely rejected the existence of truth, goodness, and beauty outside of himself. Truth is now seen as relative. “You’ve got your truth, and I’ve got mine, and they may not agree.” Goodness is also seen as relative. “Who’s to say what is good and what is evil? Your opinion is no better than mine.” And beauty exists only “in the eye of the beholder.”

Along with this rejection of truth, goodness, and beauty, has come a consequent loss of meaning, morality, and hope.

This loss is felt in the business world every day.

The Gap in Plato’s Knowldge

Although Plato discovered the transcendentals, he was never able to correctly identify their Source.

In reality, all three of them spring from the nature and character of God.

  • God is truth; He speaks truth; He cannot lie.
  • God is good; He does good; He cannot do otherwise.
  • God is beautiful. Beauty in creation is only a pale reflection of the beauty of God.

The Pursuit

A business which seeks to be the best possible business will pursue truth, goodness, and beauty in all its endeavors. But this can only be accomplished through first acknowledging the Source of truth, goodness and beauty.

The next three blog posts discuss truthgoodness and beauty in greater detail.


Note: This article is part of a series on Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in Business. The other articles can be found here:

  1. Introduction to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
  2. Truth in Business
  3. Goodness in Business
  4. Beauty in Business