On the one hand, I never really did have a Vermeer, and now at least I am not fooled. On the other hand, before I was happier in my misperception.
To be sure, in a world in which I am always told the truth, I have the advantage that if my Vermeer is genuine, I know that for sure too. But psychologically we have a convenient ability to ignore small probabilities such as the probability a painting is a forgery, so the uncertainty wouldn't really bother me much.
I think I must conclude that the real reason the forgery should be revealed is not for my sake, but to deter future forgery and to help the owners of real Vermeers.
The same would apply to some similar conundrums such as whether a man should be told that his wife has been unfaithful to him. He will be worse off, but if such affairs come to light, they are less likely to happen in the first place.
A somewhat different question is whether a man who is going to die in six months should be told immediately or not. Let us suppose he has no preparations to make, so the information has no direct use. Then it seems he should not be told. But my premise is faulty. I think there are always things a man would do differently if he knew he faced death.
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