11.9.08

The Truth can sometimes sound mean

Last night I went to see Chistopher Hitchens debate Dinesh D'Souza at Powell Symphony Hall.  I used my wicked awesome Rhetoric debate-notetaking skills to take 8.5 pages of notes, so expect a few more posts on the debate, including a link to the digitized version of the notes.

Anyhow, the debate was on the topic, "Is it good to believe in the Christian God?"  Hitchens is the atheist who wrote the book titled, "god is Not Great".  D'Souza is a Christiand and wrote the book, "What's so Great About Christianity?"

I was struck by something Hitchens said towards the end of the debate to D'Souza.  D'Souza had explained that Christianity did offer a choice: you could go to hell or you could accept that Christ paid for your sins and go to heaven.  Hitchens responded, "I want you to realize, Mr. D'Souza, how mean you como across to so many people in this room.  You are saying that we can either burn in hell for eternity, or we can spend our lives groveling before a cold tyrant."

This interested me.  I had a desire (which I supressed) to stand up and tell Mr. Hitchens, "Mr. Hitchens, I understand that you do not like mean things, even if they are true.  Therefore, when you are ill and go to a doctor and he determines that you are terminal, I will let the doctor know that Mr. Hitchens does not like mean things, even if they are true, and so therefore you should not tell him he's going to die, but soften it up some, or maybe don't mention it at all."

Meanness is not a measure of truth; just because something is mean does not imply that it is false.  Just that you don't like it. But to reject the truth because you do not like it or it makes you uncomfortable or it does nto fit with your plans is utter stupidity.  I am reminded of II Timothy 4:3: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires..." 

Please remember to evaluate the truth, not by how it makes you feel, but by what you know. 

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