Tuesday, January 12, 2021

We Need to Discuss Truth


This tweet from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is true. 

Lies are contrary to the truth and are not just mere opinions.

As a Christian I want to seek, believe, and even defend the truth.

Here is the thing, it isn’t always easy to tell what the truth is.

For example, I like to say that love is the central command of Christianity and the resurrection is the central truth of Christianity. 

I believe the resurrection of Jesus is true and not a lie. There are different pieces of evidences that I use to support that belief. 

Yet, there are very smart people who will offer their evidence on why the resurrection never happened.

In other words, there is a difference of opinion when it comes to how we arrive at something being truth or a lie.

I bring this example up because I think many things within the realm of politics fall into this same sort of category. When trying to arriving at what is true, we have to discuss our perspective about why we believe something is true or not. 

It is not good enough to simply declare something to be true or false. We need to be wiling to share our thoughts and listen to why someone else believes what they do.

To simply declare something to be true or false causes dialogue to end and division between people to increase.

Here is another example.

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021 a violent mob stormed the Capitol Building in Washington D. C.

That is a statement that virtually everyone would agree to be true.

What isn’t agreed about, and the areas of opinion that should be discussed are: 

  1. Whether that mob was incited by President Trump? 
  2. Was it an insurrection or coup attempt?
  3. What defines someone as a domestic terrorist?
Here is my point: Our different perspectives give us a different understanding of truth. If we are truly committed to truth then we should be willing to hear those different perspectives.

This is precisely why freedom of speech is such an important part of life. It allows us to dialogue with one another. It helps us refine our arguments and beliefs. It gives us a chance to demonstrate why certain things are lies.

A major problem we are facing in the United States is the inability to really participate in the process of free speech. We want to be able to say what we believe the truth to be, but we don’t other people to respond with their perspective. We would much rather stay within our own little echo chamber, having our world view confirmed, than stepping outside that bubble and having it challenged.

We need to be brave enough to have civil conversation with people, seeking to understand why they believe what they believe, rather than just declaring the other side is lying and walking away. 

The true benefit found in the freedom of speech is the opportunity to point out the inconstancies, errors, and false beliefs the other side has. It gives you the ability to answer those who promote a different ideology than you do and make the case for why your beliefs are true.

This is such an important freedom, and skill, to have.

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