Truth is Often Offensive

May 12, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. Jordan Peterson

Ben Shapiro writes, “… while manners matter, truth matters more.”

Too Sensitive

Let’s be honest, we have become (or always have been) an ultrasensitive population of people that have hard time digesting “truth” (as another sees it) without taking personal offence. I guess it has pretty much always existed in the two deeply controversial subjects of politic and religion. I believe the reason is that each of these subjects mess less with our minds that with our personal identity. We have somehow married our politics and religion to our very notion of who we are as a person.

It comes to the point that if you reject my beliefs you are also rejecting me as a person. And things are much, much worse today because we, in the US, have become an ultrasensitive culture consisting of a plethora of imposed categories, and we identify with and are judged by the category we most identify: liberal, conservative, gender issues, sexual orientation, pro Trump/hate Trump and at least a dozen other major categories.

I appreciate the fact that many people have taken the time to think through the core issues of their lives, but we must always remember the words of my last post, “We could be wrong!”

Free Speech

So in order to establish some genuine democratic understanding of individual values it is flat wrong to dissuade Free Speech, a modality that by its very nature can, at times, be offensive—no matter how kindly the position was stated.

Yes, I am a strong adherent of Free Speech. And today it is in dire jeopardy of being outlawed altogether. For instance Canada’s government outlawed the use of the pronouns he and she because transgender individuals found it offensive. What next?

Universities have already for the large part killed Free Speech by making certain “sensitive” topics unspeakable. Challenging the basic assumptions of “categories “is verboten no matter how strong the science is to engender a healthy conversation about the subject.

Instead we revert to “categorical name calling” and severe penalization for speaking what one believes is truth.

And how can we advance as a culture without debates and conversations about the nature of truth as thinking individuals that may or may not be a member of a category? The truth is, “truth,” by nature, is offensive because not everyone agrees on the truth of just about anything anymore. And it’s in the disagreeing with someone else’s truth that we take offense, especially if it is a truth we have embedded as “core belief” in which are prepared to hang our very lives on. Religion certainly fits.

What If?

What if… what if we determined not to be so offended (or at least restrain our offendednesss) when another person offers a point of view different from ours? And also, what if we attempted to present our point of view in a kind and respectful manner?

Yes, manners matter, but truth matters more.

Truth is Offensive Only When We Allow It to be So

Photo courtesy of SIphotography at istockphoto

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