Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why respond to falsehood?

The reason I respond to bloggers and twitterers who promote lies is not out of respect for them. I'm reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:6

"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces"

My interpretation of this is that it doesn't make sense to try and debate people who are unreasonable and who have no intention of listening to your side of the argument. Such people will instead take whatever you say and twist it to their own purposes, often using it against you.

On the other hand, I'm reminded of something Joseph Goebbels once said:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

This is the strategy currently being used by the communists and their fellow travellers in Moldova. They are lying about the opposition's role in the April 7th violence, just as they lied about Romania's. They are lying about the nature and the extent of the police brutality that followed he protests. They are lying about the independence of the press. They are lying about the state of the economy.

They keep repeating these lies and suppressing dissent in the hope that the lies will eventually be accepted as truth.

The truth itself will unravel this strategy, however. If we confront the lies with the truth whenever and wherever they are told, Goebbel's method will fail. As noted above, this doesn't mean getting into debates with the unworthy, just setting the facts straight so that naive readers aren't led astray.

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