It's Not Enough to Know Your Own Beliefs |

TBC Staff

“What is truth?”

This question Pontius Pilate asked Christ moments before the Crucifixion is, in my opinion, the question that the rest of the Gospels spend answering. It is the reason why Jesus gives no specific answer to Pilate in John 18, and instead simply stands there as the answer Himself. But truth, regardless of how much we would like it to be black and white, is often difficult to decipher. Stories, which often contain emotional truths can hold lies within them. This is unfortunately common in Hollywood movies, which use good and true emotions such as love and kindness to cover up narratives that underscore many Christian values.

Rather than dissecting a current film, which would require an article much longer than this one, here a is clever science fair project that 14-year-old Nathan Zohner came up with, covered by this 1997 Washington Post article: “The chemical compound dihydrogen monoxide (or DHMO) has been implicated in the deaths of thousands of Americans every year, mainly through accidental ingestion. In gaseous form, it can cause severe burns. And, according to a new report, “the dangers of this chemical do not end there.”

“The chemical is so caustic that it “accelerates the corrosion and rusting of many metals,… is a major component of acid rain, {and} . . . has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.” Symptoms of ingestion include “excessive sweating and urination,” and “for those who have developed a dependency on DHMO, complete withdrawal means certain death.”

“Yet the presence of the chemical has been confirmed in every river, stream, lake and reservoir in America.”

Judging from these facts, do you think dihydrogen monoxide should be banned?

I hope after reading this you weren’t convinced that we should ban this substance, also called water. After all, water (or dihydrogen monoxide) does corrode metals, can burn you and can drown you. The point of this article being that truth is not always obvious and often necessitates critical thinking.

Wading through the truths and falsities of information is a hard thing to do. It requires real time and effort into researching both sides of an argument. Often times we hear one side of a convincing story (i.e. Dihydrogen monoxide is bad for you) and we go on convinced, merrily espousing a belief that may make no sense if we spent time in thought about it.

Truth, in its purest form, is not something that can be changed. It is easy, however to twist the truth in convincing narratives, covered up by emotions, and that is what we should be looking out for, both in what we hear and what we say. When hearing an opinion you disagree with, use it instead as an opportunity to work with that person in a search for truth, rather than winning an argument. In this manner, we can keep ourselves away from emotional and/or baseless arguments, such as “banning dihydrogen monoxide” and have a greater assurance in the things we believe are true.