Some people feel, when arguing,
It’s “win at any cost”
But lying to support your case?
You pretty much just lost.
Or spreading someone else’s lies
When you can see what’s true
We see the liar’s character…
What must they think of you?
So a while ago, I had a few visits from the local Jehovah’s Witnesses, who wanted to talk to me about evolution. They left me some pamphlets, which I promised to read, and in exchange I asked that they read a bit of Darwin, and told them they could easily find it online. When they returned, I told them I had read the pamphlets, and asked if they had done so as well. They had. I asked them what they thought of their pamphlets, and it seems they were quite impressed by them. I asked them if it bothered them at all that the pamphlets were full of easily shown lies and misrepresentations. This seemed to confuse them a bit, so I pointed out a few quotes that were taken out of context, put them back into context, and showed that all these scientists they were quoting were actually not in agreement with them in the slightest.
I asked whether they were aware of this, and told them that it was very important, because someone was being lied to. If they were aware, then they were lying to me, and I wanted them to know that I knew. If they were unaware, then they were being lied to by their superiors, and I wanted them to be aware of that. “If you have to lie to make your case, what does that say about your case?”, I asked. “And if your superiors think you are the sort of person who will happily spread lies to people, what does that say about their opinion of you?”
I told them I was very concerned that they were being lied to; I told them not to simply take my word for it, but to check out the contents of their pamphlets for themselves; most of them have been dissected online, so it’s fairly easy to do. Oh, and for the record, they had not read any Darwin, but they showed me another pamphlet that analyzed Darwin for them. As you can guess, the first quote was the bit about the eye, stripped of its context.
If someone lies to you in order to convince you, that’s bad. If someone expects you to spread their lies for them, that just might be worse.
For some reason, I am reminded of a recent youtube video that has been sending people here. It’s full of lies, where the truth is easily enough discerned, and I have to wonder who the author has less respect for–the people about whom he’s lying, or the people to whom he’s lying.