Can Comfort Ever Trump Truth?


Some of my posts have been about how the truth/falseness of belief systems is what matters most, and I stand by that. However, posting on this topic and reading some comments has made me interested in a different question. Can comfort ever trump truth?

Honestly, I know I’m, potentially, going to receive some flack, but my answer is what it is. In certain situations, yes, comfort could trump truth. Before anyone becomes unglued, think about this simple question. Would you tell someone God doesn’t exist immediately after the death of one their loved ones? I, personally, would answer in the negative. This information, no matter how eloquently presented, would more than likely do nothing besides emotional harm.

Now, imagine a possible world where everyone was diseased, but they don’t know about this, yet. There is no cure for this disease, but believing people don’t have the disease causes people less stress, and this disease acts on stress. The disease is still there even if people aren’t stressed, but knowledge of the disease makes it considerably worse. Knowledge of the disease will keep everyone from functioning in society normally. Should we tell people they are diseased, or should we keep this information hidden? (Excuse the odd thought experiment. I’m writing on the fly. Plus, I just have an affinity for strange thought experiments. Sue me.) Now from my experience, people usually try to wiggle out of possible world scenarios. Let me reiterate. There is no cure, and there never will be. In this case, I might, begrudgingly, hide the truth.

What am I getting at? There may be real world instances where comfort could trump truth, but I imagine the list of scenarios is quite low. For example, I’m sure everyone has heard stories of people that were drug addicts, but one day they accepted Jesus into their heart. Then, they immediately stopped using. Alternatively, I’m sure everyone has heard the stories of a suicidal person who is told Jesus loves them, and then, they are happy again. Now, I might be different than some, but I don’t actually doubt that these types of situations do happen. These people have psychological issues most likely; otherwise, they wouldn’t have used drugs or been suicidal. I’m not saying it would never be okay to present them with arguments against God’s existence, but a person who wants to do this should be damn sure they are emotionally healthy enough to handle it.

My point in a nutshell: If the truth could destroy someone, then maybe, in those cases, comfort does trump truth. There may be a lot of people who disagree with my analysis. Please feel free to comment. I welcome dissenting views.

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4 Comments

  1. I have a friend who is an alcoholic. He credits his religion with helping him stay off the booze. As long as he’s staying dry, and as long as he’s convinced it’s religion that’s the reason, I’m not going to say a word to him about religion not being true. I know that he’s actually doing it himself, but I don’t want to undermine anything that’s helping him, since life is far better for him and those around him when he’s not drinking. He’s the rare person whose life is actually improved by religion. But he’s the only friend I have that I can say that about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Can Comfort Ever Trump Truth? | Christians Anonymous

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