Monday, April 27, 2009

Evangelical Positions

An evangelist is not a seeker of truth. On the other hand, he considers himself the privileged possessor of truth. He will not engage with anyone from other camps as a partner but either as an enemy or an object of ridicule. A greater part of the history of colonialism, the cold war between America and the erstwhile USSR, and the rise of fascism are prime examples of evangelical positions and their consequences.

An evangelist often has nothing new to say—he is constantly packaging and repackaging the same arguments, the same rhetoric, and the same persuasions in order to convert (both enemy and friend) or decimate those who hold an opposite or different view.

Evangelists don’t come only from political and religious camps—there are Darwinian evangelists, intelligent design evangelists… even Web 2.0 evangelists. There is nothing wrong with having a conviction and better still supporting this conviction with evidences, proofs and logic. But that does not provide us the legitimacy to speak from a moral high ground when we engage with people who do not hold our convictions. Because a seeker of truth, however convinced he may be of a proposition, always leaves room for questioning the truths that he holds dear.

The least we can do is to be aware of the evangelist in ourselves.

1 Comments:

Blogger Manish Mohan said...

"There is nothing wrong with having a conviction and better still supporting this conviction with evidences, proofs and logic. But that does not provide us the legitimacy to speak from a moral high ground when we engage with people who do not hold our convictions."

I think the answer is in the definition of an evangelist in your first two paras. If that's the definition of an evangelist, we shouldn't be surprised at their speaking from moral high ground (about their area of evangelism I presume) when they engage with people who do not hold convictions.

Of course like you say, we should be aware of the evangelist in ourselves. We have to ensure that the 'seeker of the truth' within us overshadows the 'evangelist' within us.

7:36 AM  

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