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Theologian Carl Trueman proposes Trueman’s Second Law : In any exchange of views, sooner or later one or more of the participants will describe themselves as hurt or in pain as a result of somebody else’s comment; and at that point it is clear that they have lost the real debate.

I confess that I have a serious problem with all this alleged pain and suffering because these terms and associated words are, by and large, being used in vacuous and trivial ways. What, for example, should I do when I receive a note from someone who claims to be “hurt” by something I have written which she described as a “personal attack,” despite the fact that I have never heard of her and was completely unaware of her existence until she chose to contact me? Now, I am no philosopher, but it would seem to be logically necessary for me to know of the actual existence of somebody before I can launch a personal attack upon them. Thus, to respond as this person did would seem to point to one of two possible explanations: she was a narcissist and thus incapable of understanding that articles written by another could possibly not be aimed at her; or (and frankly, more likely), she was clueless about controversial discourse and unable to separate critique of a particular viewpoint from a malicious attack on any person who might hold to said viewpoint. Whichever was the case, however, the use of the language of hurt and pain as primary involved both a trivialization of those concepts in themselves and a sidestepping of the real issue, i.e., was the argument I proposed right or wrong?

Read the rest . . .

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