I don’t know about you, but I get tired of hearing the word “debunk.” In fact, the more I study and attempt to engage in helpful conversation and, even, debates, my brain has an automatic shut off when the word “debunk” and all of its synonyms are introduced.
Confute, deflate, discard, demystify, disprove, invalidate, refute, repudiate, shoot down, shoot full of holes, unshroud, and, my favorite, “. . . like shooting fish in a barrel”.
Ever heard these titles for a book or a blog?
“Unshrouding the lies of the Bible”
“Debunking Christianity is like shooting fish in a barrel”
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t really like this kind of language from unbelievers or believers. Rhetoric can be a tool or a turn off. I have seen it much from unbelievers and atheists, but it often comes from the lips of those carrying my flag. I have seen this title before: “Evolution debunked.” Or how about this one: “Refuting atheism is like shooting fish in a barrel.”
More often than not, extreme rhetoric, to me, evidences great insecurity. I know this is not always the case, but that is just what it communicates to me. I can’t help it. When we are not really confident in our position, whatever it may be, we resort to emotional rhetoric, believing that the force of our overstatement will win the day and cause people to be endeared to our position. Often this works, but it does not make it godly, especially in a generation that is checking out when it comes to dogmatism and shallow thinking.
Most thinking people these days will see through our rhetoric. We may preserve the ear of those who already agree with us, but we will find that we have lost those who need to trust us the most.
That is why I like 007. He never has to resort to the extreme in anything. Why? Because he always has things under control. No matter what his opposition may bring, his temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And it is not that he is fighting the temptation to explode. It is not that he did his Yoga that afternoon and has learned to control his emotions. It is just that he really does have things under control. He is so confident that it naturally produces a calm demeanor.
Belittling people or positions, using extreme rhetoric, and “debunking” is a bit extreme. If we have to resort to such emotional talk, we probably are not really debunking anything at all.