Truth matters. Espousing what is good and exposing what is evil matters. And public intellectuals ought to keep that in mind.
Thinkers – whether they count as public intellectuals or the more reticent and less visible sort – are obliged above all to make distinctions, particularly in an age of mindlessly spreading moral equivalence. ‘I have seen the enemy and he is us’ is not always and everywhere true; the self-blame can be the highest form of self-congratulation.” (Ozick, Cynthia. “Public Intellectuals.” Quarrel & Quandary. New York: Vintage International, 2000. p125.)
It’s risky to grapple through the issues of the day in a public forum. You can take a stand that turns out to be wrong and worse yet, one that affects the future adversely. Yet, is it not riskier to not grapple with the issues? Is it not riskier to allow for a future that is “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting?”(Eph 4:14)
Being tossed to and fro is the post-modern ideal — the moral equivalency that many strive for and call the higher good. Yet, by definition, a higher good cannot be found in moral equivalency. So, when taking a stand on the issues of the day, discerning good and evil does matter.