Once upon a time a True Believer said to a Skeptic, “Yes, I said that thunder causes lightning, rather than the other way around. No, it wasn’t a mistake, I don’t make mistakes, so I stand by my statement.”
The Skeptic said, “Why persist in error? Why not admit it?”
The True Believer said, “But that would be weakness.”
“What do you call strength?”
“The force of Will that trumps mere fact. Thunder causes lightning, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!”
“What other stories are you sticking to?”
“That attack is defense, that debt is money, and that pride is faith. Long ago I said that war is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is wisdom, and hate is love; it felt true then, and it still feels true now.”
The Skeptic asked, “Do you ever change your mind?”
The True Believer said, “What use is a mind that keeps changing? I do not change, I need not change, I cannot change! So thunder causes lightning! May God strike me down if I lie!”
Right away God struck him down, with a bolt of lightning, followed by a rumble of thunder.
Moral: Expect poison from the standing water.
Comment: Alas, this is truly a fairy tale; for even guys like him are rarely struck by well-timed lightning. On the other hand, lightning does cause thunder, and not the other way around.
The Undermoral was from Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell”.