"Some things are true whether you believe in them or not."
This is a quote from the movie City of Angels, starring Meg Ryan as Maggie and Nicolas Cage as Seth.
To understand the meaning of this quote, it is important to know some basic information about the movie. Seth is an angel. Angels, in this movie, are only seen by humans when they want to be. Seth encounters Maggie one day when he is taking the life of one of Maggie's patients, after surgery. When the patient's vitals go down, Maggie fights with all she can to keep the patient alive. Unfortunately, she does not succeed.
Later in the movie, Seth decides he wants Maggie to see him. During a conversation in the hospital hallway, Maggie and Seth begin talking about the patient that Maggie lost. Seth tells Maggie that "he is living, just not the way you think." Maggie cynically tells Seth that she does not believe in that. Seth simply looks at Maggie and tells her, "Some things are true whether you believe in them or not."
This quote has become a common one for people of faith. It has also become an argument for the existence of God. With my Liberal Arts background, I had to take many theology and philosophy classes. During a discussion in Metaphysics, two students were stating their reasons why they didn't believe in the existence of God. In the middle of their discussion, the professor (who actually is atheist, but likes to stir things up a bit) jumped in and said, "Gentlemen, is possible that some things are true whether you believe in them or not?"
Moreover, for completeness sake, there is another version of this quote, which I have seen on bumper stickers and on Christian web sites. This quote states, "Some things exist whether you believe in them or not."
I think that this can be a very profound statement, but does not have to be linked to the question of God. As a teacher, I do love every one of my students (as cliche' as that sounds). When I get upset with one of them, they may not believe that I still love them, but nonetheless, I do. It is true, whether they believe it or not.
There are so many things in life that simply are what they are. I think this statement implies ultimate truth. Something that simply is, no matter what we want to believe. To me, that's frustrating and beautiful.