It's Friday and the natural inclination is to sort out any loose bits of work at the office or at least make them ready for Monday. Read a few news articles, comments and generally get sense of the mindset of the people in my little World.
A small part of me snickers at the differences in opinion, while other parts wonder about the origins. What life was lived to possibly get to some conclusions, my own playground for postulating the source of the differences in people. The scale varies, but then again, where you are on the scale is relative to someone else so some may see the difference as moderate and others as a completely polarised point of view. The key would be understanding the source or at least trying to. Then whether you agree with it or not, respect the individual's point of view. Trying to change someone's mind about their opinion is usually met by the person digging in and assuming a defensive stance. To defend your opinion requires you to be even more resolute about it.
I've often found that people seem to confuse debating and arguing. Where arguing is simply a matter of loud stubbornness. Debate is about understanding the point being made, it's possible origins and coming out with a better reasoned response. Multi-dimensional thought. You need to understand what your opponent is talking about, not just know it. You cannot understand someone's opinion if you are intolerant of it, that stands to reason. The old lesson of walking in a man's shoes comes to mind.
All the above is just a splash of the thought processes that tend to run through my mind. In the real World, you cannot deviod the religious through bashing their beliefs. They will get defensive, think of it like rocking a 4x4 out of sand, you don't floor the accelerator and hope for the best. There are a variety of reasons why religious individuals cling so tightly to their beliefs, mostly the bits that make them feel a great deal of security. We're ripping the towel off them in a room full of spectators. Religious folks, after much time being governed by rules of religions we do not follow, we feel that it is and should be okay for us to speak out. If I have problems, do not suggest that you will pray for me, it's a little insulting. If you were having a stressful time(as many are these days) financially, I wouldn't suggest you rub a Buddha's tummy for good luck. That isn't even a religious practice, just a cultural one, but it would offend you because of how you perceive the action to be associated with a religion(that in all honesty you don't even understand). My statement may be construed as being targeted at Christians, but it's for every single religious person out there.
As an atheist, I would prefer it if we all had a better than average knowledge of things, no need to be an expert, but just have the knowledge, knowledge leads to understanding, that is the truth of anything. If you say you know, but you don't understand, then your knowledge is incomplete. Anything you do not understand, should be followed by a question, a question you should try to answer to the best of your ability, with more knowledge sought and reasonable thought to reach a conclusion. I remember how in school they taught us research is best conducted by gathering your information from multiple sources, not just one. I still love astronomy, the price of a good telescope hinders me a little, but it doesn't stop me from reading about what's been observed out there, viewing pictures others have taken of nebulae far far-away. In fact so far my mind can barely comprehend the distance, something else I marvel at as well.
We are not the same. We shouldn't have to be. Just accepting, tolerant and possibly understanding. By the very nature of this thought, there will be those who do not think they should be understanding. It's okay, I understand.
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