To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

I wrote HERE my personal story with my best friend in our inability to discuss our different spiritual beliefs. We used to be in total agreement until my views begin changing of what God may really be like. We have agreed to disagree, and thankfully still have a great relationship. Part of the challenge may be our long history together. But I am convinced there are ways for friends to discuss their vastly different beliefs, whether they be religious or political in nature, though it does take two to tango.

What quality is essential for open conservations?

Talk to others like you want to be talked to. You must control your emotions. Discuss or fight fairly or forget it! Disagreements are normal in relationships. At least one party must initiate the possibility of an open conversation. Time will tell if others will follow your lead. When discussing if sexual abuse is wrong, most rational people will agree. If you are discussing what God is really like, you may be wrong. Unless you have meet God in person! If you are discussing what policies are best for the greater good (immigration, climate, covid mandates), you may be wrong.

What societal conditions make open conversations difficult?

One may not feel confident defending their belief, but there are other reasons why we avoid discussions. If only one opinion is presented in main news sources, those with differing beliefs than the common narrative are often shut down and thought of as conspiracists – not exactly a conversation starter. Also, certainty rather than uncertainty comforts individuals psychologically. One may believe what seems to be the popular narrative because unknowing can create confusion or anxiety. Disagreeing with the popular science narrative can lead to being ostracized. Disagreeing with church folks about God’s character can lead to isolation. When universal agreement doesn’t exist, one must be allowed to form their own opinions since uncertainty exists.

How do we determine truth from uncertainty?

Openminded people accept they may be wrong. We can know we are right when there seems to be almost universal agreement on the topic of concern. Most don’t defend rape, sexual abuse, or stealing from others. But rational people do not agree on matters such as immigration policies, climate policies, marijuana legalization, if God condemns gays, etc. We must be willing to defend our views among one another rather than shut down those we disagree with. Those fortunate enough to live in a democratic society must accept the vote of the majority when comes to law setting. You can still defend your position in hopes of a future vote.

What to do when one refuses to allow your opinions 

We can strive to be the better person in conversation. But we have every right to oppose those who refuse to accept uncertainty and fight fairly, regardless of their motives. This can be done civilly but lack of freedom of speech is important for future generations. Leaders must be held accountable to be open-minded than certain. We can try to engage with those who insist on certainty when it doesn’t exist, but in time one may need to move on. We can stop labeling those who disagree with our biblical interpretations as heretics. We can stop calling those who disagree with our views of science or politics as conspiracists. Imagine how different as a people we would be if religious and political folks were open to discussions for the common goal of pursing the greater good!

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