“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree? – Daily Prompt
That is the normal advice you will receive about discussing politics or religion. And I certainly can understand why that advice would be valid advice over family dinners or business functions.
But in personal one on one conversations, I say the statement could not be farther from the truth.
It certainly is true that it can lead to disagreements and strong opinions which don’t necessarily agree, but I think a lot of problems that come from religion and politics come because we don’t take the time to understand the opposing view points.
No one view point is totally useless and wrong. Just because one person is Christian and one person is Muslim, Athiest, Hindu, etc does not mean that good can not come from a conversation about religion. Or just because one person is Republican and the other is Democrat does not mean something good can not come from a conversation.
If the effort is made to reasonably discuss the differences and not try to make it into an effort to convince the other person they are stupid, idiotic, or just completely wrong then you can always gain something from the conversation.
Most wars that occur over religion occur because the opposing factions do not take the time to understand the key differences. They just know that the opposing faction believes differently and so therefore they must be wrong.
Listening to the issue and why the opposing faction believes what they believe can actually encourage you to think more about the issue. Maybe even asking questions you are not completely sure on which will lead you to go back and research more which can lead you to have a stronger understanding of the topic.
Or maybe if you understand the opposing view point, such as in politics, it will allow you to come to a compromise agreement which will allow for a better solution for everyone involved in the end.
They key is can we listen and discuss like adults, not like children who have to be absolutely correct in everything they say and do. I think unfortunately there are a lot of cases out there of examples where adults have decided to act more like children then the adults they should be.